We’ll call this one chapter 7 in Memoir of a Nobody


This is not the post I had planned for today. The original one was light hearted and this one, well, it’s just another chapter in Memoir of a Nobody…

This is what happens to me. I jump in, determined to be vulnerable and open and then that feeling creeps in: the one that makes me want to pull in, to hide, to protect. It’s a pattern -one that I am well aware of but have been unwilling to change. I like to hide, because I can’t be hurt or misunderstood or risk my heart, my words or anything that I feel the need to shield from the outside. This comes from a legacy of experience deeply rooted in my growing up and from broken experiences in places you wouldn’t think this kind of hurt would happen.

I lived with an unsteadiness that was woven tightly into daily life.  From the time I was very young, I could never tell when or if the mood of the house would change. It might be something as small as a young child banging on a high chair tray-what little one doesn’t do that(?)-that would end in startling memories that render my heart too tender to share. Or, as I got older, if I accidentally made noise in the morning and woke my mother up the entire day would be filled with walking on eggshells, waiting. It could come in the night, when I was sound asleep and the light would be flipped on, the covers ripped from my sleepy body because I hadn’t done a chore completely. Those moments, and too many others to go into, of quiet and destruction are so mingled that even today when life feels normal there is always that undercurrent of fear-a lack of equilibrium that can result in emotional vertigo.

I didn’t have Christ in my growing up. Well, I did but He was an occasional visitor and more often used as a weapon of fear flung in anger. He would surely judge me unworthy or Satan would claim me because I was wicked. Imagine what that does to a five-year-olds sense of worth and ability to sleep! I would always do my best, my very hardest best to be good but it never worked. I was never good enough.

I’ve think I have finally made peace with my mom. She’s been gone ten plus years. What I can’t do is erase the soul deep hurt that bubbles up and interferes at the most inopportune times. I look around at the fullness of God displayed around me and it’s as though a thin membrane separates me from experiencing it the way I should. I can see, hear and feel everything but I can’t let it get close, to come in, to become a part of me.

I am going to make this short today since I know I tend to go on a bit. I’ve tried stepping out in my writing before only to pull back and hide. I am lousy at friendships because I pull away in order to avoid being hurt. It is hard to open up, to trust and to hope that I could ever deserve deep care from another person.  The idea of putting this out there is heart poundingly frightening. I am going to do it anyway. I am determined to live into my story-painful, joyful, snarky or boring-it’s all mine and God is breathing into it daily.  I have been stuck on Psalm 51 and when I feel like I have nothing to offer him I am reminded that I do:

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. Psalm 51:17

I don’t know if my words are of any use to my readers but I am entrusting them to you. I am also praying that someone out there might land here, find a familiar heart and be comforted. Recently someone (you know who you are 😉 ) used the term ‘wash bowl friends’.   I fell in love with it so if you find yourself here…welcome to the wash bowl…

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10 Replies to “We’ll call this one chapter 7 in Memoir of a Nobody”

  1. I shall accept your invitation. If I could, I would hug you right this moment and tell that your words are safe with me. And I will pray along with you that Jesus keeps prodding us – no carrying us – when we feel the desire to hide. So I leave you with me telling you that I will get out of my car and enter the world where God has placed me instead of waiting out here where I wish to hide. Our Jesus has such perfect timing. Thank you for sharing this, only Jesus knows how badly my heart needs this healing balm at this moment.

    1. Sending love and prayers to you from my wounded heart to yours. I pray for your strength and healing and that you feel the warmth of his arms and the comfort of His whisper as he calls you daughter, beloved daughter.

  2. Oh Susan! It’s true- I see a reflection of myself in your story, Right down to the vulnerability that is experienced in sharing. You are accomplishing writing- and finding peace in the broken pieces– this is encouraging.

    1. Oh, Patricia-I am not sure it is peace I am finding because the more I open up to these memories the more uncomfortable I feel. Something is telling me to keep writing and knowing that there are open hearts like yours who embrace my heart in return make it matter. Sending love…

  3. Thank you for opening up and sharing so vulnerably. I know it’s not easy to do that, so I just want to encourage you in what you write. It was beautiful. I know that it is really hard to open up and trust people and to let them in and see a bit of what your life is like. You let people in and your heart gets ripped to shreds when you are let down. I get it. I have no answers in how to get over this, apart from trying to put my trust in God, which is equally as hard. I absolutely love the Bible reading you quoted. It is such a great reminder. I definitely would want to be part of your wash bowl! Keep writing, it’s reading stories like yours that encourages me to keep on writing. There are so many broken people out there that need to know that they are beautiful despite what has happened.

    1. Thank you so much Lynne-your encouragement does mean so much. I had always hoped to be “over” all this by now but it is part of who I am i guess and writing helps. 💞

  4. Vulnerability is a risk that demands courage and you stepped into it here. My little girl heart breaks for yours and I am so, so glad that you’ve found Jesus to be your shield and not a weapon used against you. Thank-you for sharing your heart.

    1. Thank you Jessica 😊 it means a lot that you took the time to stop by. There is a work larger than I am beginning and it’s not getting easier to share as I go. You encouragement is a gift!

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