This blog already has enough words. Enjoy.
1) I work in food.
I spend a large portion of time cooking or cleaning the restaurant that I’ve been working at for years. This job prohibits me from being in church every Sunday and Wednesday, being at important and non-important family functions, and sleeping in a normal pattern. In turn, I spend copious amounts of time with about 25 servers and 15 cooks. Some love Jesus, some don’t, and some of them don’t even believe there is a Jesus. I spend up to 45 hours a week with some of them and I get to hear their stories and share with them mine. I listen to them when they’re upset with a guest, or a co-worker, or family member and I try to always push them to do their best in ALL that they do. I don’t always do a good job or remember to keep a smile on, but I do try. To those who allow, I push and pray for. I get to watch them go through life with the filter of blue jeans and those nasty black polo’s. Some of them know my faults and victories, they know what pain I’ve been through and what I’ve learned.
All I can do is pray that it’s helped them in some way to not live through what I did or maybe just have the hope that after they do, they will be alright.
I stepped out of many roles in my local church to take up the demanding schedule of management and offended some people by choosing “Chili’s over church”. However, it is what I chose, and if the only other option was to never have met the people I have, then I’m glad it was my choice. I missed things and events but I got to be involved in people’s lives. I found a small group at Chili’s, I got to befriend some phenomenal people. People that I love and will miss if ever I’m not with them (Hey guys, I miss you). They have a special place in my heart and I will never get sick of learning their stories.
2) I am a woman, and women are crazy.
I get too emotionally involved in things that I see and you can’t live by emotion. You cry a lot when you allow yourself to feel and that’s not fun for anyone, your make up (that actually didn’t look like a 4 year old did it that day) runs, and your friends (if they’re around) have to pretend that you don’t look like a hot mess. It’s not entirely a great situation for anyone. No one wins. For a 4 day time slot every month I can be super mad at you and then cry when you actually try to talk it out with me. If you give me caffeine at any point I’m in a great mood. And I’ll complain about my appearance after you compliment me. I can’t think of a compassion filled story without getting a heartache and I have so much pride for my little sister that I cry most of the time she does anything cool. I can’t sing a full song about The Lords faithfulness and not get choked up. I give too much of my time to things that aren’t always worth it and I give too much of myself to people who are only trying to get ahead.
Women can’t speak in public settings because we are so full of bunny trails that men can’t follow what we are saying. So what’s the point in trying? A lot of times I’d love to believe I’m a lot like Ruth: sticking to her promises all the time and working always to get exactly what she needs and being faithful… when really I see myself more often as the woman with the alabaster box so overwhelmed at the forgiveness given to me that all I can do is offer everything I have because even that isn’t enough. I’m moved emotionally to action and repentance; I don’t walk around trying to make up for the things I’ve screwed up. My heartstrings get tugged and I collapse and offer the mess that I become to the Creator and hope it becomes something better than what I left.
I am a woman, women are crazy and if it wasn’t for the patience of a G-d who loves me that would be enough to disqualify me.
But I have to believe this compassion and heart that aches He has set inside of me was meant to be mine. I have to trust that even when I give “too much” and get taken advantage of that it was all in His hands anyway and whatever He wills, will be. I have to know that when I cry its not because I’m a mess and I’m weak but because I’m ALLOWED to feel for people. I’m allowed to weep with someone who is hurting and lost. I’m ok taking time to be mad and scared and crazy because Jesus himself wept over me. He knew I’d be like this. He made me like this.
3) I love writing because I can think through what I’m saying -
when I speak I feel like it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes when I try to words out loud they don’t come out correctly.
I’m not a great communicator, at least I feel like I could be a better one. I don’t monitor what I say before I let it fall out of my mouth and this sometimes causes hurt feelings or people just being butt hurt that I had a better come back than them. I feel more frequently than not that I’m looking at G-d and His requests telling him, “I’m just not the right one” I feel highly inadequate to be given a lot of the opportunities I am because I’m simply not the best at what I do. I found out recently just how bad I am at photography, which I just find comical – I’m just not creative in that aspect about 95% of the time. I like to play piano and ukulele and guitar but I get nervous and mess up a lot. I like to speak but I feel like I could throw up before each time I do unless its in the middle of worship. Jesus tells me a lot in that setting and asks me to say a lot, I believe mostly up to this point what He needs me to say out loud is typically for me. Kind of public confession/accountability sort of a thing, but also, I’m just realizing how freeing it is to tell your stories. People learn from one another. And especially WHEN I DO mess up what I’m saying and someone still tells me they needed to hear it
I realize all the more that the result of the Gospel is the result of the Gospel, it is NOT the result of my attempts to share the Gospel.
So, yes, I stumble and fumble and say the wrong thing. My thinking isn’t perfect, my talents are not the best but I have had an opportunity to grown and become something more useful for what G-d wants to do in this world and in ME. ((And that’s pretty cool.
4) I was married – but now I’m not.
