A Series on Abuse:To Love “Our” Own Abusers? Only Maybe.

Yesterday one of my “get-me” girls shared a thought that I’d like to start with today. For backstory, this all started with the following that I shared before writing yesterday’s post:

“I’m loving reading all the posts y’all are writing, about the hurt, the redemption, being at the table…

the fire in my bones wants to tell another side of the story. the side i can contribute to right now. But i’m afraid. 

i want to write about how abuse needs to be labeled. normalized. how we need to be able to say “abuse!” when something happens because if you treat cancer like a cold, you don’t get you don’t get the necessary intervention for the malady you have, you treat a symptom that is far from the problem. 

and i want to write about how, in that, we are called to love abusers. 

which holy hell and God almighty, that means a lot of things. 

what i want ot write here is that i am NOT NOT NOT calling anyone to a blind forgetting that others would label as forgiveness. I am NOT diminishing anyone’s story. 

i want to talk about my struggle in this, in fighting  what i want to do, which is take a bat and kick the shit out of abusers and get survivors out of there. I want to talk about how violence breeds violence and i want to fight to stand in the gap. to somehow use Christ’s call as an instrument of change. 

what i’m saying here is: I want your thoughts and reactions. the real ones. and if what i write hurts or stings or offends, i want to know. because it’s all so sickeningly complex. 

so… now i’m going to go try and write about labeling and loving abusers. im sure it will be a series.”

dear triteness, you are sometimes true and good. not now, though.

dear triteness, you are sometimes true and good. not now, though.

to which I got a lot of amazing, encouraging replies. The one that I’m chewing on right now is this:

 “I love your heart. I love your honesty and your gift. Like E said, I trust that The Spirit is working this out in you. And you’re right- it’s a complicated issue. Have you read Wounded Heart? My honest first reaction is I’m glad it’s you and not me being called to this (how is that for honesty). If I’m not mistaken, the biblical definition of abuse is to treat or use someone for a purpose other than their created purpose; aren’t we all then, abusers? I believe we need to find ways to love the very worst offenders. But, I don’t believe it’s a general call on all Christians to love their OWN abusers (not to say God won’t call one of us specifically to do that ). Of course, we now need to define ‘love’ and on and on it goes. I think it doesn’t really matter what I think. Go write.”

So for today’s post, I want to just say that as I chronicle some more musings on this, I am not suggesting that anyone feel or act out of the burden of facing his or her abuser with open arms. Like my friend said, God may call us to do that. But if he calls you to that, he will also equip you for the task.

The specific message I am trying to send in this series is that as people, as groups, as a society, I think “we” would all benefit each other by taking the time and effort to look at people who abuse as just that: PEOPLE. A person who abuses is a person. A human, made in God’s image, with unique traits to bame, I need the time to step away, put down the bat, and remember who my enemy really is,

and who it isn’t.

boundaries are one of the keys to my ability to act out of love for this person

boundaries are one of the keys to my ability to act out of love for this person

To be practical and transparent, I’ll use myself as an example again. In my life, I have found that some of the abuse I survived was committed by persons who I have learned to love well and freely(ish. boundaries are actually the key to my ability to act out of love toward this person). But some of it was different.

When I was 4, 5, and 6, a tiny, innocent little thing not much for sticking up for myself or making a fuss about…anything, really, I spent the summers with my daddy in Tennessee. We were neighbors with my Pawpaw, whose mere memory brings me so much joy that it’s quite difficult to put him in the same sentence with the following the other people living with him: his wife and stepson, the latter who was just 10 years older than me. During this time, I spent a not-unusual portion of my days at and around Pawpaw’s house. Around his stepson. Where he lived. Where he has access to me. Where he would hurt me. The sexual molestation I faced in that time was just the beginning of the pain in my life as a result. The years and years of aftermath, or lack thereof, created a deep and ugly place in me. And God gift of healing has touched it. That place is, by his mercy and through counseling and the love of others, mostly rebuilt into something strong, something beautiful.

But if I ever saw this man, at this point in my life, I would have to fight to keep vomit down. It would take all my strength, and no small amount of the strength of my support system, not to let rage boil in my heart. Because I am finite and weak, in the grand scheme of things. And it is too close a thing to my heart, the deep and treasured parts of me, for me to handle with a necessarily-detached grace.

