You know, I often get surprised by someone coming up to me and telling me something they feel bad for knowing because they found out on my blog. Certainly, one of the biggest challenges of this little adventure has been church.
Leaving my church family in Aberdeen was tough, because everyone knew me there. They knew my personality, my 6 years in Aberdeen, who my friends were, baptised me in water, got me leading worship. But recently I realised that actually most of the people there (outside my cell group who knew me better than ANYONE…seriously, those dudes know all my secrets!) would not have known much of the story of my life that I shared on here. I never told them that I tried to commit suicide when I was 15 and that’s how I had my first ‘encounter’ with God that I vividly remember. I never told them that I’d had an abortion so I could come live in Aberdeen. I never told them why I was at university a year early.
And so I must have seemed like a totally socio/psychopathic person for no reason at all…until I came to acceptance and peace with my past and who I was, and was content to be…well…me.
When I came to Edinburgh, I was this vaguely normal (ish) person and nobody knew me from those days of panic attacks, tears and screaming and swearing in church corridors. Oh, the anecdotes Pete Wilson could have had for Plan B. I was probably the closest and most attune with God’s voice I’ve ever been, and though my journey here was just beginning and I had no clue what it was going to look like…I was at peace.
I was also for the first time ever, treated as a ‘grown-up’. Because these folks just knew me as 23 year old woman who had just moved back to Edinburgh via a month in Australia. Not the 17 year old girl who turned up to church hungover once (or a few times). And then I was the girl who was going to be working at the pregnancy crisis centre.
My blog started off being a stream of thoughts from bible, humourous tales of my malteser moments (or just anecdotes that my smallgroup had found very entertaining…), an update of the crazy journey with its twists and turns. And then of course things in what seemed like the perfect plan started going awry.
And my blog became my venting space. In my life I got sick of lying, so I was at my most blunt, my most honest. I couldn’t pretend everything was ok, and that I was content in all the circumstances I was finding myself in. To sort of quote from Plan B: God wasn’t showing up in the way I thought He was going to. It started out much better than I thought, and was getting much worse than I thought it could possibly get…and then seemed to get progressively more messy and painful. Yep. I’ve not been the happiest of bunnies over the last 3 years!
I didn’t realise that many people that I know pretty much by name only (and some I didn’t know) who were part of my new church were reading.
Assumptions were made about me based purely on what they read here. And I guess what they might see from a distance. And 2 + 2 were put together and it came out with 5.
And it’s funny because people who’ve known me well before they knew me through blogging have not had that issue. And people who knew purely through blogging who I’ve now met in person have told me that I’m exactly the same offline as I am online.
So I don’t understand. I guess I must make people uncomfortable, because well – I don’t fit into anyone’s box.
To mention Pete again, he talked the other day about the labels people have given him. I was showing Sarah on Tuesday, and we just felt so sad for those people. And though no one has done that to me publicly online, it has gone on behind the scenes on occasion – not always intentionally…but it’s happened all the same.
I’m sorry I’m not perfect, and I’m sorry I don’t always respond graciously to what life throws at me. I’m still learning, and I do try to be a better person than I am currently. I’m trying to seek God’s will in what I do. But sometimes I just simply don’t want to on the days I think ‘wow, think how much easier my life would be if I didn’t believe in God‘.
No guilt! I wouldn’t care so much! My friendships and relationships with my family would be much easier!
Basically those are the days that I don’t have an eternal perspective.
But our time here on earth is momentary. And I think the pain is worth it….because God can bring something more precious any manmade treasure out of it.
And actually if you’re someone who knows me ‘from a distance’ reading this, I’d much rather you got to know me in person than on my blog (it’s less one-sided for a start).