Our Desensitized Body

The television screen in the lobby scrolled 20 dead and 100 injured at 5:10am. I asked my coworkers what happened? They didn’t know yet, but knew it was in Las Vegas, we had a full day to work and needed to start the day. We caught up on the details every break we had, relived none of us knew or had anyone there.

My coworker mentioned how desensitized to shootings we have become, unless it’s directly effecting us it’s no longer stirring our hearts or causing a reaction to help. Unfortunately I have to agree, if it’s not your race that is being bruised, battered or killed it’s not your problem. Last year I stopped posting about Standing Rock (to stop the pipeline from being built on native territory). I felt no one cared or were tired of all the posts. Awareness is great, but unless it changes a heart which will turn into an action it’s nothing but noise.

I hate to admit it but I believe it’s in the body of believers as well. What does Paul say in the letter to the church in Corinth? We are one body, many parts. And we cannot say we do not need each other. My race cannot say it does not need another. My gender cannot say it does not need the opposite (yeah I said it). My personality cannot be the same as everyone else’s.

At dinner a couple years ago friends and I shared our own testimonies, we had two common threads or sentences everyone said in their own words; “I never felt like I fit in…” and “but Jesus…” we are all very different people with different backgrounds, education, personality and stories. We mustn’t become desensitized, because we still need each other. Jesus is what can unite or reconcile, our own desires good or bad is what divides, but Jesus…

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Seven Years

It was an off day, I was enjoying reading some dribble on my phone before checking my Facebook page and winding down for the night. There it was, a confusing and difficult to decipher post from a coworker; so I check work emails. Our contract would be coming a close shorter than anticipated, leaving myself and several hundred coworkers out of a job. Maybe because I was at home and in a comforting place the official news was not jarring. We all knew something was up for awhile now. However for most of us this had been our first grown-up job or career. For myself it was more, it was a calling.

Never at any point of my journey to this calling did I feel qualified enough to be a Flight Attendant. Passion, Obedience, and Faith were registering off the charts. I was very active in my College Ministry and ‘knew’ that God had placed this goal in front of me. Quiet, Kind and caring were known qualities of mine, I had that going for me, however I would need to be outgoing, observant, and professional. The daily tests I would have to pass once accepted to training were going to take a lot of prayer and constantly studying. No opportunity passed by that I did not ask for prayer, Everyone within a 50 mile radius knew what was to happen.

The following 4 weeks, and really whole flight career, were covered in prayer. Narrowing my focus was easy, take notes, listen, stay awake, pass tests, do homework, study, sleep, repeat. Without prayer I would have failed for sure, studying is not at all my strong suit. I can appear to be organized and on top of things because honestly I fall hard into procrastination. But Jesus. Jesus was with me everyday and I felt he enjoyed letting me know what fun we were going to be having on this adventure together. Five years in I begin to get burned out, I still don’t feel that I have brought my best to this calling, but still there were so many great stories I could share of having Jesus convos from the galley of many planes.

Today I’m nostalgic, savoring every moment of a work week. You really do take things for granted if you are not careful. A coworker pointed out that this October will be my 7th year here. Seven is a number of completion or perfection. I met a passenger a couple days later that added Eight is a number of New Beginnings. I don’t know how this year will end, if I’ll still be employed or on a complete new path, either way I know…

“God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6

Daddy Dearest

Dear Dad, I’ve never in my 30 years been mad or upset at you, not ever. At the most I felt sad that you had to deal with mom, or was caught by her web of lies and deceit. I’ve even praised you for your selflessness in letting go of your grip of me as a child to give me a chance to grow up in a normal, stable family. How hard that must have been for you, little did I know your love and ability of running ran deeper than physical, emotional too.

I was actually very happy to see you 19 years ago, with your new family. Your wife at the time was very accepting and loving toward me. Clearly she had such a giving spirit and maybe for that reason she attempted to keep in contact with me after the visit, wish I just noticed how I was talking to her more than you. That should have tipped me off.

It truly saddens me how much our culture or blood lines are connected to alcoholism, addiction and abuse of all kinds. Sure isn’t something people are interest in hearing, not the TeePees or Powwows stories they have in their heads. The truth hurts; something I’ve learned to forgive and let go.

The fact that you have decided to ‘forget’ about your visit 19yrs ago or the children you’ve had since then I am no longer interested in continuing our tight relationship.

I Love you Henry, that I can say honestly. But you were never my true father anyway… you see a true father never leaves, he loves unconditionally, he sacrifices for his kids, he is selfless not selfish. I hope one day you get to know my true Father; he’s like no other and has loved me before day one. So, no hard feelings, they just are not worth it anymore.

Love Karlene

 

Whose time is it?

Now at thirty I’m convinced that all PKs or even MKs should have access to free Therapy. And mandatory for some. I was thinking a while ago, after a mini emotional break down, that our lives were quite disrupted in during childhood. In a congregation of minimum 50 members life is bound to sneak up on many. Dad can’t come to your play because a members son is in the hospital, your mom can’t tuck you in tonight because she’s consoling a members family tonight.

This wasn’t every day but it did seem to happen when a vacation was planned or some family event was about to take place. Their life events are more important than your spelling bee was our lesson to learn.