And there is freedom in that. In knowing my heart is not yet strong enough for a call I have graciously not been given. So if you are here, and you are hurt, please know: that is not what this is about. Maybe you cannot love your abuser, no matter what that means. May you are not ready to receive love for the abuse you committed. Okay. It’s okay. We’ll get there, loves. God is not through with us yet.

More tomorrow on what I do actually mean. :)

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A Series on Abuse: Introducing an Abuser

I think this will be a series. I pray my heart has the strength to write the things pounding against my head and heart, demanding to be let out. But as I even consider it, my tears well up, threatening to take me out. These are not freeing tears, they are crippling.

Jesus, I give them to you. The tears and the people. The fight for control and against your people.

I am part of a group of writers who I love and who, by God’s good grace and miracles abounding, get me. When something is wrong, I can tell them. When something is right, they can tell. And there is a certain magic of people whose hearts understand your words and whose words speak to your heart.

 

Currently, we seem to all be telling the same story. And even with all our voices and all our hearts, we are just scratching at the surface. We are not creating a masterpiece, releasing the angel from his stone imprisonment. Our movements are not so fine, so calculated. We are not even fashioning arrowhead weapons of flint, as our renditions have not the effect being able to take to war. Instead, we are battering ourselves against a boulder, coming away bloody and battered  and making the barest of impressions. We are walking away, knowing that this time, the pain was productive. The mountain we face is changing it’s face. The changes we make on it can make a change in the world. So we continue.

our tiny impressions are important. photo by Christopher Ernest

our tiny impressions are important.
photo by Christopher Ernest

 

Today I want to talk about abuse. The word, the action, the seemingly impenetrable walls that go up when the issue is broached.

 

I want to broach it, y’all.

 

I want to talk about what no one wants to talk about because I think that talking about it is one of the very best ways to prevent the perpetuation.

 

So to start this conversation, I’m not going to talk about abuse I’ve survived. I’m going to talk about abuse I committed.

 

 

what does the face of an abuser look like?

what does the face of an abuser look like?

 

I’ve thought a lot about this lately. About how to tackle issues much, much bigger than me. About how to tell stories that honor the inherent human dignity of all involved, that allows survivors* to speak and abusers* to walk into the light. My God, my God, I want us all to live in the light.

 

Wikipedia, which we all know cannot tell a lie, defines abuse as follows

Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise verbal aggression.[1]

dicitonary.com’s definition is here 

and there are lots of other resources to read up on. 

Abuse is mis-use. Using something out of it’s intended purpose. And there is a great chasm of ways to misuse a thing, an animal, a person. But have you ever wondered how people get to the far end of that road? It is most often because no one stopped them on the close end. Abuse, of it’s own accord, only grows, multiplies, travels. Without intervention, abuse is a hearty, abundant, freely-moving thing.

 

And I know, I KNOW, friends, that we don’t our yelling frustration to lumped in with things that make us shiver and shake down to the soul. But I believe, BELIEVE, that when we talk about something, we understand it more. When we understand it more, we can better handle it, better handle life in it’s wake.

 

 

I have been an abuser. A person who abused. I have yelled hurtful, awful things. I have physically hurt (or at least attmepted to hurt – my physical smallness/impotence of my efforts to hurt does not diminish the intent) others out of malice, not defense. I have used a person’s emotions against them. I have manipulated words, feelings, and situations to benefit myself at someone else’s expense. Hell, in my twistedness I’ve done it at the expense of us both.

 

In those times, I WAS ABUSING. I was a person, with inherent human dignity, saved by grace (because certainly these actions occurred both before and after I came to know Jesus and his love for me), acting in a way that ABUSED others. Or myself.

 

My God, my God, i want us all to live in the light.

My God, my God, i want us all to live in the light.

I say this because in the coming days or weeks (however long it takes to post) I’d like to start a dialogue. One that opens up space for people to talk about abuse in a way that is not scary or shunned. Or even if it is scary, is worth it.  And I want to start by talking about how part of overcoming abuse is knowing that abusers are people too. And that to fight abuse is not always to fight the abuser. And that love does not always look like a blind forgetting that others call forgiving, just so they don’t have to deal with it anymore. And that fighting abuse, and loving an abuser, means loving them enough to introduce interventions that keep them from abusing, from assaulting their own inherent human dignity by committing acts they were never design to commit….

 

but there I go, getting ahead of myself. C’mon back later. Walk this road with me?

