i have a story to tell,
and this weekend i got the chance to tell it.
like most, it's a painful one.
i've had a lot of heartache, and up until this weekend, i had never shared the full details with anyone.
i told my story (most of it, a whole story would take hours to tell) on ryan's church retreat.
it was hard enough just getting myself to the retreat...
i had a difficult time deciding to go.
i felt as though i was cheating on my own community,
and i didn't want to disappoint or hurt any of them by going on the trip.
i think that somewhere in my mind i believed that if you were a part of a church, and even more a community, then you owe some loyalty to them.
i still think that is true, but not to the extent that i did.
i think that each of us is a part of the 'body'of christ...each one of us serves a function.
i've had several conversations over the past couple of weeks about what that looks like.
i can be the hand or the foot and directly effect the other parts of the body...
much like an injured hand or foot would really do on your own body.
but i think communities can also serve as these places.
harbor can be the hand...wellspring the foot...that little church called lakewood can be the leg.
before, i thought that you had to belong to only one part of the body.
that i had to choose which part best fit me,
but now i'm wondering if that's really the case.
i think i feel most comfortable in some places rather than others...
some places feel more like home,
but i don't want the sense of guilt that i get when i try to move from body part to body part.
i don't think that anyone has ever made me feel this guilt...i think it's just my past beliefs.
and so...this weekend i told my story to the harbor community.
and now i really want the chance to tell my own community at wellspring.
well, let me rephrase that: i don't want to tell my story, but i'm finding it necessary.
last week my sister came home for spring break.
since i wasn't on the break, we had a hard time spending time together.
one night we stayed up until around 3 in the morning, just talking.
i have memories of being a small girl, lying in the back room at my grandparent's, and listening to my aunt, my mother, and my grandmother staying up talking.
i would fall asleep and wake up to see sunlight beginning to lighten the sky and i would still hear them talking.
the women in my family love to talk,
and i think my sister and i will be just like that.
as we chatted, old stories came up.
my sister vividly remember when she found out the easter bunny wasn't real...
she remembers what we were all wearing and where we were.
i can't remember things like that...at all.
then stories of the ugliness that happened when we were younger came up.
i couldn't remember them either,
but it was as if my sister had taken a paint brush and painted it right there in front of me.
suddenly, i was 10 again.
we were right back in the moment,
and everything i had tried so hard to forget was right in front of my face.
it was a painful experience,
and i was so angry at her for bringing it all back to me because now i have to remember it and deal with it.
it was real, it really did happen.
before, i had never found any value in re-telling those stories.
i didn't think there was any worth in remembering the ugly parts, much less sharing them with others,
but i think i've changed my mind.
i think i need to remember them because they remind me of who i am and why i'm that way.
also, i think there is something so very delicately intimate about painting those pictures for someone else.
i want to be able to bring others alongside me, have them hold my hand as a 10 year old, and show them what i saw.
at some point, these things will become easier and they won't hurt so much.
i think our mind has ways of coping with things...we forget.
at some point it comes back up and i suppose that then we have the choice to deal with it.
because...i don't want to cry when i merely mention past events.
i don't to avoid or lie about why i am the way i am.
i don't want to feel as though i have this huge secret and not allow others to know me at my most intimate parts.
i think that if we're choosing community, then we also choose to live our present lives and our past lives with each other.
now, i think that there will be healing in all of this.
i think that one day i will be able to tell my story and it won't make me cry or be such a burden.
i think that once you discover these things, you choose to deal with them and not to just let them hang around.
i don't want to focus so much on the pain that i forget that things are better now.
i want my community to know me at my most happiest moments,
and also at the ones that were the hardest.
i'm finding that it's then we truly know each other,
and then we can truly love each other.