My emotions are just plain out of whack. If I were younger, I might be able to make up some physical reason, but I’m not, so I can’t. I guess I’ll just have to be honest with myself and admit that this being open stuff is tough. I constantly wonder if I’ve done the right thing in deciding to share. I mean, geez, I’ve kept more secrets than Carter had Little Liver Pills (only you old folks will have any idea what I’m talking about here). My usual response when asked what I’m thinking about has always been “oh, nothing” even if my mind was going a frillion miles an hour. And share? You have GOT to be kidding! I’m just not one to share. I guess I could count on one hand the number of people in my life (other than my children and immediate family) who really know my story, and they don’t even know all of it. And here I am, about to tell the world all my deep, dark secrets. I must be out of my mind! (Don’t you dare agree with me on that; it’s not nice!) Anyway, I hope y’all will be patient with me; I’m going to have to work up to this sharing stuff. Let’s all agree to go slow on this, ok?
When I got up this morning, I (well, that’s foolish to say because I didn’t “get up this morning”. I didn’t go to bed last night — I took a nap yesterday afternoon and just never made it to bed) had intentions of getting to church early so I could visit with some people. And I was doing pretty good until I got to the door. I opened it to leave and for some darn reason, Bella (my dog) decided she was going, too, and she ran out the door. This is not good because Bella does not go outside by herself. She doesn’t understand that we live on a busy street and all she thinks is “Woo Hoo! Freedom! I can run! I can run down to the Fire Station. Woo Hoo!” and off she went. Dad-gum dog. I hate when she does that. Luckily, there was someone across the street that she thought needed some attention, so she went over there to bark at them. I was able to cut her off at the pass and catch her before she got away. By the time I got back in the house and calmed down, it was 10:58. Darn. There is NOTHING that I hate more than walking into some type of gathering LATE. Everybody, and I mean every body, always looks at the late comers. For someone who already deals with anxiety and occasional panic attacks, having everybody looking at them is NOT a good thing. I almost decided not to go. But I really wanted to go. Do I stay or do I go? (Isn’t there a song titled that? But, I digress.) “Oh, Lord, why’d you let Bella get out? You knew that was going to cause stress, major stress,” says an anxious me. But, I sucked it up, walked out the door and sped to church. Living in this small town is not favorable to speeders. But, I prayed all the way there so our “speeder-getters” were not able to get me. “Thank you, Lord. That was a good way to make up for letting Bella get out.”
So, at 11:15, I walked into the sanctuary. Choir singing. People looking. My side of the pew was kinda full so someone had to step out so I could get in. Nerves racing. Tears already welling up. “Lord, help me hold it together.” My good buddy, MH, reached over and patted my hand and that was it. That was the trigger. Someone is being nice to me and I can’t stand that. The tears really began to back up at this point, but I’m holding it together — for now. Song over. We take our seats. Preacher asks if anyone needs prayer. Oh, how I want to ask for prayer, but that is something that is just about impossible for me to do. I’ve spent my life not asking for what I need. I’ve been programmed to think that this is a sign of weakness. Over and over I have been told, “Only needy people ask for things, Betty. Don’t bother people. You are such a bother to people. Why don’t you just quit?” So, I stand quietly, wishing I could speak, wanting desperately to ask the church to please pray for me. And then, it happened. The preacher makes a statement to me about having read my Facebook post this morning about starting this blog and says that he’s proud of me and that he’ll be praying for me. Or, it’s something like that, anyway (Sometimes it’s a good thing to be deaf in one ear). And he had said it out loud. For everybody to hear. And they all looked at me. But, as soon as I saw him look at me and heard the word “Facebook” and the word “blog” and the words “Pray for me” and the word “Proud”, I knew what he was going to do. He was going to be kind and compliment me and praise me. Oh, no. What am I going to do? I don’t handle niceness and compliments of any kind very well. People are going to keep looking at me. And the tears began. Big time. Big, snot-snorting tears. “God, I can’t do this. I am not the person you think I am. I have no business thinking that I can do anything to help anyone. I am so weak and so unworthy and so, so, so, so whatever the words are, I can’t do this, God.” So, I stand there and cry like a darn baby. The choir gets back up to sing and I’ve never heard this song before. As I stand there and cry they are saying something about “being safe in the shadow of his wings.” At this point, my heart is about to burst through my chest and I’m wondering why in the world they would choose a song like that. Who is it that is saying I’m safe? “In the shadow of your wings, I know I am safe. In the shadow of your wings, I find relief. For you will hold me, you’ll guide me with your righteous hand. I find rest – peace of mind, in the shadow of your wings.” This has GOT to be some type of conspiracy. Who knew I was going to need to hear these words? My mind is racing; my heart is beating out of my chest and there stands Rudy singing that I can find peace of mind. Oh, me. As they finish singing Pastor Ron stands back up and says that before he begins the sermon, he wants to make sure that there is no one who needs prayer. That’s it. I’m done. He’s got me pegged. I can’t sit here any longer. I’m about to do something that I’ve never ever done before. I’m going to ask for prayer. And not just from my seat. I’m actually going to walk to the front of the church and do it. As I get to Pastor Ron, crying like some wounded banshee, my first words were, “I think I’m going to have to start taking Valium before I come to church. My emotions are all over the place.” Now, pray tell, who in the world tells their pastor something like that, you idiot? Yep, me. I did. And it was ok. He still prayed for me and I felt God tell me that everything was going to be ok (not sure about that one, does God use slang?), that I was doing the right thing in opening up to those who would listen, and most importantly, I was going to be all right. So, there it is, my friends. I have taken the plunge. There’s no turning back. This blog’s for real. We all better just put on our seatbelts and hold on; I’m not sure what type of ride this is going to be for any of us.