The rain rolled off the windows, each drop making it’s own way down the glass. I stared at each drop, not blinking and my insides slowed to meet the roll of each drop.
My preacher preached and my girls crossed and recrossed their legs and still, I stared out the window. He paced the floor and then perched on his stool and he flung out words like sovereignty and glory and I listened to him recount our days.
To hear our days strung together like strands of pearls is quite beautiful. To have lived those same days, not so much.
But God is sovereign and so we string our days together to tell His story.
And the more we tell it, the more we believe that God is good and that He, indeed, is sovereign.
For the last few months, I’ve been writing a lot about story.
I’ve become very much aware that I let life happen to me. Some of you know that because you have used your precious dollars, bought me books like Margins and Boundaries and Help the Crazy Lady on Avent Street, and mailed them to me.
I have a stack, 2 feet high, of books on my nightstand.
They wait for me and they whisper things like slow down and get quiet. Sometimes they yell things like Stop the madness or you’re going to curl up and die.
Most days, I thumb through one or two of them and then I underline a couple of lines so I can feel like I’m doing something.
But some days, I pick up one of the books and sit on the porch and actually read a few pages. I savor the hard truth and then swallow it down.
And then I put on my big girl panties and say no to one more thing.
Last night, over vegetarian enchiladas, the preacher and I had a moment where we could either laugh or cry.
We chose to laugh.
The kids looked on from the other room and they began to laugh and the house roared with happy noise that sprung up from a wellspring of hurt.
“I’m not going out like this,” I yelled, my fork in the air. “I’ve gained 16 pounds in 18 months and I am not going out like this!” The kids snickered and I laughed even louder and saying it out loud made it real.
I have gained 16 pounds in 18 months and it has not even bothered me.
Not even once.
I rarely wear lipstick.
Right now, I need to color my hair, but the gray doesn’t even make me look twice.
I need to have my eyebrows professionally done, but I just haven’t cared enough to schedule an appointment.
I haven’t had a physical since Greenley was 6 weeks old and she’ll be 3 in 14 days. And cancer eats my family.
Some of you might want to applaud my lack of care about my appearance, but it is just an outward manifestation of an inward mess.
At the dinner table on Saturday, Elli looked at me with her big hazel eyes and said with sincerity, “Maybe it’s depression. And depression hurts. Cymbalta can help.”
I tell the truth, y’all.
You can think only 1 of 2 things. 1.) She watches too much television. or 2. ) She’s wise beyond her years and she can spot my cloud a mile away.
I like to think she’s wise beyond her years.
And here’s one more thing: I’m not sure what to do with this blog.
It’s a hard thing being a pastor’s wife to a church planter who has planted a Bible church in Baptist country.
In a small town.
Where everyone knows everybody and everything everybody has ever done or said or thought about doing.
Y’all, it is hard.
This bit of writing I do, well, when no one was reading, it was easy. Really easy. I just logged on, spilled my guts, hit publish, and then logged off, quite certain that 40 of you, the ones who had to love me anyway, would read and that would be the end of it.
I could open up my crusty little heart and type until I had nothing left to say and I always felt something like relief after doing so.
I still love the writing, the way I am able to connect with you, the way you guys know how to pray and when to pray and when to mail me a book before I curl up and surely die, but with this love for this space, I am also beginning to experience a certain amount of weight…
Or responsibility with what I choose to share or choose not to share.
I weigh my words carefully and the delete key has become my best friend and I sometimes hesitate before I hit the publish key.
I’m writing scared.
Some of you would encourage me to stop writing altogether. I have 6 kids for Pete’s sake and 18 loads of laundry each week. You have no time, you say.
But some of you cheer me on in the most kind of ways and so I keep writing because I catch a glimpse of God’s sovereignty in this part of my story, in the writing it down part.
I write you a small book this morning, not to add chaos to your Monday, but to try and make some sense out of mine.
And on a side note, the diet begins today. I am not going out like this. I am no longer going to hang out at The Piggly Wiggly so that I can feel good about myself.
And maybe Cymbalta can help. I’m not sure what is going on with me…maybe years of fatigue and baby making have caught up with me. Maybe it’s my age or hormones or a combination of all of the years of neglect towards my body. But I’m all for Cymbalta because depression does hurt.
One more thing, I love you all, but my nightstand can’t hold one more book, be it diet, depression, or how to have boundaries. I thank you now for withstanding the urge to fix me. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do for a person is to walk alongside and say nothing. I am OK, this is just part of my story and instead of keeping quiet about the bumps in my road, I am choosing to let you say, Me, too.
If you need to, that is.