what? sorry no, I'm an avoider…

I’m kind of a failure.
The month of January is not yet over, but it’s almost there, and I have not finished my challenge. More so I should say I will not finish my challenge. But I’m okay with it. I blame this fact on the current events of my life. I spent the end of last week helping in the set up of the Covenant event that is currently going on in downtown Denver. And then I spent a good majority (like all of) Friday shuttling people back and forth from DIA and the hotel. And the whole weekend downtown at Connection (the part of event for youth pastors and worship pastors). So I have been non-stop going and therefore have not read much. So yea, I’ve failed at my January challenge of reading a ton of books. I basically only finished Lovely Bones.
But that’s neither here nor there as far as this post goes. Just a random general update.
So as I mentioned, I spent the whole weekend downtown at Connection. This was my 4th Connection (not consecutive, I missed last year) in my “ministry career” and usually, if I’m honest with myself, I find that I am mostly there for the community and fellowship of seeing past 4Cs interns that knew me in my high school years and other church people I’ve worked with and met over the years. This year, going into Connection, was no different. However, now that I’m on the other side, I find that God had a bigger purpose for me this year.
I went to more Seminars this year than in years past (2!). And I of course attended all the main sessions with all the great speakers. This year the theme was “The Beautiful Struggle.” The first session was all about how we as pastors (I use “we” lightly bc I’m not currently a pastor but you get my point) often minister out of places where we ourselves struggle personally, globally and in ministry. We were encouraged to turn in with a few people around us and share some personal struggles with each other. Now I have a problem sharing my struggles with my friends, nevermind complete strangers that I met five minutes ago. So I turned to those around me and let a couple of them share while avoiding eye contact with anyone directly in hopes to not have to share myself. Luckily I was in a large group and we didn’t make it to everyone before drawn back into the large group. I escaped that situation.
Then the rest of the day I got to spend time with my friends from KC. I got some much needed girl time when I agreed to go shopping with my friend Brooke. While wondering around Forever 21 Brooke started to ask me questions. Deep questions. Hard questions. Probing questions. So here I am, walking around, absently minding picking up sweatshirts and skirts, commenting on cuteness or not cuteness…. and attempting to sum up my feelings, emotions, general life going-ons. And it was hard. But at the same time I was glad she was asking…
The thing is, about 80% of the time I don’t want to be treated like the “dead dad” girl. Just like for most of my college life I didn’t want to be the “from a broken home” girl. So for that 80% of the time I don’t want anyone to ask how it’s going for me – grieving wise – and when in that mood when I am asked “How are you?”….”Great” rolls of my tongue. but then there’s that 20% of the time that I DO want someone to ask. I want people to remember that I’m hurting and that behind this mask of “I’m okay” is the pain of regret, guilt, anger, sadness and about 100 other unidentifiable emotions.
Then that night, in worship, I realized something pretty huge for me. God gave me this gift of being able to not be working or in a full-time ministry setting right now in order to give me the space/time/whatever to grieve and try and heal from my relationship with my dad and this sudden loss. Only the thing is, I’m an avoider. Meaning I run from my emotions in order to not feel like a victim. I’ve been this way my whole life, I know that I have, and honestly I’m okay with it. However, God is not okay with it. and He let me know that on Saturday night.
So Sunday morning found me in my best friend’s hotel room being open and raw with how my life is going. which has also sent me into a whirlwind of emotions and raw honesty. So that’s where I’m at. I am no longer allowing myself to answer questions on a surfacey level as long as the person asking is willing to hear the truth.
I tend to rant about being real. I have these high expections of the church being a place to be real and that friends should be able to handle your realness… but in that respect I am a HUGE hypocrite. I do not like being real. or vulnerable. or any other catch words we use for community. However I do believe that we should be more vulnerable and not shy away from struggles.
So here’s me trying to be real. Be prepared if you are my friend that I am going to be more real and if you can’t handle that, it’s okay to tell me. But be prepared if you ask me what’s going on in my head… you may not like the answer.

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