Reflections as February Ends

In light of the conversations we have been having and the Racial Reconciliation group and reading Christina Cleveland. I found this article about “Disunity in Christ” (as I am trying to process what all this means for me), and it really resonated with me. And caused me to try to articulate “on paper” what all this means for me. I confess my fear in sharing with others my process as though it’s my place to do so or that I might say something stupid. Well, I guess I might say something stupid… So I guess this is what it is…

First of all, thank you!
Thank you for your commitment to God and being willing to have these conversations.
Second, I apologize if any of this is triggering, it was not my intent and I confess my ignorance as I jump into this.

“Halfway through the book, I began thinking less of who needed to read this book and more about the things I needed to confess.”

The Red Couch: Disunity in Christ Discussion

As a white person, my interactions with racial reconciliation have taught me that I need to listen, that I need to defer my own verbalizing till I’ve “got it,” and that it’s not my place to make statements as though “I know.” As a white person, I confess I steady stay believing that I will eventually “get it,” that I am the exception, that I am exceptional, that what I feel is valid, and I am entitled to verbally process every emotion and situation that comes across my path. It was recently articulated that “it is because I am white that I have the luxury, as a white woman, to overindulge.” In scripture we see that we are held accountable for what we know and I think it’s the same in life. I confess I’ve thought about how I can choose out, walk away, and not have to think about the complexities of life or my skin color, or how that effects others. That. That there. That there is my privilege. The very fact that I think I can write this share it with you is my risk but also my indulgence.

I am because we are. Because we are all choosing in and I will never be the same. I am not exceptional, I am loved. I am not right, I am broken and flawed. I confess my fear to speak, to be held accountable for the ignorance and insensitivity that will come out of my mouth and reflect what is in my mind, what I believe and think about. I confess that I am still choosing out.

Baggage

It came to me in a dream
Or rather, when I woke up
I don’t usually try to interpret my dreams
This one though, it kind of hit me,
Like it was clear as day,
‘Shelley, you’re carrying baggage.
A lot of it.
And it’s taking up a lot of your time and energy.’
I would have to say I knew this already
It usually comes out when I’m verbally processing,
And even more when I’m internally processing
But the visual representation in my dream,
It was like, “Woah!”
I wish now that I could have recorded it
Because I so easily forget
That I really tell myself, ‘I really need all this.’
And ‘it’s not THAT much’
I saw myself though,
Struggling with my bags, alone, while those around me were enjoy others company in the beautiful sun next to the bay,
and I just looked ridiculous.

Even as I took myself home I struggle with getting into my home,
At one point I left my baggage in the entry, at the bottom of the stairs,

But I couldn’t leave it there, I felt like I was missing something without it,
I couldn’t even imagine just leaving it,
I was so focused on bringing it with me, I couldn’t get up the stairs and into my door with it but I couldn’t let it go.
So I enlisted help.
Eventually we got most of it in the door.

*realization moment*
I enlist people to help me carry my baggage!
And even then it’s not enough!
And they don’t stay!
Because, why would they?!
Their only purpose was to help me get some of my baggage from… here to…. there,
I never really knew them, got to know them, cared about them,

I only saw my baggage.
I only cared about my baggage.
It takes all my energy and focus.
I can’t even enjoy my life,
People,
Scenery…

I’m carrying baggage

And it matters more to me than anything else…

Love is Vanity, Love is Unconditional

I’ve thought a little about what you said to me last night, do I miss him for how he made me feel or do I really miss him? And the truth is that I do miss him for how he made me feel, and also for him, who he is, because JT is passionate, he is a wooer, he wins others over, he has never met a stranger, just friends he hasn’t met yet, he has this zeal for life and learning, for knowing others and himself in deeper, more impactful ways, he is not content to just be but to always be becoming better and making others better in the process, he sees his future as more than a place to get to but a place that he is creating right now with his choices, he doesn’t regret, he is not afraid of mistakes, he sees them as lessons, as an important part of who he is, in fact, I think he even looks forward to them, leans into them when they come…and through it all he is smiling, laughing, eagerly awaiting, genuinely happy, perpetually positive, not brought down by negative people, looking for ways to lighten their spirit, living into and loving the flaws of life and the challenge of challenging people, seeing the beauty in the imperfections, he is inquisitive and excited by the complexity of life; when he commits, he is committed, taking mindful ownership over it, focused on seeing it through to completion. As I write, they keep coming, the things about him that would make a person crave his presence and miss him in his absence.

Disappointed

Disappointment would imply that I cared.
Do I care??
Do I care…?
Do I care…

I must care…
I try to to distract myself
Say I could take you or leave you

My mind says it doesn’t matter
But I’m waiting, wondering… Hoping.

Left disappointed.

–ShelleyRenae