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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I'm a Failure

Failure seems to be a re-occurring theme for me this year, I've written about it twice in my Practical Parenting series for the paper (here & here), it's regularly in the forefront of my mind as I blog and whenever I see other bloggers/writers talking about it it always grabs my attention.
Like this recent post from Donald Miller.

You see, I want to live a great story.
I really do!
In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret: I very consistently think about what this means for me. When I imagine, I pretend as if I'm an observer of my own story watching/marveling as it unfolds.

Which makes me weird (I'm aware of that thankyouverymuch) and alone.
Sometimes I wish the  main characters people in  my life could understand this.


Back story...

My darling husband and I spent 12 years of our life dedicated to a little church we planted in 1997. We dedicated our lives, literally building it with our own hands. We interrupted our family's schedule. Missed holidays with loved ones and comforted the mourning in their deepest times of need. I shared my husband when I wanted him to myself, befriended people who only wanted my friendship because of my position in the church and put my kid's bedtime on hold for 'a Word'. I cooked for this flock. Planned events for them. Taught them. Mentored them. Involuntarily became their leader and biggest cheerleader and
when it was time for us to move on ...
when we left to try something new (because season's change)
and
that new thing didn't work out
a grey unspoken fog descended between us that thundered
"Failure!"

  
In the aftermath of our unsuccessful decision we struggled. We certainly did. And those who I walked life with, loved and poured myself out for were ... absent.
No support.
No shoulder to cry on.
No "Howya doin'? "
No help.
No understanding.
No words of encouragement.
No network.

Apparently, I (very humanly) deducted, we were only loved when we were there to serve them.



But there are no hard feelings on my behalf. It is what it is and I've learned SO much - so very much ...

and plus - we're surviving. Oh boy are we surviving and thriving!

But still, sometimes, those people who know knew me, who I served with my whole life in the Name of Jesus (yes, you're welcome Lord. Even though it totally sounds like it is all about me I'm sure that sometimes it was all about you ... surely) look right through me.

I'm either:
A. ignored
B. skirted around or
C. if they do speak, it hardly ever moves beyond, "Hi, how are you? I'm fine, you?" and then
EXIT Stage Left.

Sometimes I pinch my arm to see if I'm awake. Perhaps I'm sleeping and in my dream I'm invisible.

No (pinching) I'm awake.

And I think, they think, I'm a failure.

I'm not.
Oh, no I'm not failure.
I'm...

I'm...
I'm educated.

Just look at what I've learned:
  • I now know I misunderstood what a blessing actually is.
  • I now know what it means to be broken.
  • I now understand the difference between genuine/disingenuous relationships.
  • I have learned a new definition of ministry.
  • I've been schooled in the idea of rest and know all about seasons.
  • And I've learned what lessons I never wish to repeat again.

I've not failed.
You see me struggling. You don't understand. You worry I might be lost and suffering the consequences of my 'decisions'. You worry about what I'm doing on Sunday mornings now but it's OK.

These are, after all, my lessons.
This is my education.

But ... if you would just say "Hi! So ... how have you been?" I could tell you about my journey.





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