 

*for the sake of these posts, and the ease of readers/commenters engaging, I’ll be forgoing much person-centered language and using “abusers/surviviors” rather than “persons who abuse/ persons who survive abuse/ persons who have been abused.”

Someone(thing) keeps stealing my dang words.

IT occurs to  me what a different statement that would be if  someone (thing) were  steeling them. hmm.

I have thoughts and develop them and want to write them out. There are a lot of very good things keeping me from being able to do thats .

 

Busyness is not stranger to me. Work and school are like home, both because I spend a lot of time there and because I feel comfortable, good, secure in those settings. But in the path I’ve been down lately, there hasn’t been a lot of time for ruminating on individual thoughts. For putting them down and crossing them out and highlighting and regurgitating and chewing on again, which maybe sounds gross but is also how a lot of creatures best process the things they take in. I am a human but sometimes I am like a cow in many ways. We all are. (yes. sometimes you are like a cow. it’s complex and complimentary and confusing and appalling and no synnonym for appalling starts with “c”. sorry.)

i wanted this cow to mean something...but all i can think of is tacos de lengua. mmmmm.

i wanted this cow to mean something…but all i can think of is tacos de lengua. mmmmm.

In my busyness of life right now, there are moments and miles and memory-making, but little of the wondering and pondering I quite love.

So it is that my words are not here. I don’t know where they are. I know I’ve had them, things to say and share and leave for you eyes to travel over, for your hearts to respond to. I’ve had words but not put them on paper or interweb or even said them to another human so that my iron edges may be sharpened. I am becoming dull.

Fabs  is a person with thoughts and feelings. I wanted to introduce her like “Fabs is amazing.” or “Fabs is the bee’s kness.” and I think both of those things are probably true (you know how i am with idioms) but they aren’t helpful in letting you why I’m participating in something she suggested. Fabs is a friend of mine. Depending on how you define friend. Sometimes I question if statuses change and do life stages in friendship, or if like family, your cousin stays your cousin no matter how long it’s been. (Trust me. I have cousins. There is no statue of limitations on this.)  So,  this person, named Fabs, has a blog. On said blog, she posted an opportunity for success. (That’s what i like to call these things. Reframe, ppl.)

Since she writes about  thoughts, feelings, her thoughts about her feelings, etc,  this all makes some semblance of sense in my head.

But not completely. Because, the one(thing) has been an unrepentant little thief. And with my words gone, I have little for this particular medium. I haven’t been taking many pictures, either. (it’s been maybe a month since I took a picture with David. #whereismymind)

In the absence of words, there is still ache. Ache that knows that these times are good while the days are still evil. Ache to run and jump and play, though i really need some sleep. Ache that accepts and welcomes my current life stage, and wonders what else to hope for.

Ache that wants to sit and talk about my First Love. Like last night, when I stayed up two extra hours, talking with good friends. Friends with whom you let your shield down, and then, disagree over what a shield is ;). Ache that reminds me that even when I have no words,

i am still alive.

 

 

I Read it Wrong

I know. Grammar dictates the above should be “I read it incorrectly.” 

Grammar can be such a communist leader, sometimes. 

I shouldn’t try political humor. I’m too unschooled on the subject. Of Politics. Humor I’ve got. Humility, also. :)

I am a person with dyslexia. I am not dyslexic (defined by the therm) or A dyslexic (as though I can be bound into a group based on this issue alone) but a PERSON, who has dyslexia.

A human female who has trouble reading, sometimes.

And who hates herself for it.

This is not a helpful attitude to have toward oneself in any sense, but especially when concerning a malady over which one has NO control. Especially when theology tells one that this has no bearing on one’s worth.

But I tell you what, I sure am hard on myself about it.

Every time I register for classes, I go through a 5-tiered check-and-re-check system when assembling my schedule. Because I’m so incredibly concerned I’ll do it incorrectly. I’ve done it incorrectly so many times that even now, with all these checks and plans, I still get mildly anxious when looking at the registration page for school.

Numbers are PARTICULARLY difficult. I mix them up more often than I get them correctly. When having to recite the sound of a number I fare well, but in writing or reading them, I’m a mess.

There is a part of me that absolutely gets all the reasons why this is just a thing and it is fine and no reason to be upset and even less of a reason to be upset at myself.

But there is another part of me that feels stupid and inadequate because I read things “wrong,” kind of a lot. I’m self conscious about it in new situations. Which, of course, makes it worse. Because (and I’m not going to go into the science or logic behind this but it’s just true) when your brain is busy worrying about things around you, it’s not best able to concentrate on the task-at-hand, and even less so when said task is something at which you have little natural ability.

