Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Fishbowl and My Twirl

Do you ever have those moments where you say too much? Where you didn’t have to go there, but you felt safe and that your words wouldn’t be wasted or used against you? So you lay your heart out on the table and wonder if they will take a bite or try to do open heart surgery by telling you all the things that need to be extracted out. If they love you, allow them permission to sharpen you with the words of truth. You can cry later.

And so you speak, sometimes guarded carefully because you have to. You form your words carefully, and other times you resort to emotional barfing. One or two things may happen. They might actually help clean you up or they might go home never knowing what you’ve been through or where God is taking you…cause you barfed on them and now they feel like they need a preverbal shower.

I have been preparing for the ministry since I was eleven, in some shape or fashion, leading this event and learning to follow at others. I’m a dancer, I’ve always known when it was my time to take the lead or lift my arms at just the right moment where I partner with another. Girl, it’s your time to twirl. So they twirl. And then when its my turn to twirl, I’ve felt arms telling me not to. Sometimes jealously. In my twenties I almost asked for permission. Is it my turn yet?

My turn?

Oh, you want me to twirl like that?

Well, if you want to know my opinion…

Oh, so you don’t really want to know what I have to say…or how my vision of the dance could be interpreted?

I’m polite. I say nothing. I just fade out and twirl away as I exit stage left. The lights fade to black and I promise myself to let the generation coming behind me to shine, dang it.

Instead of a dance, we become a puppet on a string. Honestly, the people jerking on your strings aren’t really qualified.

It’s easy for me because I’m soft. Although I have had many opportunities to be striped bare of softness becoming calloused like those I’ve watched in leadership. I’ve felt the angry tears running down my face and felt God asking me to dance with Him and for Him instead.

I place my trembling hands in His. I make eye contact. The tears begin to dry and I find myself doing things that I never dreamt possible. I dance the confidence dance, for I know who orders my steps in such a way that takes my breath away. I get my giggle back as joy is released. Because He created me this way, to remain soft yet still be careful when I find myself partnered with question marks.

I’m such a loyal person. It’s a stinking big deal to me. I find it funny that I always know the ones to be careful with. They always tell on themselves, so I never worry about it. It always comes back around. And with women…and a few loose-lipped men it will come back around in many different ways, yet none of them resembling the real story.

True confessions. I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but I attended the class on being a minister’s wife at college. (I want my money back.) I think I would have remembered if I flunked it or not. In that class I watched the sweetest soul caution us to not let others in the church get too close to us. I took that message inside of me, chewed on it for a while, and then spit it out. She was trying to protect us from the personal pain we would encounter from dealing with sheep that bite back at times. She was right. But, then again, it’s a different day and age. God didn’t call me to live a safe life; He called me to the risky one. The fun one. The painful one. The one where “Pastor Appreciation Day” is a total joke. The one where a hug and heartfelt card were your lifeline. The one where no one applauds. The one where only your wife applauds. The one where you sit alone. The one where you stand with many. In the end, it’s just us against the world trying to take on hell with a water pistol.

It’s life in the fishbowl; I swim around with all eyes watching. But something happened to me over the years, over time and lessons learned I allowed other fish to jump into my fishbowl. Sometimes I scoop out the deadness that brings and flush it, if you know what I’m saying.

This one time approval addict has been delivered. I scoop out the poop y’all and keep my little fishbowl sparkling. Because at the end of the day, it’s my bowl and keeping my heart and mind unclouded from this world is what matters most to the Lover of my soul. (James 1:22-27)

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