Vulnerability. It turns out I’m not so great at it. I have convinced myself that oversharing is considered vulnerability. It isn’t. Word vomiting at anyone and anything that moves isn’t vulnerable. Picking up the phone and calling name after name until someone picks up is NOT vulnerable. It has the semblance of vulnerability. Just like Satan resembles God–an angel of light with the native language of lies. So much of my native language has become lies.
The lies I have constructed include: THEY have to change in this friendship, marriage, relationship because you are doing everything right. You are the one that is real but THEY have all of this baggage and you just can’t deal with it all. Basically, different iterations of grace for you and judgment for them. Love God as much as He loves you.
Remember the Bible and how it says, if you say you love God and don’t love other people then you don’t love God? You can’t love God without loving others. It doesn’t work that way. Dang it.
This morning I woke up and realized just how much us there is. I thought about all the women who have been my mother since my mother passed. I thought about the lessons and the prayers that I receive daily from women who cherish me. I thought about my husband sleeping (noisily) on the air mattress next to me who deeply cares about the test I am taking tomorrow or the amount of sleep I got last night. I cupped the back of my infant’s head and whispered, “stay small and I love you.” Then I looked up and handed my brother-in-law my child to rock and hold and cherish. Then I laughed as he stated, “I guess I can’t drink my coffee and watch this fishing show with the baby, huh?” Then I nursed my child from my body and it was us. Then I looked into the blue eyes of my niece and she waltzed across the carpeted floor and asked about my daughter in her toddler voice. She wanted to sit next to Sadie and read to her. She wanted to tuck her in under the same blanket and make sure her pacifier didn’t droop out of her mouth. I ate food cooked by caring men and smelled flowers to celebrate my motherhood and got in a car to go to the hipster flea market that I wanted to go to. I shared the duties of motherhood with my sister-in-law and some words from our hearts.
It is us. It has always been us. I have just been sitting here like Jonah asking God why it isn’t just about me.
Jonah 4: 2-3 “I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.”
Save me. Not them. Care about me and not them. But what does it feel like to not get invited in to the warm blanket? What does it feel like to watch others feel loved and not receive it yourself? What does it feel to preach vulnerability but not be vulnerable yourself?
Here it is folks, an actually vulnerable post inspired by two vulnerable women. One, my sister who shared her beautiful writing about my mother at the drop of a hat. She took her journals where she had spilled out her heart and READ them to me (over the phone). Then she TYPED them and sent them to me. She let me hear her words and decide what I thought and I was brought to tears. The second, my sister (by relationship) who prayed and wrote her on blog on this very site. I had seen the screen name before, but rarely. She inspired me to write down these feelings while sitting in a Starbucks trying to study for my test because it was suddenly about an us and not a me.
To us. I love you infinitely.