Monday, January 09, 2006

Today's Total Freak Out Moment

I'm kind of a dramatic person, probably because I think about things deeply, and intuitively process what events mean in the spider-web of cause and effect. This may seem strange, but I suppose it was only a matter of time before it happened: I completely freaked out today when I went to get my Arkansas driver's license.

Perhaps it is obvious to you why this would freak me out, but for those of you who can't imagine why this would bother me, I will try to give it voice...

Turns out, I'm not on some kind of extended hiatus from everything that annoyed me about life and ministry in Michigan. Turns out, I am actually throwing in my lot in life to be a part of church that doesn't exist with a handful of regular people...not super people like Rick Warren and John Piper and Rob Bell and Ed Dobson. Of course, I love these guys, and yes, they have great talents, but c'mon...we're screwball people that used to do some really silly stuff in college...and sometimes in the present (!). I looked around this amazingly full room at the Arkansas Assessment office and saw not one soul that I recognized. I am a nobody here. Why should anybody give a rip about what we think? about what we hope for them? 1000 people move here every day....what in the world is special about us? And will I ever really belong here? Will I ever have a large or small group of people who know me and love me and my family, despite the fact that I am lousy at making phone calls, never send cards...or if I do, they are always late, and frequently get so caught up in my own stupid day to day living that I forget to be open to living in community with others? A door is slamming shut behind me....back there, behind that door, I was the pastor's wife: the piano playing, event supporting, hand-shaking-at-the-back-of-the-church, perpetually smiling and greeting, playing my part person. People in the community knew me. I couldn't go anywhere in town without seeing someone I knew. Of course it was annoying sometimes, but it was nice knowing my mailman, the hardware guy, and Eve, the bank lady that always gave the kids suckers or congratulated me on getting out of the house without them if I didn't have them with me. That door is slamming shut with a resounding bang. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but I feel like the real me is somehow even more on display. The real nobodiness of me...the small fishness in a big pond....the extraordinarily unremarkableness that is me. I was sitting in front of that big weird camera, with the lady saying "on three..." and I could feel these waves of absolute panic washing over me, but my face had this plastic smile that I couldn't take off.

So here I am. Completely at the end of my rope. With a weird-looking photo on my driver's license. This is where God shows up and does something amazing, right?


Robb said...


Sandy Mc said...

Ness....I sent Robb my ph # by me. Or send me yours. I WILL call you! I know I have not met you and I am only *one* voice, but connecting with you and Robb is high on my list of God ordained (Acts 17:26) things!!

...and you are not out of place to wonder these things. As I am sure you know, as you are walking in His ways it must be expected to step out of our comfort zone...over and over again. I applaud you for answering His call.

ness said...

don't make me cry : ) I'm not really all that brave. I adore my husband and I try to obey God, but I'm pretty sure I suck at it.

klasieprof said...

OK DIDDD Leave it WIDE open...
Suck at your husband? or suck at obeying God?

one of those bawling right now at feeling the Vacuum you left behind.

Sandy Mc said...

sorry if I came on too strong. I was *trying* to make a pep talk, when really I had the cying feeling too...cause I *need* you guys so much HERE. And for me, a person who had LOTS of trouble living in the culture in mid-Michigan I see it truly as a work of God that he would not only send me like minded friends...but from MI!

ness said...

not at all...I'm actually the kind of person who has to be dragged from the house or called up....just ask D : ) Today has been a long day running errands on Robb's "day off" and I'm ready to crash. I'll email you tomorrow.

D...I admit...I did leave myself wide open for that shot : )

courtney said...

that whole "leave and cleave" thing can be a hard one to swallow, Ness. Trust me. And I remember the feeling you are having now when we moved to Tennessee and I had to find a job right away and couldn't just say "you know, Ron's daughter." It IS tough but the door behind you ISN'T wide open--there wasn't anything left for you two to do there; it's an allusion. It's like saying that Ron and I should have stayed in PA and worked the crap jobs we had and stayed in that hallway of an apartment we had and "just coped." no way
And, now that we are talking about moving again--possibly to PA I find myself wishing we could stay here, just a little longer....cause I finally found out how to get to everything the fast way and I can see my Pediatrician's office from my porch and we're finally in a church that likes us both. oh well....

klasieprof said...

Dearest V..upon further reflection, my tears have dried..which makes for better thinking.
You are forgetting hon, that there are seasons in every Christian life. Your season in Michigan is done.
Your time now..your to be a hsing mom, raising your kids..RELAXING in God's arms.
Dont rush the season.
Winter will soon again come. Enjoy your Spring now dear. Be renewed..(its really still been a VERY short time since you left even tho it SEEMS like forever).
Use every available means to be FULLY in THIS moment, without regret, fear or worry. (You know...those bible things).

Your place better than the place you left..because God brought you to it..remember that old song.."He didn't bring you this far..just to leave you. He didn't teach you to swim to let you drown"...Rest in the Lifeguards arms hon.
Make all the pain left behind worth it. LIve WELL!!

ness said...

thanks guys...I can mentally connect the dots to how I got here and I know I can't go back. It is very like in college when I gleefully climbed the 70 foot tower to go Bungee jumping. I knew all along what I was doing and why. But when I reached the platform and realized I was going against every human instinct to preserve my life by casting myself headlong off the edge...well...they had to push me.

Color me pushed.

I screamed bloody murder with my eyes closed, only to open them and see that I was flying upward in the air, not downward, and a whole new wave of screaming began. I think this is a pretty good indication of what you might see from me in the next few years.

Glad I did it? of course. Was I as heroic as I would have wished. NOPE.

The guys, btw, put their arms behind their heads, leaned backward of their own accord, and fell as if they were dropping onto their couch.

D...this is also the exact moment with Charleigh where you told me "Well, you made this decision and now you need to just buck up and stick with it."

Bryan said...

One of my all-time favorite quotes is:

"If you desire an extraordinary ministry, you must be willing to experience a more than ordinary dependence upon God to accomplish it." J. Oswald Sanders

Take the picture. You're extraordinary.

ness said...

Hey Bryan....thank you. I'm so glad you are back in the blogosphere. But I wish you were closer.

Now, hurry up and get your foster care paper work in order just in case Charleigh's birthmother has a lapse of birth control.

Bryan said...

Is that a realistic possibility for us (not living in Gratiot County)? And how would we hear if there was another Chuck available? Of course, there's always Charleigh herself if you guys ever get tired of her. (see Charleigh's words thread) :)

Sally said...

Dear Vanessa,
I wish I could be there to give you a hug or take you to a concert.I drive by your house once in a while just wishing.I really miss Robb's preaching and your wonderful spirit,smile, and music.Doing ok. Check your blog usually before I go to bed. Wishing for a snowday but our weather hasn't cooperated. Know I love you all and pray for you. Friends are friends forever or so the song goes. Take care,

akr said...

I went through that in ohio but when we took our liscence plate changed and it finally hit that this was somehow suppose to be home and I felt like such an outsider...from the way i talked, to the way i dressed...and we lived in a small town so everyone stared at us because they didn't know us. I spent a lot of time in prayer but also on the phone with my mom...focus on the family also had a speaker on right about that time that talked about the affects of moving on the wife and she had a book out about was a real help and encouragement. I don't remember her name but they probably have it in their archives.

Sara said...

I felt like that my first day ever attending a church...I felt like that in high school..i felt like that going to college....and now i feel like that leaving college...

but i agree with Rob...'right'.

(and God sure has done some incredible things!)

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