Recently, Emily Freeman began talking about the possibility of hosting a weekly disscussion of her book, Grace for the Good Girl, on her blog: Chatting at the Sky. And God took the opportunity to remind me that I needed to participate in this. I needed to finish this book… to hear this truth… to let go of my good-girl anxieties and give Him control.
So for the next 7 Thursdays I’ll be linking up and posting my reactions to the discussion questions and the reading in General.
In the deepest part of me, I am an introvert. I crave alone time, social settings physically and emotionally drain me. I am an only child who grew up in a neighborhood with few children. To this day, I can count on one hand the number of people I consider close friends.
I say that, to say this, I find small-talk extremely tiring. It’s like having the same conversation 10 times a day and it just wears me down. So, instead of putting forth effort to connect with people, I give my standard answer and move on, hoping that they won’t see past my mask and praying that they will let me go on about my business with no more interaction.
Really, I insist, I’m fine.
If I only had a dollar for everytime I’ve said that phrase over the past 6 months:
I’m fine stepping down from Commanding Awana and letting it go.
I’m fine leaving my home-church of 20 years.
I’m fine attending a new church with a congregation over 33 times as large as my home church. (for real, I just did the math)
I’m fine with being replaced in Children’s Minstry so soon.
I’m fine with being cut out of the loop.
I’m fine. Really.
And then I do leave, I do find a new church-home, and finally, I really, in the depths of me, actually feel fine.
I no longer hide behind the stagnant answer when people ask how I like my new church. Instead, I answer with truth “It’s so much better. I love it!”
I find support and community and openness that I’ve longed for.
And I remember one of my favorite movie quotes from The Italian Job(2003):
John Bridger: I feel so optimistic. How do you feel?
Charlie Croker: [shrugging] I’m fine.
John Bridger: Fine? You know what “fine” stands for, don’t you?
Charlie Croker: Yeah, unfortunately.
John Bridger: Freaked out…
Charlie Croker: Insecure…
John Bridger: Neurotic…
Charlie Croker: And Emotional.
John Bridger: You see those columns behind you?
Charlie Croker: [looks behind him and sees the pillars] What about them?
John Bridger: That’s where they used to string up thieves who felt fine.
Charlie Croker: After you.
And I think, how many times have I answered I’m fine, when I so NOT fine.
too many. So now, I’m making intentional steps to answer with honesty. To make connections and build community. I’m trying to quit hiding behind fear and laziness and open up honesty.
So, how am I doing today?
Today I’m sleepy, I’m anxious, and I’m excited. I’m nervous about teaching a VBS class that I’ve never led before. I’m worried about speaking to 100 kids 3x a night when the most I’ve spoken to at any one time is probably closer to 60. I’m worried I’ll say the wrong things or run out of time. But, I’m excited that I’ve already found a place to serve in my new church. And, I’m anxious and slightly worried about what my old church will think of me when they find I’ve transferred my membership already.
How are you today? And please, don’t just be fine. There’s so much more to life than that. 🙂