Monday, July 28, 2008

...powerful testimony or TMI?

Blogging around I found this.

Which, I want to say reminded me of something but that isn't necessarily appropriate. It's like when one of the kiddos asks me if I remember when he/she fell down, two minutes ago. Yesterday after church, princess fell and skinned her knee, she asked if I remembered before we got out of the parking lot. I told her I "remember it like it was yesterday". All joking aside, I've recently been dealing with making my life seem less horrible than it really was or is.

Let's start with the first day of Bible College. Here was a room full of women (girls) discussing one girl's recent indiscretion with a boy. Seems this girl, whose name I have forgotten, had kissed a boy on their first date. They'd been friends for years, but that day was their first official date and it ended with a peck on the lips. GASP. I sat there listening to all these girls discuss their own "struggles" knowing that soon I would be asked the age old question "how far should you go with a boy on the first date?" - My answer ended up being, in all seriousness, "Montana, and no farther."

Of course my real answer would have gotten me removed from the premises four months sooner than my actions did, but I sat there listening to these women confess things that my friends had confessed at a slumber party in sixth grade. I didn't know it at the time, but some of them were being less than truthful. They may not have kissed their fiance for the first six months they were dating, but were having oral sex with his roommate in the present. (I said some, not all)

It didn't take long for the girls to tell their boyfriends my dating advice, and even less time for me to find out who in the Trilogy (dorm with three stories) was a modern day Lewis and Clark. A lot of guys wanting to know just where Montana was and wondering if they could get there.

I was the Prodigal not ready to go home. More content to live with the pigs than to admit that I had. I'm quite sure one or two of those girls would have fainted dead away had I told them I wasn't quite sure what was appropriate behavior on a first date but the last first date I was on ended up with a couple months of pretty good sex. Or that I'd gone farther with faculty (at a different school) than any of them had ever gone with anyone. Or that their beloved professor of Bible history, or whatever, called me "legs" when no one was around. But of course the reason that I didn't tell any of them the truth, is because it was not something that I was proud of. I wanted to be at home raising the fatted calf, not the one it was killed for. And so I sat there with the rest of them pretending we were in our Daddy's house and not the pig barn.

It would take me years to understand that there are more prodigals than brothers. Those of us who tell God that we're going to go and try things on our own for awhile, that our own best is going to be so much more awesome and fun than the great life He can give us. The brothers are bothered that never being lost is no reason to celebrate and the prodigals, knowing what they know now, regret that they were only lost because they had wandered.

The reason that a 20 year old memory is also a recent memory is because I'm while trying to honor the story of my current life, it doesn't make sense without the old life. What constitutes a "boyfriend"? I'm not 100% clear on what exactly a "hookup" is or what it implies. And do I have to spell it all out to convey just how ugly it all was? While I've never been addicted to anything stronger than caffeine, I do understand the power of a testimony of a meth addict turned Jesus freak. Maybe I just don't like the words attributed to girls like me. Am I like Jon trying to pretend that it's just a bloody nose?

I want to be honest about my struggles, but when does it stop being a "powerful testimony" and become TMI? I had never been faithful to anyone until I met my husband. In fact I moved in with my current husband when I was married to my last husband. I have had to overcome a thousand temptations, a thousand times, but he has been my one and only since the day we met. Obviously we weren't practicing Christians at the time, but is that helpful to anyone?

Do you wish that you could finally be honest about the fact that you would kill your mother for a drink? Or that you want to run off with your boss? Or that you can honestly understand why people beat their kids? Or you have a choice to make and wishing that someone would tell you what is on the other side of it.

On the long journey home, I found out that it didn't matter where I'd been, Daddy had been waiting and watching. My brother had been feeding the calf. The pig farm isn't all that. And when you are ready to wake up somewhere other than the pig slop there will be a calf for you.

1 comment:

chickadee said...

great post! and i'm not sure what else to say except that i really enjoyed it.

Click this and I will send you flair:)

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