Sunday, October 06, 2013

Not Half

I’m not half a couple, I am a whole person. Always have been, just didn't recognize it some days.

There were many things I wanted to write, say and do before my husband died, but I felt those things might have embarrassed him, so I didn’t do them. Now that he is in heaven, I think he will understand. I can’t imagine what we do on earth has any comparable interest to those who are now perfectly whole in the presence of the creator of the universe and the lover of our souls, but if Brent does pay any mind, I really don’t think he will mind.

This gives a certain measure of freedom to work through some things that perhaps I couldn’t face before. I used to think I didn’t do some things out of respect for his feelings, but now standing here stripped bare of any excuses, I’m beginning to think perhaps I used Brent’s feelings as an excuse for not doing what I was called to do.

I also used to mentally blame my dad for some of my “father wounds” and my upbringing for some of the conservative view points that kept me silent in the church. I knew instinctively, sometimes explicitly, that my role in the church would be limited to speaking to women, caring for children or perhaps singing, if I was allowed. So, everywhere I turned,  it seemed men were in control of my destiny and were the limiting factor to me being able to exercise my greatest passion: sharing truth, beauty and love.

There were pastors and worship leaders, a father, seven brothers, a husband, even the scripture itself which I believed limited me in exercising my God-given gifts. I felt my life was akin to bringing my sacrifice to the altar and being told the altar was full or my gift wasn’t good enough. I wasted years licking my wounds and wrestling with God. Yet, I didn’t want to become this rebel who left the church and took my gifts elsewhere. So, I stayed in the church but I battled envy, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, all the time blaming others for why I couldn’t do what I felt called to do.

Then I read it: “Spiritual gifts are not gender-based.” And I realized that all of life is spiritual. “Secular” does not exist in the life of a Christ-follower. It is either all for Jesus or it is a sham.

Alone or together with others, I must write, sing, dance, speak, and do it all when and where God prompts me to do it. I am no longer crippled by thinking of myself as half of a couple. Married, widowed or single, I can begin where I am as a whole person, a cherished individual, beloved of God and part of God’s divine image, sent to share that vision of God with the world. The vision is incomplete without my part being fully engaged and delivered.

So no more excuses. No more barriers. No one to blame.

Ready, set….

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