The other night we were watching the “Peanuts” movie. Or ask my youngest son what we were watching and it may make you blush.
Those silly speech issues.
All seven of us were discussing who we thought each character would be in our family. Such a fun thing to do. Until they got to me. Then the fun and games were over. I wanted to be Sally Brown. Well, because of her impeccable style and come on….those curls. Who wouldn’t want to wake each morning and have those luscious locks? Yet my children quickly pointed out where I knew my heart was.
I was Lucy.
I was a “know it all” Lucy.
I have been for years now.
I had a solution and answer for everything.
Because somehow being a college educated, mom of five kids and married for 18 years, in a marriage that we can say is challenging, I seemed to take it upon myself to know more things than others.
I was a full blown Lucy, without the great dark hair.
Five years ago a dear friend of mine went through a horrible, life altering tragedy in her life. It happened to her. To her family. And yet what happened to her I thought I had all the answers for. I went into protective” I will kick your ass if you ever mess with my friend “ mode. I was not a good listener. I did not build her up. I reacted. I told her what I thought she should do and pointed out everything wrong that was happening. She would try crying to me and I would just get frustrated and tell her how to fix it. I sucked. I was a Lucy.
I look back now and think how many times in my life I have tried to control when others were in crisis. I have gotten behind my little advice booth and would gladly give it out, and didn’t even charge. It was really a lovely service I was giving.
I am embarrassed how many times I stood on my pride mountain and told those I loved how they should live their lives.
It was pretty lonely up there, on “Know it All Mountain”.
The more insecure I felt the more advice I gave. I felt so out of control that I thought I needed to take control.
And then this year happened. And suddenly, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know who to ask or how to even utter it out loud. I googled for any article or book that could help make sense of our reality. Every time I looked for answers I kept feeling more shameful and not enough. I told my best friend there was no support group or t-shirt for what we were going through. No one was running a race or making a bumper sticker for the crap show we have been living through.
I thought I needed a Lucy.
And in reality my soul needed a Linus. A faithful friend who is quiet and sees the good in it all. Or a Schroeder who wants nothing more than to play you soothing music and help you at any chance he could get. I imagine he would diffuse essential oils, make you delicious meals, clean your house and then hold you while you cried.
Really the opposite of Lucy.
Not advice givers.
They are life-givers.
I have learned through this past year that what I yearn for. What we all yearn for are life-givers.
People who speak life and hope into our hearts.
When you are in the midst of realizing what you need to be healed and whole you need to surround yourself with those that breath life into your heart.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1
One of my friends in particular is amazing at this. She will tell me who I forget I am. Reminding me of who she sees in me. She calls out life.
This is who I want to be. A life-giver.
One who does not remind me of my situation or limitations. But one who sees more for others than I see for myself. One who unveils the courage that is waiting to be released. A foot washer, a hugger, a listener, a bring wine over and sit on your porch girl, a text you in the middle of the night because you can’t breathe girl.
I want to be a girl who gives what has been given to her.
As a result of what we are walking through, I have become highly sensitive to others walking through deep pain and grief. Entering into the pain and sitting there with them until the darkness goes away. Finding it a privilege to be on such holy ground. Because suffering is holy. It is messy and lonely but it is also where you will find the barefoot Messiah.
Last night we went around the table and said our goals for 2017. Which if you have ever done with your tribe, it is quite enlightening to hear what they deam a “goal”.
Let’s just say someone at the table wants “better hair” this year. ( yes, it is a 13 year old boy)
Don’t be jealous at the level of depth in our family. It is a gift.
When I told my family I wanted to stop being a Lucy they all kind of giggled at me. The youngest pointed out that I couldn’t be in a movie on TV. Thank you dear child, another dream crushed.
I went on to explain that we have all had the privilege of being loved deeply this year. By those that have not run from our pain and mess but have come closer with mercy. We have experienced such a life -breathing, foot washing community around us, that we need to learn how to give what we have been given. So although my goal is not as deep as others around the table, I still feel that this is all I am called to give in 2017.
And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Exodus 33:19
What would it look like if we all breathed more life this year and less advice?