Wednesday, October 10, 2007

my blog...my opinion...

DISCLAIMER:
this is allison's personal space on the internet. you don't have to read this. you've chosen to read this. therefore, you have to accept that i'm executing my right to say whatever i want, because i can. BUT, know that if you are reading this, it was never meant to hurt your feelings and odds are, i'm not even talking about you. or you. or you over there. odds are i don't even know yet what i'm about to type...i just know that i am going to say something that may border on insensitivity...so close out of this screen if you stand at risk of being offended....

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i'm struggling with how honest to be on this blog.
you have NO idea how many worlds possibly come colliding on these pages...how many of you know FAR more about me than others...and how close to my heart i hold my cards, right now.

if you DO know me, you'll understand this to be the EXACT opposite of who i really am. heart is on my sleeve...always. i never hesitated to tell people how little money i made in all my jobs...i never stopped myself from immediately expressing my undying love to the boys i thought i did love...i was never able to stay at jobs that i personally couldn't stomach, because everything is always personal to me.

but at 28, we're not dealing with first-job-out-of-college salaries, or short-lived petty relationships with boys, or the stupid tasks i hated doing at jobs that i took on as the bain of my existence. no. with each passing year, in life, the choices get harder, the consequences steeper, and the simple naivety of life gets washed away.....and you wake up one day and realize that each hurdle was merely preparation for the next...and the next...and the next...

do i think it's wrong to wear your heart on your sleeve? i honestly can't answer that anymore. do i WANT to wear my heart on my sleeve? sadly, no, i don't. i recoil at the thought of the world knowing my "stuff" and i recoil at the thought people watching me gasp for air. it's not pretty. and i've also pridefully feared that people simply cannot handle it. and so i wade through my own personal hell, all while finding myself PROTECTING my loved ones from feeling uncomfortable by my issues in life. and frankly, i'm tired of making excuses for my withdraw. do i owe anybody an excuse? or do i owe you an apology for not feeling you were capable of sharing this burden with me. i've somehow deemed myself an army of one, fully able to carry my own load BETTER than distributing the labor among people i know would gladly strap on this yoke with me.

needless to say, in my darkest moments last month, i was enlightened enough to realize i needed to get out of the house...interact with human beings again...smell fresh air. so what did i so boldly sign up for? the women's wednesday morning bible study.

i can't tell you exactly why i did it....because i've asked myself the same question for 2 weeks in a row now. in my heart, it is a HUGE mistake. i knew..i just KNEW it would gut me over and over again, having to walk into that room and be the odd ball out. yet, i proceeded and now it's too late to escape.

last wednesday was my first meeting with 14 ladies. ages ranged from 26-40, probably. everybody sits in a circle as though we're in some sort of therapy session, and given i was late, i learned that 2 people are selected every week to share their testimony. i caught the tail end of the first girl. the entire thing was worse than i had anticipated. out of these 14 women, 4 of them were holding newborns, 3 of them were massively pregnant, and the remainder had their toddlers in "bible study nursery" upstairs. i burst into tears getting back into my car....and failed to really articulate WHAT i was feeling to bring myself to even blog about it.

today was week #2.
there were 17 of us. 16 of us have kids.
#17 would be me.

i won't bore you with the litany of prayer requests that string on regarding teething babies, sleepless nights, preschool teachers, 4 year old bday parties, school projects....etc....etc....

getting in my car this morning, to drive over to this torture chamber slash church library requires strength i do not possess. i feel like a small tug-boat.....dragging the weight of a freight liner.....as i get dressed on wednesday mornings....and the only question that runs through my mind is...."if this is my life, God....why won't you stop my heart from it's endless bleeding....."

and of course, it's too late to drop out because i'm on: A) the nursery schedule, B) the snack schedule, and C) the testimony schedule (God help in advance for that little number...). so just never showing up again would cause more of a stir than to simply bust out about my life....and admit the oppression i feel when walking into that group study. do you realize that scientists have done stress tests on women with various cases of infertility and the mental and psychological and physical stress is parallel to those suffering with terminal cancer? but why doesn't anybody with cancer feel guilty for being needy at times. but i feel inexplicable agony regarding the agony that resides within. i feel selfish for hurting. i feel as though you may be secretly looking at your stopwatch and muttering, "time's up, sister -- get over it already."

