Okay, I've been sitting here trying to write a blog that I want to write, and it isn't working. I know I'm supposed to write it, but the words are...sort of piling up in a roadblock sort of way instead of flowing. That seems to happen to me fairly often, and I find it incredibly annoying.
Last night as I lay in the dark and slipped into sleep, I pondered this problem. I woke up with it on my mind again. I keep hearing one simple statement, "Find Jerri, and you'll be fine."
Find Jerri, and you'll be fine.
Simple enough. Or least a lot of people think it is. Honestly, though, not so much.
The reality is there are those of us out there for whom it is not so simple. There are those of us still finding ourselves...still finding the courage to believe we are a self, not a morphing shadow of someone else.
It is easy for me to look at others and see this person's grace and that person's compassion and Sister Lola's hospitality and Cousin Karen's quiet demeanor and try to mush all those things together and make that best-of-all-world's amalgamate me. I try to slip into that patchwork skin and wonder why it pinches and pokes and tears. I wonder why I cannot get comfortable, cannot rest, and cannot find peace within myself.
One of the greatest gifts God has given me in the last year is the gift of accepting myself in all my glory and not-so-glorious. All of us have things that we wish were different, especially the imperfections that keep us on our knees asking forgiveness. I think I have a laundry list of those things. My biggest, though, is my passion.
For years I have hated being a passionate woman. I have often been told how my passionate ways are bad for this reason and that reason and...mostly because it is outside someone else's "acceptable" box and I make them uncomfortable. Since I'm not a masochist who loves rejection, I tried to temper this trait. That really didn't work, so I tried to eradicate it. Yeah....that was pretty ugly.
In the end, I ended up not liking me and being really angry at God. I mean really, what kind of God makes me to be something He doesn't want? What kind of warped God creates this crazy passionate being and says, "Live a quiet life"? What kind of sadistic God gives me this big voice, big vision, big adventure bent and then says, "Live small"? What kind of jerk God does that?
All those things that were said to me were not Him. They were people who simply couldn't see beyond the wall of their box. They were as passionate about their box as I was about not putting God in one...as passionate as God is about not putting me in one.
I have learned that passion is an amazing thing.
Passion chooses to believe this is not the rest of the story.
Passion says, "If I don't like it, I can change it," and does.
Passion says, "I can't let this wrong continue," and doesn't.
Passion says, "Yes, it's Everest, but it's only a mountain. Other mountains have stood before me and fallen. This one will, too."
Passion says, "I'm not just leaving this prison. I'm taking everyone else who wants to go with me."
Passion says, "When everyone and everything says I'm wrong, I will still know I'm right...and act accordingly."
Passion says, "Follow me, and I will get us out of here," and knows she can...and will.
Passion says, "I was made for THIS."
Passion says, "Right here. Right now. I take my stand, and I may stumble. I may have a day from hell sometimes. I may sit on my floor and sob from time to time. I may scream in rage and pain, BUT I have not given up. I am simply stopping for a moment to get my bearing, hear the next step, find out the strategy, and get mad enough at the enemy to spit in his face because he was so stupid as to mess with THIS daughter of the King."
Yes, I make mistakes because of my passionate side, but when I cry out, "God, I can't control this," He is faithful to step in and take over. I've seen it over and over. He has NEVER failed me with that. And in His rescuing me from myself, He has not condemned me and said I either need to get a grip or kill it off. Instead, He shows His blessing by letting me wield this gift only to my ability and then taking over when it is too much. He makes it a blessing, not a curse.
...the real Jerri...
...the out-of-the-box Jerri
...the Jerri that looks the enemy in the face and says, "How dare you mess with this daughter of the King"
...the Jerri that refuses to leave prisoners behind
...the Jerri that believes there is an answer and this is not the final say
...the Jerri not afraid to take the lead and say, "Follow me, and I'll get us out of here"
...the Jerri that knows she is more than a gender or a role or a title or what she has always been
...the Jerri that was made for THIS
...and you'll be fine.
Dear one, find you...the real you...forget about the you that you've always been, the you others think you are or should be, the amalgamate you wish you could be. Throw away that patchwork skin that pinches and pokes and makes you crazy.
Just...find....YOU...and you'll be fine, too.