This week has been a mixture of highs and lows.
The highs being that I got to see my husband again for the first time in over three months, since we separated back in July for me to return stateside early for this internship I am currently completing. Reunions with him are always the best. We’ve been married almost 4.5 years and I still get butterflies and lose my appetite like a school girl the day of the reunion as I begin to countdown the hours and minutes till I see him. I’m guessing that’s a good sign. 🙂
The reunion was sweet, but oh so short. Thankfully its all downhill from here as we will be reunited again in a few weeks for Thanksgiving and then again for good once my internship ends here in the middle of December.
Yesterday however was a hard day. I got some personal news that wasn’t so easy to hear. Hard enough that when it came to last night and I realized I had yet to post a Townhall, much less begin one — I felt numb and empty with nothing worth sharing. Maybe it is both the plague and blessing of loving writing — but my feelings and words on paper seem to be one and the same. As far as my news, I plan on writing about it at some point, but for now I am still processing, so it can wait.
This brings me to my first author I want to share here today.
I know we don’t always have time to get into the nitty-gritty details when we’re having a conversation with someone in passing. But if we can at least open a conversation with someone in a way that gives them space to be authentic, then the chances are so much better that they will feel truly heard, and truly loved, and that they have freedom to say, ‘You know what? It’s been pretty complicated. I’d love to catch up with you more about it later.’ ~ Katie Fox
Katie’s post spoke to me both with its truth in recognizing how I have found myself on both the receiving end and the giving end of those same types of conversations and assumptions, but also in its simple reminder that we all need space to be authentic and to speak. Creating this blog was about creating myself and others a space to do that. Choosing not to write last night and wait till today was me choosing to give myself some space to do that. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself struggling between extremes of hiding and stuffing everything deep down away from the light or word vomiting on anyone who takes a moment to listen not taking the time to think about whether that person is really giving me space to be me in the process or not. I know there are people in my life who I can word vomit to no matter the time, no matter the subject — and then there are people that I know I can’t, but then there are also people that I don’t know. Sometimes it seems right and later I find out it wasn’t, and other times I am surprised by a new person who opens up some more space. What kind of person are you? Do you open up a space for others to be themselves and everything that entails? How do you hold people and their words in that space?
I believe that bravery is born in the quiet and ordinary moments long before it’s seen by anyone else. Sometimes it’s as simple and devastating as the moments no one else will ever see – the moments of daring to be honest with our own self, of laying down our excuses or justifications or disguises, of asking ourselves what we really want, of forgiveness, of honesty, of choosing the hard daily work of restoration, of staying resolutely alive when every one else is just numbing themselves against life. ~ Sarah Bessey
Sarah’s words haunt me. Not in a fear inducing way, but more in that mixture of familiar longing, memory, and heartache all rolled into one. Being brave for me sometimes is just to speak up, while other times it’s to hold back on what I want to scream out so I can dig deeper to find the silent whisper that is buried underneath. Finding those people again in our lives that help us find our brave is really key.
Sometimes it’s hard to celebrate the uniqueness of our own places and be happy in them. ~Christa Wells
This post was beautifully written. I identified well both with the writer on the frequency of moving and not wanting to get too attached or happy in a place. I understand all too well that fear and terror in staying, as I have been a runner for long enough to know it. Staying means taking a risk on being broken and having that place taken away or come to mean too much, so its often easier to keep it breezy and to self-protect. And yet there is so much life and beauty and growth that I might be missing, even if it comes through or with pain. How often I forget that.
Gay people exist. It is wrong to call them names or use slurs about them. Their relationships should not be criminalized. They should not be discriminated against in employment, housing, and public accommodation. They should not be bullied. They should never have to be afraid of violence as they go about their daily lives. They should not be blamed for America’s security problems or social ills. They should not be stigmatized or treated with contempt. There should be no space in church life or culture for their dehumanization and mistreatment. ~ David Gushee
This week has been an important one to those among the Christian circles and GLBTQ circles alike, as David Gushee a well known Christian ethicist has come out making a strong case for reconsidering mainstream Christian views on homosexuality and sexual minorities. This speech is powerful and is a must read. For anyone who hasn’t already seen my thoughts and story with this issue, you can check out this post to give you some background.
- What space do you need to be authentic? How do you give and create that space for others?
- Who helps you be brave? What is your brave you feel like sharing this week?
- Where in your life do you need to linger, to stay, to own up even to the risk of loss or pain to realize the beauty of what is there right in front of you?
- How can we as Christians help to create a new and more Christlike space for any of our GLBTQ brothers and sisters?