Life isn’t supposed to go that way. “When something is broke you fix it you don’t throw it away.” In some Jesus denominations you can’t be in a pastoral/leadership position if you’ve been through a divorce, I’m not here to change your stance one way or another on if that’s right or wrong, or fair or harsh. I’m just stating the fact that on legal pieces of paper my marital status isn’t “Single”. If you know me very well, you know my story; if you kind of know me, you know the readers digest version; if you don’t know me and you tripped across my gofundme account (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgaQ23dFtQg) or Merge Video blog (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgaQ23dFtQg) you at the very least know that I’m divorced. I didn’t at the time think what I went through was fair. I was mad. I waited until I was married for sex, I worked at church, I grew up serving in almost every age of ministry I could be apart of, I led a family group, I led a worship team, I helped with the drama team, I was in line and could have worked my way into being a Junior High pastor. I was in love; I was 21 and extremely happy. I loved being around people and telling stories I had hopes, dreams, drive and ambition. And then I got mad. I got chosen over. I wasn’t good enough in my prime; I wasn’t good enough when I was the princess of the day. This is more difficult to write about because I’m still a firm believer that people do change (going back to the being a woman and crazy) I believe the best and sometimes get taken advantage of. But I don’t feel its fair to say my ex is the pit of disgust and should have a terrible life because of what happened. I gave up everything to take a break and learn how to do the ministry of marriage. And I was chosen over.
Yet, I have been unfaithful to my creator and His forgiveness is awesome.
Literally, I’m in awe of what He has done for me. I didn’t want there to be a G-d because that way I could react whatever way I saw fit and not believe there was something up there with a broken heart over me. I wanted so badly to be alone and just die because if He wasn’t real it wouldn’t have mattered. But I’m still here. I had friends telling me to get off my couch and get some sunshine and air. I wanted there to be nothing and for everything to mean nothing. It didn’t work; I broke and realized there IS something because I’m not done being me. I’m not finished learning how to love and forgive and seek forgiveness. I’m not done being loved. The Lord has given us love and forgiveness we don’t deserve and cannot repay because we are sinful. The majority of us will go through a moment, or trial, or piece of a story that gives us the opportunity to walk away from everything we know and believe in.
I’m grossly hopeful, it gets better –
no matter what you’re going through,
it gets better.
I swear, no matter how painful the heartache, IT GETS BETTER. G-d showed us His forgiveness clearly with the story of Hosea, He called Hosea to marry a prostitute. He called him to a union of unfaithfulness. He told Hosea to love her, over and over again to find her where she was, whoever she was with and take her back and love her. He did this to show what He has done for us. While we were STILL sinners, Christ died for us. So I have a red letter in my marital status… Could G-d have used it? Yes. Would life of been different if I chose to stay? Yes. Life changes constantly and I chose what I did.
I’m here now and at peace with where “here” is.
My Story is a huge part of Australia. G-d knew the outcome and He knew my heart the entire time. And HE still loves me, HE still knows me and HE still treasures me.
5) I don’t like pretending I’ve got my life together – I pretty openly admit I don’t know everything – or even what I’m doing.
I’m too honest and probably share too much… like, all the time. I believe too firmly that I can sit before my Father as I am and let Him deal with me as I am. I tell Him when His word doesn’t make sense to me, and I tell people who I’m talking to when it doesn’t make sense to me as well. I believe firmly in grace and because of this I no longer give myself stomach ulcers trying to be a “good” person. I try to love and give but when I screw up I believe in the forgiveness already given to me. I’m not the best witness in the world because I can’t explain everything there is to being a ‘Christian’ even though I grew up in church. I have a decent amount of blind faith in that this is the only thing that has made sense so far so this is what I do.
This is the only way the heartache eases
the panic attacks settle
the joy is restored and the hope is in full swing.
So this is what I do. I love on Jesus and let Him love on me. I’m not good at being a good Christian. I take scripture too literally, I don’t like to dice it up. I question the context of what someone is preaching on and wonder if the author ever really intended for us to use it the way we do sometimes. I believe you can sing and watch chains fall, I believe in prayer actually working when we bring our requests to G-d, I believe all things work together for good even when they suck really bad. I believe in favor and that G-d is going to let me accomplish my “bucket list”before I go, even if it doesn’t look like what I have planned. Heaven forbid I actually believe. It’s not the practical thing to do nor is it useful for planning your next move in whatever ministry you are doing. I feel like a wildcard because I don’t agree with everyone all the time. And then I get vocal and post my disagreement in snide tweets or Facebook statuses, mostly to be funny, mostly because I don’t mind being wrong. My opinions are subject to change because I learn something new about what I’m doing weekly. All in all I’m kind of a brat. Brats aren’t good leaders.
So, I’m sorry I’m not the best candidate but I feel called. I’m sorry I’m wrong sometimes but I’m willing to listen and learn where other people know more. I’m sorry that I have a blemish on my marital-ministry badge but I believe in forgiveness and freedom. Sorry I’m a woman, but I’m not sorry – haha, we are crazy cool. ((I’m sorry that last line was so cheesy.))
I’m mostly sorry if I ever skip and opportunity to be real and open with you all.There is too much importance in life and the actions we take and the conversations we have to not live openly. So it might not look like it used to, but my under qualified self has been living out what it means to be Jesus as best as I’ve been able to. So whatever ministry I fall into, I hope I do ok. G-d knows what He’s doing with me, even when I don’t feel like me is enough.
*Note: Please understand the utter sarcasm throughout this blog and the healing that I’ve come to know as mine. A lot of this was tongue-in-cheek as it stands now. At one point these were the things that bound me. But G-d has done a work that I cannot keep to myself or explain. He is good. I am not.
But He loves ME.