Over the last few years, I have mainly used my blog in a sporadic manner, writing when something worthy came to mind or using it as a place to vent or ponder deep things. Lately, it has taken on more of an online journal feel. I've mainly just been writing about my day-to-day life, the things that I've been thinking or feeling or experiencing. Sometimes I wander into deep waters, metaphorically speaking, but mainly I hang out in the shallow end, just sipping my beverage and floating around, soaking up the sun.
I am always surprised (and delighted!) to discover there are so many of you reading along, as if my life is interesting material and you don't mind my occasional babbling or rant or overuse of the word vagina. Thank you for following my so-called life, for making me feel heard.
If you've been reading over the past couple months, you'll have seen I've experienced some conflict in church. I don't mind conflict per se, but I have disagreed poorly and struggled my way through some rough waters by flailing and clawing, raw and unfiltered and angsty from the crown of my platinium pixie cut to the soles of my aqua Chucks. I don't doubt for a second I have left a scratch or two on the people who have tried hardest to support me because everyone in proximity has gotten a piece of this mess.
But I want to tell you that I witnessed a beautiful thing tonight.
Trever and I met with two of our friends, two people we have argued with, and found that our fear (well, Trever's fear) of excommunication or rejection or a serious reprimand was way off base and exaggerated. (Imagine that.) What we discovered is that these folks are family, they are willing to dig in and stick it out with us, baggage and all, for better or worse. We realized that they love us, and we love them, too.
We also learned that it is worth the nerves and fear and sometimes completely unnecessary dread to get together around a table with food and talk it out, in person, with the people God drops into our lives. We might not always agree, but we can always try a little harder to keep our hearts soft and our minds open to hearing another viewpoint, remembering that unconditional love makes up the deficit in our shortcomings.
I feel a little bit like I've been holding my breath without realizing I've been doing it, and now I've taken my first greedy gulp of fresh air. Heady stuff, that.
So I guess tonight I just want to share that while so many of us hate relational conflict and avoid it at all costs, I would encourage you, kind reader, to be willing to embrace it. Whether you can do that with bold confidence or shy timidity makes no difference. You get credit just for being present, for caring, for not giving up. Sometimes the outcome may not be everything you hoped for; other times it may exceed your expectations. But either way, it is worth it.
And one last thought: love covers a multitude of angsty, raw, emotional, unfiltered, and otherwise unpleasant things.