Image

So.

I’m dyslexic a person with dyslexia (person-centered language is still hard for me in this area).

And I want to tell you this not because I want you to understand and be kind to me. No one has ever intentionally been unkind about it. (Well, before I understood what the problem was, some people did think i was stupid because, in reading things incorrectly  I’d get confused. But not anyone who ever had a real conversation with me.)

I say this because I think maybe you’ve got a thing too. Maybe you’re a person with trouble sleeping, or a person who often says the wrong thing. I think you might be a person who has trouble with your thinking or doing in some way that makes you think you must really be below the curve,

you must really be a broken one,

you must really not be worth much.

And that is just NOT the truth about you. Like it is NOT the truth about me. Like the things which trouble or plague me over which I DO have some control also don’t mean a damn thing about my worth.

Because the TRUTH about people is that they are made by God,

in His image,

Loved by him and therefore declared loveable and lovely because.He.loves.them.

And all the things we see, be they differences in ability or appearance or attitude, those are just descriptors,

not definitions.

And when I find something hard or messy or hurtful, I have come to understand that I’m not the only one dealing with it.

Entonces, I just prayed for you. I prayed for those who read these words, that they would know: that their worth isn’t tied up in the trappings of this world. That Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, came in strength and truth and through his life, death, and resurrection He rescued and redeemed all his people for all time* to walk forward in victory and LIFE abundant and good works that he prepared in advance for them to do IN HIM. That He is now and will continue until his return using every circumstance, even the ones that make me bad at reading, for His glory and our Good.

(check out the video on that link. especially if you’re iffy on this whole “Jesus gives me value,” or even “Jesus is real,” thing. Or for that matter, come over and lets have coffee and talk about it.)

Because a) I am still dying from suffering from under the attack of  dealing with a serious case of the “who-am-i-as-a-writer”s, and because b) it’s a sweet story and because c) i think these pictures will make at least one person laugh, i shall post the following.

When my house was broken into a month ago, those dang meanies stole my guitar (the one that the Dancer gave me that was perfect and i loved so much), my necklaces (three hugely sentimental ones that I kept hanging in my room cause I wore one of them EVERY day), purses (didn’t care), a digital camera (uhm, same megapixels as my phone, so, whatev) , and, of all things, my PRESCRIPTION glasses and sunglasses. And I had JUST gotten three new pairs the day before! So all I was left with, specs wise, was my Lennon glasses. You can see them on display here.

Anyway, I love my Lennon glasses when i’m working out (they are light and don’t slide down my nose) or when I’m in the mood to be funky. But most of the time I’m not trying to make a statement with my eyewear, I just want to SEE (which is about to really make you laugh when you see my “not making a statement” glasses). So having these statement glasses on when I wasn’t intentionally making a statement just felt 31 flavors of wrong.

N.E.WAY.

Belle’s parents, they love me. Part of me suspects it’s because it’s a little like loving Michelle, and I’m easier to access ;) But really, they are so caring and considerate and just plain good to me. And through their generosity, I was able to replace a purse, some hand towels (OH YEAH THOSE JERKS STOLE MY HANDTOWELS!) aaaaaand my glasses!

ANDPLUSALSOTOO, informationally,  ZENNIOPTICAL.COM is having a sale until the 14th – buy two, get one free. So I replaced all my glasses. For $75 total with shipping for four RX glasses and two RX sunnies. Boomtown, people.

So today, as the cherubim were singing, my glasses were delivered, and I put on one pair I have been itching to try.

I shall henceforth call them my ugly betty glasses. (I have a pair in pink that i call my Sally Jesse Rafael glasses.) I told the Social Worker (also my new roommate, as The Dancer moved on to greener, less-likely-to-be-robbed, more-approved-by-her-fiance pastures ;) that I feel so at home in these things.

TAA-DAA (i typed that in wall*e voice

because they are so big. like my face (it's not bad, i'm just saying. i have a big face)

and ridiculous. like my face. (this face is specifically for my belle, for her elephant sound. and for anyone who thinks i look like a "who", because i agree.)

I don’t think they’re too much. Do you? Surely not. They can be subtle. Look:

barely even noticeable, right? ;)

Okay, so maybe I had a little fun figuring out how to best showcase these beauts (cause when you get glasses after waiting for a few weeks and are relieved to have fashion options, it is sometimes reflected via your webcamphotolog.

