Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hedge your bets or Go all in?

I've never been the type of girl to enter the pool slowly.  Well, maybe an actual pool if it's really cold, but not life as a metaphoric pool.  I'm more of a cannonball or pencil dive kind of girl. Never learned to do a swan dive, still can't.  If I'm in the water, I'm ALL IN.  If I decide this is the particular course that I am taking, I am single minded about it. 

What the heck is the point of being in the pool if I'm not enjoying myself?  

I throw my littles up in the air, teach one of them how to float and snuggle the littlest close simultaneously.  In the pool of life, I'm a committer, no toe in the water, checking it out first.  I also rarely know the weather before I step outside.  I'd rather be cold than late.  But I bring my A game.  I think that others are surprised by my enthusiasm and zeal for the things in this life and I have tried to tamp it down, more slowly ease into things.  I just can't!  I'm a passionate person and I enjoy being that way.  It makes life a lot more fun.  Why do something if you're just not really excited about it?  If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.  Or as my ex-sil said once if it's 'worth doing it's worth doing naked.'  ;-)  No worries, not running around naked. 

I'll be honest, this leaves me vulnerable a lot.  I give of myself completely and I don't hold much back.  I bring what I have to the table or the pool (switching metaphors on you).  And I lay it out there.  I can get rejected or hurt or judged because of my frankness.  I have been encouraged to hold more back and not be so forthright with others.  I'm not totally sure that it has always served me well relationally to handle things that way.  But whether or not it has served me well I have learned a lot. 

Some people really appreciate the way I handle life.  Maybe others are put off by it?  Intimidated by my zeal, or occasionally just annoyed by it.  But the more others are secure in themselves the better they deal with my honest approach to life.  I'm not going to stand around and talk about paint colors and the weather for hours.  Small talk is boring.  My friends, kids and family always know where they stand with me.  That's a good thing. 

I don't understand people that are capable of double mindedness.

This is great in a lot of ways.  I am relieved of a lot of doubt.  I make quick, thorough decisions.  I push forward when others would be too intimidated to continue.

However, I have one area where I hedge my bets.  It's risky for me to even admit this to you.  And that is with the body of Christ.  I'm scared of the Church.  Well, not scared.  But I don't trust you guys.  I spent the better part of a decade in an abusive, loveless, marriage and a lot of that time I was asking the church for help.  And I was told: it was my fault, that if I tried harder, had more sex, was more submissive and occasionally if I were thinner that then I could expect and deserve love.  But because of my vows I had to stay.  Let me tell you if you ask me to go all in with you and your Church now, I'm going to be a bit prickly.  

My heart is raw, I feel like it is one big, walking, wound.  Because my heart is big and holds a lot of love but if you even touch it, that will cause excruciating pain.  It's ironic that I have a lot of unexplained bruises lately.  My doctor thinks it is just anemia.  I think it's my heart reminding my body to be gentle, be gentle with yourself it's saying.  You're hurting and that is okay.  

But despite the fact that I'm walking wounded I find that I can't stop taking the risks to fully live...  I need to let myself heal, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop living.  It will give Jesus and the angels a smile when the next risk presents itself to me and I leap toward it.  Because that is how I live my life.  I am all in.  And Jesus because he knows me, much the way I know my own family, will smile that knowing smile, slightly shake is head and feel a warmth in his heart.  Because I am most comfortable being me, all of me shivering in the ice water of the pool  And Jesus wants me to be my best self as well.  He may be dangling his feet on the side of the pool waiting with a dryer warmed towel, or else he's swimming and splashing right beside me.  But I know where's not, and that is where I have felt the church: sitting in judgement over me shaking their heads and wondering why I can't get my crap together.  
An early tribute to MLK

I may not be 90 one day but hell if I'm going to stop living my life now.  

JUMP, the reward is worth the risk.

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