as i sat in the silence this morning i forced myself to stay, it was uncomfortable. i've been avoiding silence lately. it's affecting me. it's a clue to me that i'm avoiding something larger than silence.
i've been pondering a quote from anj for the past 12 hours - "if we are using our gifts to legitimize our existence, then we are using our gifts illegitmately". i know that quote was written for me. i know this is a truth that i need to face. it is a key to unlock a lie that i believe to be true in my life.
i’ve been carrying around this trunk called illegitimate for a very long time. i don't mean my parents weren't married when i was born, not that kind of legitimacy. i don't know if i’ll be able to explain it because i am using this as a tool to help me understand myself. i just know that this trunk is locked with lies. that quote from anj is the key to unpacking what's inside.
i have felt most of my life like i was illegitimate progeny in the kingdom of god. like i was spawned instead of born, snuck in instead of adopted. different some how. maybe everyone feels this way, it doesn't seem like it though. i have felt all my life like i’ve had something to prove. like i had to validate my own existence in the kingdom.
i don't know if i can explain this deep need, actually my deepest need, but i have never wanted anything more than to minister. some girls want to grow up to be models, or doctors, cowgirls or lawyers. other than an architect i truly wanted nothing else than to serve in god's kingdom. this would have been much easier if i had the confidence to have gone overseas, or a musical talent that would be warmly embraced, even in the choking structure that was my heritage. i wasn't one of those who had a burning passion for the lost in a distant land and my gifts lie dead center in male dominated territory.
in my heart of hearts i truly think i just wanted god's approval. i worked within every structure i was given. growing up that structure was so small, but i truly didn't care. i knew i was called, and was positive since i couldn't do it alone that meant i was called to marry a 'full-time worker' (brethren didn't have pastors back then), or a camp director. that really was the full extent of my scope because of the rules inflicted upon me, and i was really okay with that. no one ever told me i could reach higher and still be within 'god's will'.
somewhere along the way i must have been taught that my legitimacy would be found in using my gifts for god. i can't remember that defining moment, so i have to go on the assumption that it was a continual, constant teaching, because i truly believed (believe) that to be true.
one of the most frustrating parts of having to read and ready myself for the '40 days' has been rick warren's constant 'give god a blank piece of paper with your name on it' and he'll give you a ministry guarantee. well i’m here to say that is a lie. i have done nothing else for my whole life. and so because that has never happened for me i sit here feeling like a cast off. like i’m unfit or unworthy.
please don't think this a pity party, honest. i am trying to mine these lies out of my soul. i am in bondage to them and want the truth to set me free. my whole life has been one big cry for validation and legitimacy. gosh that's pathetic. pathetic and sad. that is why when wes sent me that email it went to the starving places in my soul so deeply. i truly wish i could be a person who doesn't care. who says 'oh, not here? okay, i’ll find my own place then, thank you...' what fatal flaw lies within that this bastard daughter that so craves her father's attention.
i put it in terms of tangible family life so that i can understand more fully how the dynamics work. i almost titled this 'bastard princess' but i figured it was a little off-putting... i know this goes to the root of both my family of origin and my church of origin - neither was honoring to the feminine. not honoring? who am i kidding? they were violating to my feminine soul. others seem to shake it off so well though, i don't know why i just can't seem to move on, find a career, go back to college, refocus these passions, or find new ones?
this past week i realized a character defect that i have never even considered before now. it ties closely into this other realization. i will be focusing on it for my next 12 steps. jealousy. i never owned it before. i never even realized it. but once i did i was able to see how green everything had become. i was really jealous and angry at god and others who had found their ministries or their validation outside of those. i know that co-dependency is rooted in this truth of anj's. too many pastors/missionaries/workers serve to legitimize their lives. i am not alone in this. but feel i am alone in not having even that broken ministry to validate my illegitimacy. i know that doesn't make sense to anyone but me, but it's helping me to understand the true depth of the ugly nature of this beast.
jealous, jealous, jealous. as i typed that i realized that it's actually deeper than that - i am coveting other's ministries. not only do i want what they have, but in my brokenness i don't even want them to have what they have. i find a myriad of reasons why they are unqualified, or unfit, or broken. invalidating them somehow makes me feel less illegitimate. oh that's an ugly thing to realize about oneself. i know it's at the root of my critical nature.
live and left live. not me... what a concept. that i don't have to drag others down, cut them down or wound them to make myself feel less alone and illegitimate.
misery loves company. yuck. i know i have just gotten to the first layer of those things in the trunk. but the lock is open, the lid is up and light and air is circulating here for the first time. this isn't going to be an easy thing to unpack, but i know there is a bottom, and i know that i can get there, and maybe along the way i’ll find what it is that i am so looking for.