My throat has dried up.I've been paralyzed by what to say, overcome again and again by the fear of rejection, the fear of abandonment.
Working through intimacy issues steadfastly ignored for at least 20 years if not the full 32 is scary. Scary because I have to try to re-build my belief that I am valuable because I am a child of God. Even if I did nothing else ever for the rest of my life I would have value simply because God made me.

Because I don't believe it. I doubt it so greatly that I've convinced myself (along with a substantial amount of help from others) that it's true.

I feel dry. So dry and sapped and strung out on fear and paranoia I can't see the top of the hole I've dug for myself to hide in.

But through it all I hear God whispering that he won't leave. If I can be frank, and it's my blog so I think I will be, I don't believe him yet.
With every relationship I seem to have long lapses of times where I hold my breath waiting for them to figure out that I'm no good. That I'm garbage to be thrown away when I'm no longer entertaining or useful.
Because that's who I see when I look in the mirror.

Not good.

But that God is persistent. Even as I turn my face from him, even as I shout at him that he made a mistake when he made me because I'm NO GOOD he just stays put, stubbornly.

I stopped leading. The transition has been better and more terrible than I anticipated. Better because I have had my pastors clearly express to me they care for me no matter what. Better because I have experienced them allowing me to exit and go quiet because they want to help me honor God in truly resting and refreshing in this time. Terrible because I secretly wonder if they're relieved the be done with me. Terrible because I feel useless and therefore I'm not worth anything if I'm not doing doing doing.
Let me be clear that most days I know it's not true.
Most days I can inhale without choking and exhale without sobbing.
It's the some days that pour shadows over the sun and I wonder if I'll ever again believe these lovely people and this mighty God love me.

But I'm starting to feel the inkling of belief. The echo of a memory of the deep down knowing that God is here. He's here and he's not leaving and he's sticking around no matter what. It feels so strange.

But it also feels like home.

seeing myself sitting against the wall of the cavern with my tired head laying atop my arms slung over my knees and realizing it’s where i am and where i’ve been for a while, i found i wasn’t alone. seeing this in my mind’s eye for the first time, jesus sat with his arm around me. ‘we can stay here as long as you need to, mary kathryn,’ i heard in my heart. ‘and i will stay here with you. but i will not let you stay here forever.'

(Inspired by: Bottom-Dwellers)

but anger is the mask fear wears until it either becomes a monster of hate or a puddle of clay which only christ can mold and fix and change in his own image. (via)


Being There

I got back this weekend from about a week with a friend. One I've had for just about 20 years.
Over the last 20 years we're lived both near and far from each other many times over. We've spoken every day and not at all for months at a time. We've gone through life changes both by choice and by nature; both hard, difficult and messy as well as lovely, celebratory and easy to navigate.
In 20 years we've been there.

I was thinking during our time together this week that it's not easy, maintaining a friendship. As evidenced over this past year God has been stripping, re-making and molding my relationships, specifically those with other adult women.
It has honestly stunk.
I've lost friends, or at least been downgraded to mere acquaintance and made several new friends that I am so thankful to have in my life now.

This is the first time I've really spent any real time with Laine since the last (and biggest) change in his life. I told him over lunch one day that I was nervous. Because I didn't want to say the wrong thing or offend him or his friends with my inexperience with this latest life change. I didn't have any experiences to compare going through this change to, it's outside any realm of comprehension that I could imagine. So I'm just trying to love him well and figure out what that looks like as I go, which isn't always perfect or correct.

I'm just being there. I'm showing up even when it's awkward or uncomfortable, I'm showing up when it's easy and fun and when it's hard and humbling.

Because it's all I know how to do, and somehow that has been enough for us the last 20 years.


Good Things: September

September 1 Nice meeting dreaming about outreach with leaders at my church

September 2 12 hour day at work, looooooong day but getting a little caught up

September 3 Lazy day swimming and watching Netflix

September 4 Great conversation with Claire at lunch and Friday Night Lights

September 5 Day on the sofa with brief breaks to switch laundry

September 6 Day 1 of 2 that I'm working this week

September 7 Road Trip to South Carolina with some church peeps. I love my church, I really really do

September 8 Man oh man, today. The whole conference and everything the speakers spoke about, the road trip back plumbing the depths of my ipod and listening to kingdom dreams being chatted about while watching scenery slip past. Today was my favorite in a long time, awake for 23 hours and loved every second.

September 9 Day 2 of 2 that I'm working this week. I'm not even tired, LOVE that.

September 10 Building bookcases and the Washington Project cookout

September 11 Afternoon on the sofa watching Netflix

September 12 Watched an SUV stuck on a boulder (yep, a boulder) get unstuck by a deaf former UFC guy yanking on it with a tow strap (the truck was jacked up so it wouldn't fall on dude). His fist pump after was the best part

September 13 Texts with Laine planning our friend-cation!

September 14 The kitchen table went up! It's starting to feel like a real house!

September 15 Happy Birthday, Matthew!

September 16 First night dog sitting in a long time, almost made me miss cable (almost)

September 17 Matthew's birthday part, lots of loud kids and some yummy cake

September 18 Downloaded Dr. Mario on the Wii...productivity has ground to a halt in the house again

September 19 Bought my counter tops today. My bank account doesn't think it's a good thing but my kitchen does

September 20 Girlfriends Night Out! There was an odd amount of talk on the topic of booger eating...

September 21 Dr. Mario and hanging out on the sofa all night

September 22 Dinner out celebrating a friends birthday. Lots of laughing and hilarity ensued.

September 23 Last day of work until October!

September 24 Game night with Amber and got my hair did.

September 25 Good conversation about churchy volunteer stuff. It was nice to be care for in such a way.

September 26 Driving to Pennsylvania and seeing Laine!

September 27 Lots and lots of vagina jokes today, none of which I was comfortable putting on the interwebs

September 28 Had a cider slush....oh my goodness, SO AMAZING

September 29 I may have been drunk twice today, I can't confirm or deny this

September 30 Benefit show with Laine, he did a great job at his show. Chacha McDouchenstein