Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Armchair QB


Ok, so what if this series was always on Mondays?  Now we have the NFL on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and even some Saturdays.  I am just gonna go with it.

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
 
The message on Sunday was simplistic enough. Nothing fancy. No smoke or mirrors. Just a text and a bit of commentary from the speaker.  His treatment of the topic was understated, but, for me, this topic is nothing short of a lifeline.

Nope. Not talking about the salvific work of Jesus on the cross. We are talking about a strand of three.

Friendships. Community. Never walking alone.

I have struggled with shame and insecurity for as long as I can remember. I always believed that if someone really knew me, saw me as I am, that they could never smile at me, hug me, invite me into their home for supper. In fact, more often than not, they would run the other way, lock their doors, and avoid me like a contagion.

Yes, I am dramatic, and prideful-not the "look how great I am" pride, but the "I am a monster" self-loathing pride.

I remember, very clearly, the day that I cried about how lonely I was, how small my life had become..work and home...and neither was going well.

Of course, many might not know that it was so small. I hide it well in my busyness. I work with people and have always been a good listener (mostly because it is so much easier to listen to someone else than share my own heart). Most people are fairly self absorbed, thankfully and unfortunately, but no one seemed to notice.

But I did. And so did God.

I guess I just always figured that I was an introvert. Shy. Awkward.  And I still am. Except now I know the value of having people in my life and I will risk the embarrassment and fear to be vulnerable enough to let them into my life.

It started with one person. Just one. And then...well, God tends to go a little overboard, doesn't he?

Over the years, my life has expanded beyond anything that I would have thought possible. I know more people, am counted on by more people, am connected with more people than I would have ever thought would want to know me.  These aren't just the casual Facebook friends, but the friend at whose kitchen table you spend late nights sharing secrets, the friend who doesn't notice the snot you got on her shoulder as you cry, the friend who tells you to be patient...change is coming, the one who sees things in you that you cannot yet imagine.  The friends that know your heart as well as your face.

Yet sometimes those thoughts, those hidden secret lies, well, sometimes they still sit on the couch beside me. And that is why I am so grateful for my own strand of three.

I don't have to be alone, in my head, with insecurity and lies. I don't have to worry when I can ask for a friend to pray for me. I don't have to go through....anything....alone.

Not only is God with me, but now I have many kind and loving women who have walked dark moments with me as well as some strong and gracious men who, like brothers, will stand with me against the enemy but will also gently call me out when needed. Each one walking with me encourages me to become a stronger, gentler, more loving person. I am a better version of the person who cried in loneliness. And I expect that I will become a better yet.

My strand of three is me, my friend, and God.  And without that lifeline, I am not sure where I might be...


2 comments:

Bev said...

Nice one jaime-hp, good to read ya!

Jaime Plank said...

Thanks, Bev. A bit rusty, I must admit, but I will try to keep at it for you. :) Any topics or questions that you might like to direct me to write about? That might help me get back into the swing of things!