I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. Not if you’ve been inside my house, because there, I’ve been pretty loud. Perhaps too loud. But in the publishing my thoughts for public consumption, I’ve been quiet. Vulnerability does that to me. I like to have things in a row…my ducks, my sweaters, and my spices. And when I don’t, I’m not fan of showing it. I especially like my faith to look like it’s in a row.
Cue the timely Bob Goff tweet:
Well. Doesn’t that just make sense.
The truth is, I’ve been faking it.
Faking like I have everything in a row. Shocker, I don’t. But putting that out there feels a little scary and a lot risky. But it’s honest and it’s mine. If I learned anything while on staff at a church, it’s that each of us is on a faith journey and none of them look the same. And this morning, I did have an epiphany about why I feel so, well…stripped.
Before I tell you about my “dream,” let me explain that I am fiercely independent. Because of this, I have always wanted to make sure that I could “take care of myself.” Taking care of myself meant that I could fix my car when it broke down. My dad owned an auto body shop (shout out to Jim’s Fender Rebender fans) during my younger years. I grew up smelling paint and playing with windshield adhesives. My dad didn’t necessarily teach me the business, but I learned a lot by watching him and his employees. Maybe I’ll even tell you all about Mookie sometime.
But today, I needed to give you a little background on me and cars. My dad didn’t understand my determination (he calls it stubbornness. potate-o, potah-to) to fix things, but always encouraged me to “settle down” and “we’ll figure it out.” He also handed out nuggets of wisdom on everything from checking your oil each time you fill up to how to whip a shitty on a frozen lake. He also taught me how to change my tires and remove the lug nuts.
That lug nut thing, it’s important for this story to make sense. Because if you try to take off a lug nut that is over tightened, with too much force, you can strip the lug nut. So here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:
I had a semi-lucid dream/talk with myself this morning. It was kind of outta body and kind of inna body experience. It was strange.
There I was, looking at my car and my tire; telling myself that I, have a stripped lug nut. I was telling myself that my life was just like that stripped lug nut. I had tightened my life and my career so tight, that when I needed to change the tire, I ended up with a stripped lug nut.
My faith was like a lug nut screwed on too tight. I had been trying to shut out any doubt and know all of the answers, that when it came time to leave my job, it was actually so entwined with my faith and who I was and keeping it all together, that in the process of leaving, I pushed too hard to keep it all together and I stripped the nut.
In the “dream,” I cussed at the tire, the lug nut and the stripped bolt. Tossed the tire iron across the yard, sat down defeated, and wept. And then, when I was done throwing my tantrum, I got up and called my dad. He knew exactly how to get that lug nut off.
I think what I needed to see and understand from this “dream” was that I know how to do this, but sometimes I need to ask for help. Which means not being a faker, inviting someone to join me at my table. I’ve been trying to hear God and figure out where my next steps are, but I haven’t actually asked him for help yet. I need Him at my table. So, that’s what I’m going to go do now. And then I’m gonna call my Dad and thank him for all those lessons in changing my own tires.