when words fail

Do you ever wonder, “What are they thinking? What am I saying? Oh dear…”
(of course you do, you’re bloggers and blog readers!)

This morning I shared ‘my story’ at the Mom’s Group. And I felt like a dumb-dumb.
See, here’s the thing: ‘Sharing my story’ used to take the form of some hyper-ministry testimony expression. It was planned and parceled, and delivered to the end of bringing others ‘to Faith’. This was the focus of about ten years ago.
Then there was the ‘professional teacher/speaker/ moments. I loved public speaking! I did a few conferences, taught several courses, and just enjoyed planning and sharing and connecting. That was about, oh, five years ago.

Between then and now, Fibromyalgia has fogged my mind to the point where, for the most part, any verbal expression of thought ends up being random fragments and wanderings. Along with this, there’s a whole lot of life that’s happened! What is the story now? Who am I? When we have the invitation to share these things with a group, what do we focus on? And why?

My tendency, my…weakness, is to follow up with some explanations, perhaps some defenses, some attempts to fill in the gaps. Do they know about that whole other story line; that thread leading to that moment, that decision, that change? Did I mention that person, the influence, the present struggles? Did I present it too glumly, with not enough faith/poise/humor/maturity/???, with too much information, with not enough sense?


In moments like this, I am drawn to a cave. Tuck away, hide out, cringe a little.

The past few years, with their periods of isolation and change, questions and struggles, trust and brokenness, have led to a fear of overexposure. These years and experiences, this person that I am, knows well that flushed feeling of the over-share, that desire for connection, that struggle for explanation.

This is one of those posts that doesn’t end with, “But we’re fine!”
I haven’t matured beyond this place.
I’m still unsure of how to just let go of glances and opinions—real or perceived.
Within my foggy mind and my scrambled story of contradictions, I’m still learning to breathe, to find my center, to let the rest of it roll.

I sometimes wonder: will these beautiful souls still be here later on? Will they stick around while I wake up and grow up and figure it out? Or is it all just a bit too messy to wade through? When I emerge from this cave, will I step into a community of other emerging cave-dwellers; all of us stumbling towards warmth and light and touch? Or will we each emerge alone and find cold hearths and empty cups, dusty footprints walking away to easier paths and more fluent stories?

For what it’s worth….

13 Responses to “when words fail”
  1. I want to just say (again) that how you’re feeling so normal (and if not normal, then at least familiar to me)… but that your words today did NOT fail – they blessed me, encouraged me, and challenged me. Thank-you for sharing through the fear, and allowing grace to wash over everything and minister to those around you. (Whew! That was a lot of “christian-ese”… but it was sincere!)

    • Dea' says:

      Thank you Beth. Your words were encouraging as I navigated the rest of the day. I’m looking forward to connecting with you more on those ‘familiar things’ we share. Oh life, hey? 🙂

  2. Sara L says:

    ugh. I hate those moments. I beat myself up and wish I had never spoken. But like beth said, it’s often a blessing to others. I felt such relief when I not longer felt it was a goal to not make mistakes… I think those of us who are raised Christian feel more ashamed when we mess up, or not even mess up, but simply do things other christians might not feel is right. But I’ve realized now that it’s more important to learn from my mistakes, then try to avoid mistakes. In my effort to avoid mistakes, to get on the right path, to ‘make it’ I often went in the wrong direction. I went through a super humiliating experience where someone basically shouted my flaws at me, hated and resented most everything about me… then, somehow, ‘getting it right’ mattered so much less. I just wanna learn through my valley’s and grow stronger along the way. I try to tell myself ‘find joy in the journey’….
    Good on you for sharing 🙂
    (see, now I’ve overshared!! hahaha)

  3. thismama says:

    The truth is, sometimes people won’t get you and they won’t understand (at least in my experience) and they aren’t the souls going to be sticking around. I wish that I could say and that’s okay because really it is but I know personally that it is hard to say okay even when I know that there are others walking beside me and even if they don’t ‘get’ me, they still love me and stick with me. And then there is the blessing of those who understand, who read between the lines, who hear the unspoken…they are the ones who are easily forgotten in the times of flushed remembering and wishing something had been said differently, but they are oh so important!

    • Dea' says:

      Yup, so true. And I *know *that! Kinda of. Sort of. Somedays. I suppose I don’t fully…*embrace *it. Somewhere, somehow, these moments return. Oh silliness. And, again, you are SO right about those ones who *do *exist, my friend…. In so much of this journey, I hope I can learn to be that one myself; that listener, the one who is willing to wait for the full picture before filling it in myself, the one who can get past other’s ‘moments’.

  4. Alicia says:

    The unspoken is what is laying there in wait, wanting to be understood or seen. When we first moved back to Three Hills, I hid. We have our own journey that is not the same as anyone mind you, but after listening to your heart and experiences, I will say that we have been lead here at the same time, with a similar push to be here in this small town in a intimate setting of listening souls.
    Take time to hear your thoughts and continue writing, because as more is processed, there is soul full healing.

    • Dea' says:

      “hear my thoughts…” hm hm hmm…. Yes, good call. And the writing, ha, it appears that it’s either full-out public randomness, or not at all. Oh balance….

  5. Katherine says:

    I know it’s always nice to feel like your thoughts are organized, but your story is your story, and it’s ok if there are rabbit trails and side notes and explanations, and even if it is messy, that’s ok, it’s just your story, the one that God has written for you and however you tell it is ok. Maybe God knew what we all needed to hear this morning, and those are the parts you shared.

    I also don’t think that many of the details of our story can be relayed in one sit down conversation, those details come from living life alongside people. And I think we find the more stories we hear, the more people stick around and live out our stories together, that there are few that aren’t messy. I agree with what Beth said, what you are feeling is normal, but also what you shared blessed others. Thank you for sharing!

    • Dea' says:

      It’s so true when you say, “I also don’t think that many of the details of our story can be relayed in one sit down conversation, those details come from living life alongside people…” I think that’s something new to me, and to some of my peers. We’re older now. A lot of stuff has happened in the past decade– for everyone. We’re moving into that stage of life where, if we really want to know and be known, it’s going to take a bit of time and openness and…patience. (And thanks again Katherine for the opportunity to spend time with this group. It really is such a highlight in my week…. 🙂 )

  6. Kmarie says:

    We all do that. And if anyone was measuring you know that they probably need a loving friend more than anyone. But sometimes different stages in life make it tougher to give love to those who judge and that is ok too. You are beautiful and worth it. Your journey is your journey but it also mixes in with everyone who comes in contact with you. That is what infuses it with sacred opportunity, responsibility and love. I love hearing your journey. Sometimes we disagree on methods used or see varied perspectives but that is what makes it so rich.

    We each have our own tragedies, things we feel others do not understand, separate illness, pain tolerance, or differing sensitivities- these things can either make us more grateful, open and graceful or shut us up and shut out others.

    You don’t do this. Sure, sometimes we all need to hide and recoup or have a sojourn of silence but this also is because of love. The love to love ourselves with the goal of loving others better. Motives matter. And the only motive you can judge is your own. If that seems wrong- just gently find grace and change, repent, move on…if it feels right- allow it and simply be.

    Trust your instincts, trust your faith in God, others and love. Always believe the best. This includes yourself.

    I believe you probably touched someone in a beautiful way today or gave them something to think on. You always do

  7. Jamie says:

    I can relate. 🙂 No answers though. Many on our own messy journey have chosen not to keep going with us. Others have surprised us with their sincere friendship. I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason to it. We just keep going and hoping that we’ll be the kind who stick around through the hard stuff.

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