Monday, March 12, 2018

So, About Last Night...At The Well

As my witty Mother-in-law says when she makes a grand entrance, "HOOOOOWWWWWDY!" 

I've been MIA from this here blog since Juan-uary. And it's almost mid-March! We can blame my absence on Instagram stories. It seems the insanity that I would normally blog about is happening over there now. 

Y'all know when I have something really good though that this is where I come. 

So, here's the backstory recap for the new folks... I was raised Catholic - Catholic school, church just about every Sunday and holy days, Catholic wedding, Shan converted, baptized 1 of the 3 boys there, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. We now somewhat regularly attend an Episcopal church, baptized the other 2 boys there, and have been very involved over the last 15 years. However, due to the increasing popularity of a contemporary service - my boys love a good Jesus Jam - we attend the Baptist Mega-Church up the road periodically. We also love to attend several of their special programs and participate in Upward sports there! All this double-dippin' is mainly because I believe you go where you need to to be fed. My super precious great aunt Nita - one of the most hilarious, vibrant, dirty-joke-telling, yet Godly women I have ever known in my life - went to 2 churches for many years until she died at the ripe old age of 98, because she liked the people at one and the pastor at the other. So it happens. 

All that to say, if you're looking for a church, I can point you in the direction of a few different ones. Kidding. Not kidding. But seriously. I've been fortunate to have always known Jesus and his goodness. But like most of us, I sometimes forget how ridonkulously good he really is. And I forget that he can fill the cracks in my bust-up brokenness better than anyone or anything else! When there is someone that good, why do I sometimes forget he's there? Maybe it's my ADD. Or maybe it's just because I'm human. But I have a feeling I'm not alone. As a matter of fact, I know I'm not alone. Which is why I love going to the well...and The Well!

One Sunday last month, I attended a women's program at the Baptist church I was just talking about up there. Unfortunately, I missed the first one in January, but have saved the date for the remaining Sundays for the rest of the year. The program is called The Well. It's a once-a-month opportunity for women of the community to gather for worship, fellowship, and to listen to featured women share their stories and journeys. And the coolest part is that it doesn't matter what your age or stage of life is...the bottom line in every story is his redeeming love and grace. It's not at all whoo-hooey or Branch Davidian-ish, for all you skeptics. It's like being in the audience of a super chic talk show, with a cool set and fabulous music. And you're surrounded by amazing, über groovy gals (like me, of course). Y'all, you can't help but walk away from there with a little bit of super glue on your pieces.

Last month my sweet friend Ellen was the featured speaker. I could identify so much with her story and went home full of hope and feeling not so alone. Ellen is my age-ish, raising 3 kids, and with similar struggles in the body image and worthiness department. Her story is imperfectly beautiful. She reminded us that he loves us even in our darkest places of shame and self-loathing. All the time. And if you know Ellen, you know what an absolutely beautiful person she is on the inside and out. She just exudes his love and grace. That was the first I had heard of her story and knowing the Ellen I know, I would have never guessed her former pain and struggles. I am so thankful for her sharing her heart with us.

Last night a precious girl named Sarah Parker (a good ol' double named southern girl), who I do not know personally, shared her story. And while I cannot relate to being a single almost 30 year old, because I've had an incredible guy by my side since I was 17,  I can most definitely relate to her big personality and her need to fill voids with something other than his goodness. She talked about Jesus meeting us where we are. Not only does he meet us where we are when we first let him scoop us up, he meets us there every single day, minute by minute. We just have to let him! We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

So, I've been to the the well a time or two{-thousand} in my life. I feel like I go to the well a lot these days. Anxiety, parenting, body-image, and general inadequacies send me there. And that's ok, because Jesus has the power to redeem and fill us up like nothing else can. If you're not near me and feel like you need this goodness in your life, I urge you to reach out to women you know and share your story or your brokenness. Create your own well and you'll see you're not alone. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, reach out to me! I'd love to share my bucket o' Jesus with you. There's plenty to go around and it doesn't get a whole lot messier than this right here. I think if Jesus were a southern woman he'd shake his head at me on the hourly and say "bless her heart". And if you're in these parts, I invite you to join me at The Well series, monthly for the rest of 2018. I linked it up there. Good stuff is happening there, ladies! Good stuff.