Tuesday, June 19, 2018

There's No Handbook For This

Ten days ago, I disembarked from one of the last flights I imagine I will take for a while, rode down the escalator with my guitar strapped to my back, like a traveling minstrel, to group of my people. My pastors, supporters, besties, even my counselor was there. My heart was full. I was so excited to start the rest of my life.
I had been waiting for this moment, it seemed for an eternity, more realistically for several months.....maybe even years.

In 2013, when God called me to this chapter of life....of rescuing the vulnerable and exploited, I was ready! Filled with indignity and naivety, I charged forward, inadequately equipped to do the battle I was running in to.....and I don't blame anyone for that, ignorance is bliss, and I think at that time and even now, we are still learning how to care for people who've been broken so destructively, all the while, learning to protect our hearts. I learned quickly, how deep the wounds were, and tried to implement effective strategies for self preservation.

Five years have passed, and I am a different person than I was back then. A bit older, and maybe, a bit wiser. I've gone through several different hair colors....including grey.
The wounds aren't as fresh anymore, the scars are there, but so is the Healer.

I see things differently and pray that I always will. I walk into church now and see those squeaky clean, knobby kneed kids and thank God that their lives are innocent and untainted, but for every one of them, I also know there is a child, who has lice and an STI and has had more sexual interaction, than most adults.

And now, I am, or I think I am, supposed to slide back into society and glide along with the flow of life, ready to be a lemming. But alas, I've never been a lemming, so I don't think it will start now. Intellectually, I know this expectation is  untrue, but somewhere, somehow, I just want to fit in again. I want to be accepted as the norm, not the one who stands out.

I am a doer. Very rarely, do I enjoy waiting. Ask Jesus, He'll confirm this. And so I need to know what to do, to expedite this process, of transition, of healing, of being reborn and renewed. Give me the list and I will check it off one, by one. I'll get it signed off, and move along.

But, there is no Handbook for this.

And so, I sit, and wonder, and process. and pray. and play my guitar. and sleep. and worry. and fret. and go back to God....and then repeat.

And what can You do?

Give me time. Reach out, say hello, but understand that I may not want to hang out yet.

Hug me. Mexicans are hug-gy....Canadians are polite. I actually miss being hugged.

Spoon Me.....In Mexico I prayed every night that Jesus would hold me in His arms as I lay in bed....I knew when I got home, I'd be spooned. But, no one has spooned me yet....well except for a really old, big, loud breathing dog...for about 3 minutes.

Talk to me, when you see me. Be glad. Celebrate with me, that I survived....possibly more than survived.

Don't tell me that Im strong. When you do that, I don't feel like I can be weak around you.

Don't put me on a pedestal. I don't belong there. I obeyed God...just like so many others. Some people say they feel intimidated by me.......and that hurts. Im just me. If you think I'm intimidating...come to church and sit with me...watching me ugly cry will cure you of that. Get in the car with me, as I drive and try not to speed, but end up swearing more times than I'll admit....that will show you the real me. Watch me try and keep my cool as I watch Nolan strum a guitar, like Animal plays the drums....that will assure you that I don't belong on a higher level.

Unless you've walked in my shoes, don't tell me you understand. If you have walked in my shoes, then sit with me, hold my hand.

When you see me in church during worship, on my knees sobbing, okay, ugly crying....its okay. Understand that music is my heart language and that  very sanctuary is a place of safety for me to release. Releasing brings healing....so let me cry...give me kleenex....feel uncomfortable if you want, but thats on you.

I am not broken, I am a Child of the Most High God. He asked me to do something. I obeyed. I hope that I always will obey Him.

My worst day in this life, is nothing compared to every day He walked on this earth.

Im good. I'm just trying to figure this thing out.

Dios De Bendiga.

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