...because God knows, in my judgemental mentality, that is exactly what i always thought. pick yourself up already! what are you whining about! stop complaining and get on with it already!

funny how God turns life around and you are awakened to the filth in your own heart.
and that's what this journey has been.
an evolution of sorts...
good thing faith isn't made of emotions...if so, mine would be gone.
they say gold is purified by taking a massive piece of metal and holding it over the fire...until all impurities have melted away....
they say you cannot weld pieces of metal until they're red hot...and malleable....but being held at length over the flame....

i recognize what's going on here. though i'm not quite at the point where i find joy in the trial, as Paul so expressed...

ultimately -- i'm stuck in this bible study. but even moreso, i can almost hear Him whispering, "you need more than to party with only people in the same ditch as you...." and even though i'm suffering under the same harsh ruling i've held strong to, when discussing churches with friends that don't go to mine....the BODY of Christ must be accepted in full. you can't (nor should you) create a church service specifically "for people without children..." It is more convenient and comfortable to be only surrounded by a sub-set of people who "get me and sympathize with me?" no doubt. but is that the ultimate goal of church? i hope not. the Bible is explicit regarding the "corporate church," and our responsibility to each member of the Body. not just the members that you most relate to. sometimes a church can be so fragmented into groups: The Singles Service, The Young Families Service, The Traditional Service (for the old-fashioned), The Contemporary Service......that I could potentially be in danger of only having a fragmented love for what i most relate to. do i then only have a responsibility to serve, hold accountable and reveal hardship to those who can "relate" the most to me? i think again, it's clear that there is MUCH wisdom and strength to be gained from somebody who is NOT in your boat....and even in this study, these women have been divinely called to minister to me.....if i can simply stomach being ministered to.....and i have been called to sit under them, to learn, to be trained, and to minister to them....as they certainly (as i've learned) have struggles that i don't have at this time....

just when i think i'm a misfit in this group, which i certainly am (try offerring up a prayer request for your photography business work load, when the girl next to you is asking prayer for her baby....), it dawns on me that these 16 women have been handpicked to be my safety net over the next upcoming months. i'm looking into the faces and the hearts of women that God personally deemed strong enough to help me carry this load...a load they are currently completely unaware of, which will slowly start to manifest itself as treatments progress next month and the following....

just because somebody has what you do not, doesn't mean they should be disqualified from your personal life. it ultimately boils down to my level of (or lack of) humility. acceptance. honesty. and the capability to set aside the hurt, the jealousy and the bitterness, to free up my hands to accept the love, the prayers, the concern that i have no doubt these 16 women are about to bestow....

do i know what it's like to have divorced parents? if not, should i be disqualified from offering up prayer and love?

do i know what it's like to lose a spouse? no. but i can tell you right now that my heart is breaking even this morning, over a woman at my old church who lost the LOVE of her life, 5 years ago TODAY....every Oct 10th, i think of her.....granted, i cannot relate to the degree of pain she experienced.

in His grace -- He purifies us
in His grace -- He bridges the gap

........Christ alone creates a common denominator for us all.

6 comments:

ckuretich said...

beautiful. inspiring beyond words.
I would've run screaming in terror from that Bible study, but you hit it exactly right regarding WHY you should stay...maybe it's exactly what you need. maybe it's not. but God will give you the discernment to know the difference.

n8andbumber said...

you are a bigger woman than I am. that's all i'll say on here!

chrissy said...

sigh. i love this. what a BOLD and mature perspective, allison. wow.

and of course, as always, we are still here to carry said weights as well.......

Julie Nickerson said...

I love the way you word things. That was beautiful!
You made a great point about being with other that are not in the same boat as yours.
Praying for you!

Nina said...

It was a hard post to read babe. Certainly not because of any offense but because it breaks my heart to know how you hurt.

Regarding the Bible study, take Rudy to the nursery upstairs? It might not help you fit in but it will be funny!

love, love you

Filtering Life said...

Bravo Alison. That was amazing, there were so much truth and honesty in this I don't know where to begin. You are brave to keep going and you are right that these are the very eyes that will cry tears with you and the arms that will embrace you and the lips that will stand in the gap and intercede for you. You need them more than you will ever know. You need to let people in that are tangible. I can only tell you that this post is a specific answer to a prayer I had for you, so I am just beaming that you have so obediently opened yourself up in this manner.