I started cleaning out my office a bit today. I went through years of birthday cards from my staff, and thank you cards from customers. I did shed a tear. I told two of my full-time girls that I was leaving in a week, because I didn't want them to find out at the staff meeting for the first time. One of them said she would have screamed. Haha. We cried a little and hugged.
I found a thank you/google review that my boss printed for me and hung on my board a while back. It was a woman I had helped find shoes. Long google review short, she was an overweight woman who had not been treated worthy in the past. She said I treated her with respect, and made her feel like she was "worth it" more than anyone else ever had. More than she had done for herself. I cried when I read it. It was behind a bunch of other papers on my board, and the paper was dried out and starting to roll up on the edges. Similar to my memory of how I got into doing this job of managing - not because of a business degree or lots of fantastic managerial skills, but because I really do love people. You wouldn't think so based on this blog where I vent all my frustrations about the world being so wrecked and broken, and feeling hopeless sometimes. I'm sorry about that. But, it was good to remember that the last four years haven't been terrible. It's been a phase, and I'm this Shannon because of it.
I started reading Abba's Child by Brennan Manning. He also wrote The Ragamuffin Gospel, which I'm sure many of you have read/heard of. It's also fantastic. I've only read a bit of Abba's Child, but it is seriously what I need right now. My friend Charlsey suggested it to me, and it turns out it was written specifically for me. Family, it's on the Kindle. Read it.
But I do that - what the google reviewer said. I treat myself like worthless poop sometimes. Truly. The way I talk to myself, punish myself, view myself, and then project that view onto God and other people. Brennan Manning calls it The Imposter. It's this self inside of you that says you aren't worthy of love or God's approval or acceptance. This goes against everything in my brain, but you do have to love yourself in order to love people. To love myself, I have to accept God's love. Does that strike a nerve with you? Does it make you cringe when people say, "Oh, your story... it's heart breaking. That's not right." Do you want someone to tell you to suck it up and get thicker skin? I do, because I think I should. But, God says "Oh, sweet girl. Rest. Cry. Grieve. I love you."
I told my friend Charlsey, who is my new pen pal (we were home schooled together, and her mom prayed over my wart and it was healed a few days later. I thought she was crazy. Turns out God heals things), that I feel like a deadbeat dad who wants to come home and sober up and take care of his family, but is too scared of rejection. What if God says, "Gross. You're a really selfish girl," and I'm stuck a dragon and The Imposter gets bigger until I am gone and my friends don't know me anymore?
The part of the story where Eustace is a dragon and Aslan painfully removes his scales... I think it's happening right now. It starts with saying it out loud I guess.
I emailed my old supervisor from Connections to Success, where I did my Social Work internship. When I'm done at NB, I'm going to go back there and volunteer until the baby comes. I miss building relationships with people that I wouldn't normally socialize with without having to sell them an insole. I'm excited for my time there.
Tyler and I went to a discussion on Racial Reconciliation at our church the other night. The speaker is an African American Dr. who teaches at Lindenwood, where I went to school. Someone asked about "white privilege" and if he could expound on it. He goes, "Yeah. Band aids." And then my mind opened up (he said a lot of other smart things, but that thing stuck out because it's so simple, yet I've never considered it once). I am so disconnected from any racial issues, except for what I see on the news... which I try not to watch. As a church, our goal isn't to go out and make Black friends, because then "ooooh, gold star." It's as simple as the fact that Jesus told us to love others. It's tough find reconciliation between races when you aren't aware of any issue to reconcile in the first place. The Dr. told us to pray for it, to get to know other cultures, to not over think it, and to use white privilege (which is a real thing) to take the gospel to other places, and to just love others. It was a great talk. And if you didn't get it, band aids are made for white people.
Comfort. It's my big idol, and that's what keeps me in my house with AC and netflix, and away from things that are uncomfortable, like poverty and the fact that there are problems bigger than mine going on.
And, here's a new belly photo. There's a boy in there, I know it. He is active and a punk, just like Tyler, but sweet too. He has no name. Boy names are so tough. I'd love to not have to deal with a penis, but I cannot wait to meet this thing. This sweet, sweet baby thing.