Friday, January 15, 2016

Shame and Sledding

I love road trips. Long or short, as long as I'm in the front seat to avoid car-sickness I am game.

The last two years I've taken a long road trip...long as in, from here to Tijuana, Mexico in a 15 passenger van with our youth group. I've loved it. Good music, good but not constant conversation (at least in the nearly all guy van!) and just the sense of "getting away". 

I'm unable to go this year, so instead I joined a group of students and adults on the annual winter retreat. This year, in a new place we were surrounded with snow. It was beautiful- there isn't a scene much more peaceful to me than mountains full of snow. It just projects a silence and calm that stills my fidgeting soul.

The topic was heavy for the weekend, looking at the shame in our lives and trying to trace where it comes from. Becoming honest with ourselves and taking ownership of some things while allowing God to heal and mend the areas we've so poorly tried to fix on our own. So often the shame we carry along isn't even from something we've done, but from a story we've allowed ourselves to believe about ourselves. 

That's just touching the surface, and even though I'd had a heads up on the topic and it's been something we've been discussing a little with our families, it still took the weekend for me to process and then formulate thoughts around it.

I'm a verbal processor... or at least a 'put it into words of some form' processor and the moment we got home I was writing and emailing and texting my very patient friends while also spewing slash crying to my husband.

It's hard to be so vulnerable and raw with yourself, let alone with others.

I'm blaming part of my unprecedented vulnerability on the fact that I got a concussion while sledding at the retreat and I've yet to feel like myself. I was told I can't use that excuse forever, but until I'm 100% I might play that card. I'm just glad there isn't a video out there of me. 

Part of my "junk" is that I'm not a fan of failing. It's a few layers thick and one of the reasons is because I don't want to look dumb... and I don't want people to look at me and think I'm dumb and not like me. So I stick to what I know I'm good at. It's why I stood at the top of the sledding hill for a good hour before Iwas forced by Shawn went down. I hadn't done it in years, I was freaked out and what if I messed up??

Well, I didn't... At least the first two times. Third time was the charm and here we are 5 days later and I'm still recovering from a not visible injury that's made me angry. I've felt so mad that I can't seem to start anything without getting my feet kicked out from under me.

I started training for another Half Marathon last week, and now running is on hold until I feel 100%. 

This is the crux for me. Do I keep going, knowing it's not going to be perfect? Do I throw in the towel, say I won't be ready in time for the Half and because I can't do it how I want to do it...quit altogether?

Do I never try anything that scares me ever again? Because that's pretty much what I want to do. 
I have a good case for it at the moment, and yet I know it's not an absolute truth.


Shawn/ the sledding  enforcer  encourager texted me this yesterday...

"When people do failure avoidance, they will never achieve the kind of courage and risk taking that lead to bold innovation."
- John Ortberg

Ouch. And thanks. 

I do not want to be held back by anything.
By perceived shame from failing or by fear of failing.

I've prided myself on being a risk taker in so many other areas, and yet I've come to realize that it's typically been in areas I already secretly know I can be awesome at. Yikes...hello pride!


I sort of feel like Ben Stiller's character in Along Came Polly. As an insurance actuary he assembles and analyzes data to estimate the probability and likely cost of the occurrence of an event such as death, sickness, injury, disability, or loss of property (wikipedia) 
This is all fine and dandy as a profession, but he begins using this in his daily life. 

I'm pretty sure as a Jesus follower I didn't sign up for the "risk free" version of life. The last two years worth of blog posts should show that I'm fully knowledgeable about the uncomfortable and hard places God has asked us to go. 

I wonder then, why I've yet to allow this transformation in these other areas of my life. I think to some extent I've not given them much thought since they didn't seem to be interfering with my daily life, nor my spiritual walk at the present.


And yet... God is continuing to show me layers that I had not fully surrendered to Him and although I can honestly say I hadn't explored them until recently, I would be missing out on 'life to the full' if I were to cover them back up and proceed on.

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