OH LOOK! An orb! Is it going to eat me?

I set my mini to the side and took a photo on severe delay, to try and capture what i really look like in them when I am not posing. I look concerned, right? Nope. I'm actually just mouth-breathing. Allergies and Austin go together like Peas and carrots. especially cause NO ONE LIKES PEAS!

you think these are a joke? bet i won't wear these to choir. BET! (i may not, actually. would these distract you if they were up front?)

i think they blend in a little,

nicely highlight the angles of my... highlights.

okay. that’s enough for now. Next i should tell you about the geeetar. But I may not. We’ll have to see. ::maniacal laugh::

Telling God What To Do

A few nights ago I was on the phone with a friend in crisis.

 

She was freaking out. She’d admit she would absolutely admit she was losing her dang mind. And my hear WRENCHED for her. In the middle of her story, realizing I was lost for anything helpful to say or do, I started praying,

“God, give her strength. Give her courage, calm her heart, let her, let her…let her….”

is this a band? it's what I feel like God was telling me to do

I couldn’t pray anymore. I was all caught up. Even the words in my head didn’t make sense. I very clearly understood that I was being quieted, that there was something even more that I was supposed to be paying attention to. So I listened. I listened to her, hurting, grappling with confusion and looking for an answer within herself.

And I listened to me, hurting for her, grappling with confusion over how to help and….as it turns out, even though I was praying, looking for an answer within myself.

Even though I was asking God to accomplish these tasks, I was giving him orders. Now, sometimes it’s appropriate to ask God for exactly what you want. But that’s not what I was doing. I know my heart, pplfriends, and what I was doing was TELLING God what my friend needed so she could be okay….or more accurately (i hate to admit) so that I could be okay with where she was emotionally.

I was reminded of who and what God is: Good.

 

I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths, returning to the Lord with a renewed heart and mind. “God, I trust you. I trust you. I trust your love. I trust your will, your plan, your spirit. I trust what you are doing here. I believe you are here already. You love her more than I ever could. You are not distant. You are not gone. You are not silent. I trust you. I trust you. I love you. I trust your love.”

 

It wasn’t the magic pill that made everything better. When we got off the phone, my friend was still reeling. When we talked the next day she’s had a hard time, she was exhausted from just feeling so much. And truth be told, even though it’s been a while, it’s still not “better.”

 

But the thing is, I really do trust God. I (clearly) forget it, all the time.  I forget, just like the Israelites, that God is in control and that he is GOOD. That anytime I am concerned for anyone I love, he is MORE concerned for them. And that includes me. I forget that his plan includes all factors and ALWAYS leads to my good and His Glory. I forget all these things, and I am desperately and madly in love with the God who is so kind as to remind me of them.

i only googled trust. i like that this one came with "love"

 

What are you telling God to do? What do you forget that you need to remember? How could you pray differently, or better, for the people you love?

Wherein I Call Myself an A-hole, then Contemplate Clients

::let me start by saying that this post has some language-ish, that google image searching “trite sayings” is a GOLD MINE (trite saying intended) and that this person says kind of what I’m saying and is also funny, but has more language. and i stole some of her images.::

it's not my fault that lolcatz are so useful

Launching into story…now:

Waiting for my friend to respond via text on whether or not we could skype was getting rdiculous, and didn’t involve enough neurotic forms of communication, so I emailed my apology.

“You weren’t being trite, I was being an a-hole.”

“i was being an a-hole.” Oh, such true words. Much oftener than I mention them. I want to believe that I am kind. That I am patient and graceful and that my insights are thoughtful, thought-provoking, and useful. I want to believe that I believe all of that yet remain beatifully, stoically humble. The problem with all of that is it is FALSE AS PAM ANDERSONS BREASTICLES*.

The other day I was told “you aren’t necessary.” ::EXPLOSION OF THE PRIDEBOMB:: And without getting into the background, I have to say that for the point this girl (not someone im close to, but someone who can speak in to my life)was making, she was right. I am not necessary. I am used by God’s grace, but God doesn’t need me. (Now, as part of the body of Christ, the church, the body needs me to be properly functioning in order for the whole body to properly function, but that’s not what we were talking about.)

