Thursday, September 3, 2009

I Had a Really Cool Title for This Post in My Head, But I Forgot What It Was, But Trust Me, It Was a Doozy!

And now, we interrupt this hilarity, for a serious post. Why not do a serious post on my own blog? Well, I could claim that it is to give Peter P. 's book giveaway and Be the Church blog challenge more exposure, since fottsp has more readers, or I could tell you the truth, that the friend I bring up reads my blog, and would see her flaws rather than mine, and she doesn't need that right now. So, we'll just go with the first reason.

The other day, a friend from college called to wish me an early Happy Birthday. It was great to hear from her. We don't talk as often as I'd like. Sometimes I call and get the machine. I always say "Hi, this is Helen, calling just to say "Hi!" ......HI!". Always. Even the day when I called because I found out I'd NEVER have a baby, and I needed HER ear.

Now, she often doesn't get back to me for weeks. I always assumed she was too busy for me and my small little life. I felt too proud to say "What the H-E-Double Hockey Stick took you so long to get back to me?" I also felt too proud to tell her why I called a month later. If she doesn't need me, then I don't need her!

Guess what. Long story short, I confided my problem to her recently, and yesterday told her of Bob and my plans for moving on. She has been struggling with the VERY SAME issue I have, except doesn't have the support system I do, and has been avoiding all calls for a long time because she is depressed. Depression is like that. It makes you shut people out when you need them. I thought I was depressed just because I wanted to die. Still, I wasn't so depressed that I didn't want to talk to anyone. But I did let pride get in my way. I did not let her in that day, and for years, not because I was too depressed to talk to her, but because I was too proud to confide in her if she didn't feel like calling me.

If I had told her, she may have felt less alone. Sure, I would have wept buckets on her shoulder, but perhaps that would have freed her to let me in. But I didn't, and she suffered alone. I have mom, Bob, and others whom I've leaned on, and I've known that I'm not alone. She didn't have that, because I was too busy playing nah, nah, nah nah, nah.

BTW, I am not feeling all down on myself for not being perfect. I see I could have been a better friend, but then, who can look back on forty years and find they have never behaved in such a way as they regret? I do want to turn this around so that I learn something though, and think that Peter P.'s blog challenge gives me the opportunity to share that.

That something is that to Be The Church, one needs to leave their pride behind them. I ought to have not read my own insecurities into her behavior. If I reacted with less pride, well, it may have been overwhelming for her, but at least she would have seen her own struggle playing out, and perhaps would have shared her own feelings and we could have leaned on each other a little.

I learned that Being The Church is as much letting people help you as being helped....

Peter, please don't give me the extra entries because of this post. I don't deserve it, because it is about how I have failed to Be The Church, not how I have succeeded. I'm not all bad. I've done some things right, too. I'll share that on my own blog early next week, and then you can give me the extra entries, okay?

Oh, and btw, you can check out Peter's blog challenge thingy at this website and have the opportunity to write on how you think we should Be the Church. I don't know if the extra points for wishing me a Happy Birthday has expired or not, though.

God bless you!


sherri said...

Helen- you are a beautiful example of the church. A precious heart trying to do what you know to be right- being human along the way-reaching out to all who come close enough to touch and going after the ones who aren't close and bringing them in. Just as you did to me. You are a beautiful example of the church.

I'm going to check out Peter's place now. Thanks.

katdish said...

Isn't that how it mostly is with these types of things? We tend to assume things and project our own thoughts and feelings on another person. I'm guilty of it. I think we all are. But good for you both for caring enough to get past that.

Wendy said...

I love you Helen, and I've never been prideful in my life. I've always been the picture of humility. I...uh...nevermind. ;o)

It seems that it was more pain than pride blocking your vision. Pain does that. But I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the change came at exactly God's perfect timing.

I big ol' sparkly monkey butt heart you!

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Helen, you have the churchiest heart I know. What a dear you are to post this. It makes me sad to think that depression is so prevalent, but I see it every single day in my patients. Sadness laced with pain and fear and hopelessness. Our plans aren't God's plans. That makes life feels sucky sometimes but it also brings us to our knees, and that's where He wants us. Humble, in submission, and recognizing that indeed, we are loved. I have always felt that from you. Yes, you are the church.

Peter, she wins, hands down.