Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Today at church was hard. Hard hard, seeing the orphans’ tender faces, the faces that God loves, scarred and disfigured from fights and self-injury. It makes me wonder about the scars I can’t see; the pain of rejection, the shame of prostitution for survival, the insidious addiction to drugs to escape the hell that is their everyday reality.

Babies sleeping on trash heaps. Toddlers living wholly on their own. Boys killing each other over coins. Girls desiring to commit suicide rather than be used by one more man.

Needless to say, there were many tears.

After church, Reina and I were talking about the things that hurt our hearts, and I mentioned how painful it is to really feel for the first time in my life. She said something that really made me think.

She said that it was like I’ve spent my whole life living in one room of my house. I haven’t ever experienced what it’s like to exist outside of, say, the bathroom. I know how to live in a bathroom, but I have no idea what it’s like to receive real nourishment in the kitchen. No clue how to rest in a bedroom. And even though it’s terrifying, God is calling me to the joy of these things; of eating and resting and exploring these rooms. To let my fingers graze their walls, to smell their smells, to sit in their chairs.

How would you explore a house you’ve always lived in but never known? The question begs to be answered.

I see this paralleled in my physical house. We’ve lived here more than eight years, but I’ve never decorated save a couple of paint jobs in bedrooms. I’m looking around for the first time and realizing that this home says nothing about who I am, who my family is. It’s time to change that.

I’ve never forgotten a few years ago when a friend visited and said that my house didn’t look like me at all. That’s likely because I had no idea who I was. Hopefully as I come to know myself, as I explore the potential in these rooms of my heart and my home, it’ll become more integrated. I think that’s part of authenticity, and I’m sort of excited to find out!

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I had an interesting experience this week at Tuesday group (the aforementioned group that I wasn’t sure if I’d fit into — I do). One of the girls, Sage, had a seriously difficult week with people who made her feel less than the gift that she is. And then something happened, beautifully, out of the blue.

She cried.

She didn’t just feel the tears prick her eyes and swallow them down hard like I do, she actually buried her head for a moment and let herself feel the hurt.

And THEN she said out loud what had been said to her, acknowledging that it was painful. Such courage. I wish I knew what it felt like to do what she did, to make that choice. To say, “Someone undervalued me, but I know I’m safe here, and I’m going to let it hurt and show you that it hurt me, too.”

Because, frankly, I barely cry in the safety of solitude with Jesus. You don’t realize what a precious commodity tears are until you don’t have them.

So thank you, Sage, for being gutsy. And thank you, girls, for loving well.

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I told you a couple weeks ago that I won a contest on The Nester’s blog from Dayspring. They came yesterday, so I wanted to show you what they look like!

The first picture is half the set spelling Joy. The second is most of our six-foot mantel. Third is one of the large blocks, just for scale. They’re a lot bigger than I was expecting them to be! Finally, the caged bird, a verse from the Psalms, and pretties. There’s a ninth block but I didn’t have room for it this time. I’m excited to try different configurations on the included card.

I’m surprised at how much I enjoy this set. The colors are richer than the Dayspring site makes them appear, which I love. My living room has a red sofa and mustard colored curtains with a green chaise, so it’s just about perfect for my house!

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On Friendship

Friday night I went to Girls’ Night Out with friends from my new church. If you’ve known me long, you know that this is a big. huge. deal.  I’ve always tended to be a bit of a loner, an introvert. However, that’s been challenged lately.

Last Monday, I told my sweet friend Prisoner of Hope that I was going out with new friends. I asked her to pray for me because, “I don’t do well in groups.” She looked at me incredulously, and said, “I can’t let you speak that, it’s not true. YOU are the person who takes care of everyone, makes sure they know what’s going on, ensures they’re comfortable …”


Then Friday night as we were leaving, I was saying goodnight to a new friend. She said, “I can’t believe you said you’re not social. You so are!”

So in a week, one person who has just met me and one person who knows my heart inside and out both told me that I was wrong about myself. Hmm. I’m listening.

I took all of that to my session yesterday, and the Not-So-Casual Observer and I hashed it out. We talked about what it would mean to be affirmed, to believe that I was a “valuable part of a group.” Let’s just say it was a hard hour.

Then today, I taught at AVC, our old church. My sweet friend Purity (new to the cast of characters, but like a big sister to me and known for several years) mentioned that I’m different (Thank You, Jesus)! She also mentioned that when we were just getting to know one another, several people told her that “heather just doesn’t want to be known.” Ouch.

Now, I don’t believe that was true, because the longing to be truly known is in all of us, designed by God. But I think it illustrates just how deeply wounded and afraid I have been for so long. I thank God that He’s changing that part of me.

It feels like I’m conducting an archaeological dig of my own past, the Truth, who I was created to be. I said to NSCO yesterday, “Why can’t something just be EASY for once?” Her answer had something to do with how many children I have; I’ll refrain from posting it here, but it made me giggle.

And so, hmm. Friendship. I believe that I’ve met two women at my new church who will become good friends. Now, I take friendship pretty seriously, but I’m sort of out of practice. Add to that the fact that I’ve never had friends who were peers and mothers (some of each, but none who are both), and I’m in deep water here. But the fact is that I WANT to have friends now, and that’s more than I can say for the last decade, so that’s something. Actually, it’s a lot of something. I’m pleased to discover this new person in myself.

And by the way, if the girl is reading who mentioned Friday night that she wanted a nickname on my blog, it’s Cara. Look up what it means, because you were the first from VCC. And I’m so grateful for the “moment” we had last Sunday, looking forward to this week!

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