So anyway, in reference to being not necessary, and other things from the above interaction, I was hurting and a friend, knowing basically that I’d been told something true but that I didn’t particularly like, wrote me a sweet, encouraging message. And then signed it with something to the effect of “Keep your head up and keep trucking along, God will use this too!”

INSERT CAT SCRATCH NOISES HERE. CLAWS OUT!! “please don’t pastor me like that. you’re better than trite wrap-ups….” Wow, did I say that? Way to go, Valle, nice job on the being “slow to speak and quick to listen.” (i have that backward but whatevsies)

Insert record-scratching noise in my brain, here.

Insert “wait-a-minute-i-was-just-learning-about-this” here.

For a while in one of my classes, I’ve heard people mention that the trite (even if you believe them) maxims such as “What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” or “God has a plan for this.” or yes, even, “It’ll all work out in the end.” Are, if ill-timed, NOT helpful, but in fact hurtful. Instead of encouraging (which, if we assume the best of people, is what is meant) these sayings are hindering. They, at the wrong time, can cut people off, seem to say “I hear that you’re hurting. But it will get better, so let’s not have any more of this talking about it.”

I have to admit, i didn’t get it. An optimist at heart, I thought my classmates needed to lighten up a little, expect the best of people, understand that they meant well and in a little while, these sayings will bring comfort.

And a VERY WISE friend of mine once mentioned that in the dire straights of life, the absolute pits, that’s when she wants to hear the promises of God to cling to and remember. So I was like, “people need to hear this stuff, y’all. They’ll thank you later.”

But, people do not always need to hear this stuff at every moment. There is a time to say “God has a plan for this.” But in the middle of a break down or some innocent wanderings about the greater implications of a lesser idea may not be that time. And if you say it at the wrong time, you may not be thanked for it later….you might be hated for it always. Which, FTR, is not a great statement to be made of a helping professional.

VOMBOMB (that's a contraction of vomit and bomb, just in cases you wondered)

So while I’m sorry that I was a cat-scratch-fever-a-hole to my friend who meant only to relate and comfort, I’m glad I learned this distinction – the distinction between words that are true and speak truth, and words that are true and cut off healing. The distinction is, often, just timing.

Now, determining that timing, that I’ve yet to learn.

*not that i don’t l.o.v.e. me some animal-caring-for, admits-her-faults-and-can-laugh-about-it Pam Anderson.

What’s next and Why I’ve Been Gone

Sometimes there are things that, because you can’t talk about them right away, you need to wait. Until things calm down, until you have the proper words, until the sting goes away.

And there are some things that you have to just say. This is a little of both.

I’ve been M.I.A. from the interweb world for the past few weeks. I didn’t have internet at home, life was busy like whoa, and some great/awful things happened.

You know. Great/awful. Like, my great grandmother, a woman who we joked would NEVER die, died. Awful. But I got to go to Tennessee, I spent 24 hours in the car with my mom AND ENJOYED IT, I saw my daddy and generally learned to experience that whole side of the family in a new way/was challenged to see my sin in the way I view them now.  Great!

But I tell you, it’s God mercy to me that things have been so crazy, because something that happened weeks ago is something I can just now update you on, because I needed this time so I could tell you and make sure it was the truth, and not just how it feels (especially because at first, it did NOT feel anything like what it actually is). I should get to “it,” right?

 

Okay, some of you knew, some of you didn’t, that my next “step” in life, after myKidStuff internship was up, was to begin student counseling at a Gospel Counseling Center. It was something I was super excited, although never fully peaceful, about. I was hesitant to talk about it for some time because it just always felt a little off. (You non-feelers have NO idea what I’m talking about) But it seemed clear that this was the next logical step, a great opportunity, and an amazing chance to hone skills that I definitely want in my professional career.

A few weeks ago, while discussing the details of the job, those involved (myself included) determined that I was not yet ready for this role.

In the interest of keeping minds from wandering, I will share a few details:

There was no moral failure on anyone’s part, though some honest mis-communication.

I didn’t fail to grow in any way that was ever asked of me.

But I’m just not ready for this exact role.

I (as well as my professors) feel I AM equipped to give beyond-adequate care in a student counselor role.

But that’s not what’s being asked of me.

 

I won’t be working there. But nothing is wrong, no one has been wronged, or failed, and life is still just as beautiful.

