i have joined a woman's study on friday mornings. i knew i was starving for regular, real females friends and because this study was beginning 'the safest place on earth' by larry crabb i knew i wanted to help built into our church. i asked to join the study. this group is somehow known as the 'power group' of women at our church. the study itself has been going on for years and years and it is usually a closed group just because it's so large. getting an invitation 'in' meant a lot to me.
let the intimidation begin... what had i done? these are elders wives, some women who have intimidated me since our arrival here four years ago. i have some good friends in the group and they assured me repeatedly that i was wrong, but i still struggle with feeling out of my league. we've met twice. the first time it was great fun, a few of us even went out for lunch afterward.
last week i was hoping for the same, but some of the women weren't able to attend so the dynamic was different, and a couple who couldn't make the first week were there, so the whole thing shifted. i felt very uncomfortable and went home thinking "good, i don't have to go next week because i'll be in dallas..."
i just got the mail, and in it was a note from the woman who's house we meet at. it's a very large, beautiful home, she's got it decorated so creatively and she's the kind of woman i'd never just go up and talk to, but would love to get advice from because of her artistic eye and creative spirit. her husband is an ob/gyn and she's very friendly, but i still feel really self conscious around her.
the note told me of how something i said just in passing changed her life. i talked about how the when king david was called 'the man after god's own heart' it really pissed me off (i don't think i used the word pissed...) because of the whole bathsheba thing, it's like god forgot that part and bathsheba was still a whore, but he was the man after god's own heart. that bothered me to no end.
i mentioned how at a woman's retreat the speaker said in passing (not her point of the talk at all) david was a man after god's own heart because he repented. gasp. i got it. that was the difference between he and solomon, he and saul. he wasn't perfect, but he owned his stuff.
i then went on to say how that has helped me with parenting my children. i am a 'lose it' kind of mom. everything will be fine and then the straw will break this camel's back and i freak. how to scar your children 101... when i heard that i realized if my mother had ever taken my face in her hands and looked me in the eyes and said 'i really blew it here, i'm so sorry' that would have made all the difference for me. so i do that. when i lose it, i own it, every ugly piece. take their little faces in my hands, look them in the eyes and say 'mommy blew it. i'm so sorry.'
anyway - it was just a quick little comment i made during the study. the letter she wrote told me of how much she harbored pride and guilt and shame because of her inability to admit her mistakes. she went on saturday to own up to one she made and received grace and forgiveness, and she wrote explaining the details and ended the note with "thanks for helping set me on a path to deal with this in a healthy way, and you were just being you!"
man, did i need this note. i am such a validation junkie. i doubt myself and everything i say so many times. replaying a conversation over and over, analyzing/blaming/berating myself for sharing too much information or talking too much. i so just want to be able to be okay with being me. be more comfortable in my skin in public. this helps. a lot. yes, i was just being me. now i have to figure out how to do that in public without second guessing myself and feeling so self-consious about everything. god help me please.