Standing in the middle of the Safeway cereal aisle is generally not the place one decides to release the tear-filled floodgates.
But, then again, my tears don’t generally follow the schedule and plans I have for their salty little lives.
I’d left a career in teaching to step into full-time ministry, packing up my bags in the Santa Cruz mountains for the suburbs of Seattle. But somehow, I think I’d misunderstood the intent of songs of my Christian upbringing, because I took having the “…joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” a little too literally. I came to believe that if I had Jesus in my heart, I would and could experience little to no pain. Eternal, joy-filled happiness must always reside, I resolutely clung to and believed – even when life is hard, even when tragedy strikes. Because everything happens for a reason, I’d whisper. Because he’s not going to give us anything we can’t handle, I’d say over and over again, mimicking the words of Mother Teresa.
So when pain came, I stuffed it down.
I held back tears, staying strong for the people around me, because this was who I believed I was supposed to be: and she, the Professional Christian, the one getting paid to love Jesus, was secure enough to lead the people around me.
But then the reality of loneliness set in.
The hardships of moving and starting over, both vocationally and relationally, began to rear their honest, ugly heads.
To read the rest of the article, and what went down in the middle of the cereal aisle, click here and visit my friend Adelle in the meantime!