Give Me the Hard Stuff

There I was, mindlessly scrolling IG when I came across these pictures of Jen Hatmaker on her Mexico vacay with her besties. Now let me be very clear, there is nothing wrong with these photos or with Jen. They are beautiful and she is coming out of her own period of heartbreak and she is fighting her way to the top to catch her breath and she is doing a fabulous job of living her life in her most authentic ways....as far as I know. I don't know Jen personally, I have never read her books because they were never my cup of tea, but she is a woman, a mom, a human, who to the best of my understanding is figuring out who she is in this second part of her life...post divorce, with grown or nearly grown kids, navigating a new relationship, what her faith contains, and she is doing it...every day, she is doing it, in her own ways. So there is no judgement here... but I am going to share what these photos brought up for me.


As I looked at them I thought how beautiful her smile was, how free they seemed, how they really know how to have FUN...and bikinis!!! Holy Moly! I thought, I can do just about anything in this world....but I can't do THAT. 

And the shame flooded me. "What the hell is wrong with you?!"

Give me the hard stuff, the families riddled with addiction, the crazy ones, the sick and dying, the wounded, hurting and angry, give me homelessness and poverty, the heartbroken, the fearful, the abused, and I know how to do that. I know how to show up in crisis and how to love without question and meet people where they are at. 

I thought about those pictures all day. Allllll day. For the record and in my own defense....I do love to have fun. But I NEVER wear a bikini while doing it, and its never in a different country...its usually at my own dining room table or out on my front deck with my people who make me laugh like no other, or playing a game of dominoes...which I always lose at, but I love just being there with my people and laughing together and joking and my grand boys fill me up and are hilarious, and walking and talking with my friends and hiking and coffee dates. I am just a simple woman. 

I talked to my dear friend who is one of the most emotionally intelligent people I know and we went over all of it....and bless her heart she said, "Me too." 

As I talked this through, I thought of my life and all of my experiences. I have lived a hard life. I have experienced a lot of fear and hurt and crisis. I was born into that...I thought of how we create chaos because its what we are used to and again I felt so ashamed....like I am my own brand of crazy....which could be very true of course. 

Then I began to reframe some of this... Even if I am not the vacationing Copacabana girl, drinking cocktails on the beach in my one piece bathing suit and my flowy cover up....what if that is ok. What if I am ok just the way I am. Maybe I'm not doing it all perfectly, I may not have my fun/work equation perfectly balanced out, and maybe I am drawn to chaos and pain because its what I know, but I also know so much about deep joy and connection too. I know about full hearts and new life and redemption and second chances. I love nothing more than to dig in and hear your real heart and I love to create safe spaces for people to share their burdens. My heart wants to love the way Jesus does. 

My emotionally intelligent friend brought up our childhoods....feeling like we were always on guard, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, watching and waiting for catastrophe to hit and we needed to be ready! I know that the roots of my "lack of fun gene" go back to that place. 

My heart has been broken in certain ways and I don't know that those scars will ever leave me.....but maybe that is ok. What is not ok is to feel like I need to be someone who is different than who I am. I got to be who I am, to this place, through some really hard stuff....and I use those hurt spots to walk with others who are hurting, and to be the "me too" for them. My passion is that everyone knows they aren't alone. That they are seen, understood, heard, that they matter at the deepest level. 

Flawed as it all may be, because I'm just a person after all....I can do the hard stuff and maybe that is exactly where I am supposed to be. Maybe that is what this life was always grooming me for. 

So Ms. Hatmaker...carry on in all of your beautiful glory.  Bless you a million times over for being able to do life in such an exhilarating and free manner. I will be here, doing what each day brings my way and happy to do it. No shame. For either of us. ❤️

Annette

Comments

Deanne Palmer said…
My pretty friend I just love reading your blogs you are so amazing thank you for always sharing such amazing work and thank you for having a heart for all of us the ones that are lost the ones that are homeless some ones that are broken you are amazing and you're so good at it thank you for your care and thank you for your heart because of a lot of us out here that definitely need that I know I definitely need to do and thank you so much for being the who stepped in sort of like my mom figure in my life and teaching me so much you continually teach me and I am so grateful for that I'm grateful for your heart I love you dear friend

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