Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rethinking the Whole Getting Connected Thing

So, for the last several weeks I've been prattling on and on about how great it is to finally be getting connected in my church. Well, now I'm at the part of me when I crash and burn and honestly this morning didn't feel so good. It was embarrassing. I'm not used to having people who don't know me see me in this state. I'm used to either skipping church altogether, or at least hiding in the shadows and being able to run out without having to talk to anyone. I hate crying in public, but this morning it went beyond just that. I thought I'd be able to hold it together long enough to make it through the choir singing on stage...and I did fairly well. I avoided as much contact as possible because I knew if someone hugged me or had too much eye contact with me, the flood gate would open. But then came the last song..."I called, You answered and You came to my resucue and I want to be where You are." Anyone who knows me knows that THAT is truly the very deepest desire of my heart...to be with Jesus and gone from this wretched mind. It was all I could do to continue standing up there. I felt my face contorting trying to hold back the flood that was knocking...no pounding to get out. I nearly ran from the church, tears streaming before I even made it to my car. Then it all washed over me. I don't understand why God made me this way, and I probably never will. But it's embarrassing and humiliating and now I know that being connected makes it worse because now the people who observe me know me and I will have to try to expalin things to them. It's a terrible predicament to be in. I wanted someone to understand, to hug me and just say it will pass...it's not forever...but that would require vulnerability on my part. It would have been much easier to be able to hide behind my tears and leave unnoticed, or to not have gone at all. This is a dark side of me that I am not fond of...

5 comments:

Melinda said...

For what it's worth, there is only rarely a service where someone (or many) aren't moved to tears. You would blend. We do not always know why the tears are there, but it still would not necessarily raise eyebrows. I am so impressed that you pushed yourself to go this morning. I know that the battle is a brutal one. You fought back nonetheless. For me, having you there, was an important part of my worship and thanksgiving experience. When we know each others battles, it makes the offerings and sacrifices witnessed that much more savored and intimate. Praying for you as this wild ride continues to keep you on board. I'll pray for you when it isn't. That's what friends in the Church do. Don't feel like you need to hide or run. Please.

Jos said...

April - First, I am so proud of you for going this morning when it would've been so much easier just to stay home and not deal. I also know how hard it is to be around people when you're feeling especially vulnerable, and how a simple question like "how are you?" is enough to make you weep.

There have been times when I have pretty much bawled my head off during a service, having NO IDEA when I walked in that morning that I was that fragile. But you hear a line in a song and it simply knocks you to your knees and there's nothing you can do but let it happen.

I understand that it feels embarrasing to break down like that around your friends, but if it's going to happen is there really a better place? Who amoung us isn't broken or fragile? And they are there to love and comfort you, so please let them.

I'm praying for you - for peace, for rest and that you will be able to know and accept the love that is around you :)

Christina Groth said...

yApril,

I relate to your struggle to be vulnerable. God has been growing me a lot in vulnerability, but I'm not there yet. I am not the same person vulnerability wise that I was just a year ago. In fact, those who know me well would probably be surprised to emagine me not being vulnerable, since I share openly now, and people probably weren't able to see all I held back just a year ago. This positive change largely has to do with the people in my life, who are a part of the Worship and Creative Arts community and our church. When I became part of the W&CA team, about two to two and a half years ago, I arrived broken and carefully gaurded. Instead, I found that people took me seriously and regarded me as intelligent, something I had been concerned about because of my mental health problems. I had a lot of reasons for why I wondered if I would be treated as an equal. Instead, I found that I, as well as everyone else, was treated with equality. Vulnerability had been a huge issue for me, when I joined the team. I carefully didn't share anything about me that wasn't happy or pleasant. I let people get to know me only up to that point. But I have found that I now feel so secure in the safety of the arms of the people on this large team and so many others at our church. I actually let people KNOW me now.

You are surrounded by a lot of people who care about you a lot. When people care about people, it is a JOY to them to carry others' hurts, excitements, hidden embaressments and hopes for the future, as though it was their own. If I found out that someone wanted to share something with me, but didn't, because something held them back, I would be heart broken! If you hold back from us, we ALL experiance loss. Please, give us the gift and the joy, of REALLY getting to know you.

Jill said...

None of us want to be vulnerable. We have all been burned by relationships. But it is worth the risk to find those friends that God Can use to help us through. Satan wants us to think we are the only ones that feel the way you do. But that is a lie. You are not alone.

Anonymous said...

April,
Wow. What an awesome post. Awesome because you are real, and vulnerable, and I found it inspiring and encouraging to read. I am SO glad you are here. And my door is open to you, anytime. Come by and chat, pray with me, whatever!!
Jay