 

Now, that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

 

HOWEVER:

Get ready for some AWESOME coming your way. Complete with a new house where I live that i LOVE LOVE LOVE, a new semester of awesome learning opportunities, and random musings of conviction, love, and life as your favorite gypsy/counselor/fashion-wanna-be. Oh and pictures. I haven’t been posting them, but i HAVE been taking pictures. :)

I see Him in them

I have the best friends. yeah, I know, I say it all the time, but it’s true and I can’t help it.

Instead of file-ing again, for today’s post, I’m going to wrap all my friends up in one. I’m going to forgoe the act of separation because they are marked with a distinction oh a common origin. The mark of their maker. Even if they do not know him, they often represent him. They show me his face, they remind me of his pierced, scarred, redemption-earning arms. So for today, for the sake of pronouns and poetry, I’ll make “them” a him, a single entity in many states, like the One they represent.

He, this friend that all my friends would be if they were one person, is amazing. This shadow I see here on the earth that reminds me of my One Great Love, shining in the heavens and beckoning me ever closer to his heart.

And I love when I see him (this friend, all these friends) and “he” hugs me and I know that thought he may not truly know a dang thing about me he cares, and that, in this moment enough. The warmth of his arms and his smile call to me, calm me. I am okay.

To be hugged and cared about.

It wouldn’t be enough. Not if I was looking for him  to “fulfill” me. or looking for anyone to.

I have this basic (gulp) need to be known. And beyond that (for what is more terrifying than the alternate) to be LOVED by the knower-of-me. The one who holds my secrets and still looks me in the eyes and says, “Lovely, I love you.”

I need that. Without that, I die. I become cold and sad and shriveled. I lose hope, heart, even hunger for more. If I am not loveable, if I am not loved, what more is there?

But I am loved. The wars waged against me, while in this world still working themselves out, have one final end: I have been won. I have been redeemed, I have been pulled out of the muck and the blood and the desolation. I’ve been cleaned, matured, made specifically to love and to be loved. It is the very basis of me. Who am I is about whose I am. (His.) And this royal heritage, this prized geneology, this marrying-up, it sustains me.

So though I cannot, here on this earth, see with my physical eyes those above-truths, I know them in my heart.

And I am reminded of them when I see him. When I see Him in them.

Bubba and Belle

if I really think about it, if I really look at them, my brother and sister who are moving across the country and across the world, i tear up.

my heart, unbridled by TRUTH and giving in to perception, cries out along with my eyes. No.

No! Please, please don’t leave. Please don’t go away. I love you, I want you here, I want you near me.

I’ve done it again. I’ve grown attached to people. The deep veins of familial ties never truly established in blood have etched themselves in through these people, this spiritual family. They have become part of my daily routine.

They have become part of my heart.

I was not, at first, quiet about this displeasure. Especially with Bubba. With my Belle, I had more time. I knew this was her plan from the moment I met her. We’ve had years now to grow together and love and as I have supported her, i have, not thinking what it would really mean to not have her (or, in more faithful moments, believing that “what it would be like” is God’s plan – infinitely better than any alternative). So with my Belle, as the date has approached, I’ve kept myself (ever so slightly) in check with the (out loud) “OHMYGOSH DON’T LEAVE ME,”-s.

But Bubba up and made this decision OUT OF EFF…REAKING NOWHERE. (Not true. I’ve known he was thinking about it for months but literally REFUSED TO THINK (or even pray other than a randomly thrown up “oh god, tell him and make it clear….but mostly make it clear that he should stay but i mean, whatever you want, im just sayin..”) about it.

And long story short in a month, they’ll both be gone.

My sweet neighbor who I love and visit and spend time with and who is, as many have pointed out, a special friend, a brother-from-another-mother who plays with me so well that other people will miss our interactions, HE IS LEAVING.

My beautiful gypsy sister, the one who is so different from me, but SO GOOD AT LOVING ME, will be HALFWAY across the dang world and WHO  will i call to come over and have sparkling grape juice and strawberries with my while i scurry about cleaning my apartment and over-analyzing whatever is on my mind and with WHOM will i go on movie dates with my pink glittery flask (a gift from my bubby, the biological brother, the other Valle-felon) if my Belle in in TURKEY. Where the last time i was there, they kept trying to abscond with my passport and squinty-eyed at me even though I don’t have the evil eyes.

(that was a tangent. if those last few sentences didn’t make sense to you it’s only because they don’t make sense.)

This is not supposed to be a rant. this is supposed to be about not ranting.

i’ll ‘splain tomorrow. if i can pick myself out of the “what will i do without bubba and belle” despair.