Oddly enough I didn’t notice once I started leading in college ministry that I too said no or I can’t make it to many family events. At first it’s understandable and maybe even a little bit proud. Following in the family line of ministry. After a while though things change. They started asking when I was available months out just to have dinner together. Or drop lines like “We don’t ever see you anymore” were more to the point, and rightly so.

When you say Yes to something or someone you are saying No to something or someone else. This is why I believe many marriages and families crumble in ministry, wives as well as husbands begin to feel lonely; and worse their feelings are valid. Anytime Jesus said no or yes, it was whole; there’s no grey area. The woman he encountered at the well, his time was important, who he spent it with was important as well. The words and moments exchanged were theirs, she maybe for the first time felt important. It’s something to remember when you hear yourself say “No, I’m sorry I’m too busy”, whose time are you saying yes to?

I’m a seed

I’ve been planted, dug up, replanted. I’ve fought the soil because I found myself forgotten, lonely and vulnerable in a dark foreign place. The packing around made me claustrophobic, I was frightened for no reason since seeds have its own food supply or sustainability. I was buried to be protected, unaware of the storms that passed over me, water was sent my way not to drown me but for my growth.

I had no idea I had all I ever needed where I was at. Wasn’t aware the soil gave me my nutrients to continue to grow. I panicked when I no longer looked the same, didn’t realize my shell was made to shed itself to grow into a harvest.

The farmer was peacefully back in his home, probably eating a meal from his garden. He must have a love for farm-to-table dining. I preferred the moments I could see him, when he held me in his worn but strong hand. I don’t know when I’ll get to see his face again. I hope it’s soon. I hope he will still recognize me. For now I’ll let go of the anxiety and fear, he’ll come back. I know he’ll come back.

Vulnerability

Vulnerability? Who Dat?

Was my response to my best friend attempting to reason with me using her wisdom. Everyone knows Vulnerability = weakness. And weak I ain’t. Stubborn yes. Been know to have a emotional breakdown yes. Vulnerable people get hurt, and that’s too familiar.

I had a hard enough time getting over my childhood trauma, then once I got thru that I made fresh new mistakes all on my own. But don’t we all.

Then it’s time to get hurt by others, and hurt other friends in the process. It’s a real battle field, memories are all around like land mines. And I never wanted to be in the war to begin with.

What happened to my peace and freedom after counseling or more releasing of all the bad emotions I’ve hoarded all these years. Hmm, well, that was fun for a minute…. whoa, wait a sec. I guess I have to be working at this all the time. I miss coworkers asking me about my joy, or what’s with this light I have around me all the time.

Jesus is the same. Is it me who has changed? During this moment of panic I realized I fear Embarrassment over Failure. I could lose my job tomorrow, or fail a class I’ve worked hard on and it not effect me the way someone laughs at me. I see that as I have less value. I’m not good enough to be your friend or even be around you.

I watched Brene’ Brown on a TED Talk on YouTube, The Power of Vulnerability . It blew me way. With out it, vulnerability, true faith doesn’t exist; it just can’t. And it doesn’t equal Weakness. Brene’ hit a sore spot when she mentioned “we don’t get excited about something so we are not disappointed when that thing doesn’t happen” and I’m paraphraseing here. I started doing that around 9 or 10 maybe younger, if my birth mom made a bribe with me about something I wanted I stopped getting excited so there’d be a possibility of it happening.

**exhale** still got a
Lot of work to do… I’m ready… lets go..

Forever Broken

The seed breaks to gives us the wheat. The soil breaks to give us the crop, The sky breaks to give us the rain, The wheat breaks to give us the bread. And the bread breaks to give us the feast. There was once even an alabaster jar that broke to give Him all the glory…. Never be afraid of being a broken thing. -Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

This is what dear friends told me they were reading and suggested to me. After a season of darkness and brokenness I’ve felt like it may be coming around again; for round 3. It’s getting old, having to relive and remember old wounds or bad emotions/memories and release it to Jesus. It’s making me feel more useless and immature. How is it that years ago I felt more in charge and a decent christian than now. Have I really undone that much growth in 2 years?

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’ve heard great things of her other books. I did get a chance to read a chapter and was a bit confused to her writing style. However I have a feeling it should help me.

Ever watch the movie “The Prestige”? SPOILER ALERT
Toward the end of the movie it is revealed that Robert Angier cloned himself and immediately killed himself in order to keep up his trick and popularity going. In the end his mentor Cutter tells him dying is hell, and only told him otherwise to comfort him while grieving his girlfriend who died while performing a magic trick. The camera pans to all the times he died, realizing how difficult this process is. (Its a great movie and way better than I can describe it)

In the bible, I think Paul writes it the most “to live is Christ and to die is gain”, or in Mark “who ever loses their life for my sake will save it.” -Jesus

Dying isn’t easy in any sense, ending addictions, giving up anything isn’t easy. Time, money, you name it its rough. I think its written so many times in the bible because it must be done continuously, our human nature is to default to what is easiest. Jesus taught about money the most beside heaven and hell because he knows what make people tick, or how passionately glued we are to our money.

Dying or being broken for Christ sake will never be easy. Maybe when we start to appear or become like our old self it’s time to be broken again. Yet new, closer to Holiness or pure each time it happens.