Last week I wrote what was probably an award-winning blog. I remember a professor in college telling me once that I should never work directly on the web page where my writing was destined to appear. However, it wasn’t a rule; it was a suggestion. Or at least that’s what I thought.
Somehow, as I typed my last sentence or two, I had hit “Control+A.” I recently ceased chewing all of my fingernails off and frequently make typos and miskeys because I’m not used to typing with finger extensions. By the time I looked up, I had three and a half words left of 1,300. There’s no “undo” or “go back to a previous version” option. It wouldn’t have been so bad had I remembered half of what I wrote. Many times, the only premeditated thing in my writing is the conclusion. I knew that it had something to do with opening up to change, God’s great, inconvenient plan, and the Mario Brothers sky level.
Of course the first person I think to tell about it, as well as how upset I am by it, is my husband, who not only is 200 miles away but also could do nothing to help me even if he were right next to me. After a few text messages, I went ahead and called him so he could fully understand the magnitude of what had happened (which could be picked up by carefully listening to the rising pitch of my voice and my rapid turns toward fatalism).
It took less than 3 minutes for me to go from “thirteen hundred words and an hour of my life, completely wasted” to “I suppose I should just stick to mopping the floor though I don’t know why I do it because it’s not like anyone ever comes over anyway.” Disturbing and impressive at once, I admit, but my husband’s reaction to behavior like that is truly gallant. He’s my hero, and I probably don’t say that enough.
Less than two minutes after I hung up on him, my phone rang. It was a friend from church. Naturally, I couldn’t answer the phone because my makeup was a mess (wait! Was I wearing makeup?), and I just got done reading about abuse of power and I felt like I’d be giving some up if my voice cracked or (gasp) actually continued my tailspin.
Then I got a text message. “Let’s get together” (paraphrased).
It would seem that this is the exact thing I was looking for, and I would have credited God’s great timing had I not known my husband less well. I know this friend is going to read this, so I need to make sure she understands that it was not that I didn’t want to hang out. It’s just that I didn’t want to hang out with anyone that minute. It’s difficult for me to expose my weak moments as they occur (obviously it’s much easier after I’ve determined I made a complete fool of myself). I would most certainly lose the few friends I have if they were to witness my state of panic and pity. It’s frightening. In spite of this, I know that other women have similar outbursts. In fact, I’m apt to believe that most women have similar outbursts.
I gave myself 24 hours and went to hang out with this friend, who told me what I already knew. That she has the same thought process. I knew this not because she told me, but because women are less mysterious and complex to me after reading Genesis. Our wiles have carried us through our destinies, and reading Genesis is like watching a movie where you know what is going to happen but the character doesn’t. I want to scream, “Wait! Are you stupid? Don’t do that!” Specifically, the Bible stories where two women are involved trouble me the most. Sarah and Hagar, Leah and Rachel. These women were close to each other and loved each other, but their self-centeredness prevailed. They pounced on the other woman’s weaknesses to advance their own personal agendas.
This prevalent theme fills my heart with reluctance in creating lasting friendships and bonds with women.
Infrequent, lackluster or absent concern for troubled women, especially mothers, is disturbingly evident in the reactions of peers, but it’s not the only issue. It makes me sick to watch and experience her peers, and therefore hypocrites, when she meanders, or rather careens, off the edge. It’s almost carnal, the way she slides to the next woman in line to whisper not only the details of the fallen woman’s her struggle, but also puts herself in the spotlight by exposing her own advice to the woman who just jumped off the edge. The reason it makes me sick is because this gossiping cow (this is a biblical term) didn’t ever bother bringing that advice to the woman who jumped either because she didn’t care or was afraid or thought she would be exposed herself.
It’s one thing to be on the edge, which seems to be a time when everyone identifies with you and at least verbally supports you during whatever predicament you’re dealing with. But the second we jump we’re alone. Or the second we watch someone jump, we abandon her for another cause, hoping to not make the same mistake or miss the signs again. That’s why I don’t seek my peers when I’m having a meltdown.
“Mommy Meltdown.” I refer to this in other terms when in the middle of the meltdown, such as “I’m so right that you can’t stand it and you’re looking for any reason to knock me down” or something along those lines.
I’m not right. I’m way off base, and I’m placing judgments on my friends and peers. God made them too. Jesus died for the woman I have determined will someday turn on me. My impatience level with my fellow human being is nothing but selfish when I consider what and who God has given me. I’m sure I’m pretty obnoxious, and there are a remarkable quantity of people willing to tolerate me. I’ll frequently return to the same scripture, which works as a foundation for my faith, a reason to grant mercy and my queue to repentance.
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his (own) image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Shortly after that, they both messed up.
No one is perfect, and I do need to improve in the areas of patience, compassion and kindness, fruits that are not natural for me and only show through when I’m dwelling with my Lord. Understanding that the woman who I lean on is probably just as afraid to confide in me because of similar insecurities is key to my acceptance of who I was created to be, which is a woman. A flawed, imperfect and ready-to-jump-off-the-edge woman.