Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Jordyn Wieber,

I sat on my sofa and watched a seventeen year olds dream disappear in front of a billion pairs of eyes. She had no privacy.  No place to escape from the glaring flashes coming from cameras.  I wondered what she was thinking and yet anyone watching would not have to wonder much, as you could see the agony, disappointment and anguish that Jordyn Wieber exuded from her tiny, yet muscular frame.  Did anyone else want to jump through their “telly” and usher her to a place where she could just break loose into the ugly cry? Did anyone else want to tell her it is okay to yell, “It’s bloody unfair?”  (Do you like my little shout out’s to the British language?) I wanted her to have a moment alone   that would help alleviate the shock of what some news channels called “failure?” 
Jordyn devoted her entire life to the sport of gymnastics.  Not only did Jordyn sacrifice “normal,” but so did her family.  The hundreds of thousands of dollars that had been spent on her training and left many around the world saying, “For what?”  What happens when reality does not meet your expectations?  So Jordyn, this is for you.

Dear Shining Star,

Today I woke up with you on my mind.  My heart hurt for you as I know you are in pain.  You are 17 years old and Abba wrote a song about you.  I’m sure you probably have no idea who Abba is nor do you know what song I am referring too.  When you are finished reading this, go get on your iTunes and download Dancing Queen and eat a cookie.  You deserve a cookie, sweet girl.  AND after so much intense practice, you should get to dance to Abba and be 17 years old.  Reality is that you want to be 17 and an all-around gold medalist.  I have no answers for you as to why it didn’t happen.  In a “fair” world, it would have, but you and me…..well, we do not live in a “fair” world.  Which leaves you trying to scramble, put on a brave face, and still compete in the midst of your grief.

If I were in London today, I would take you for fish and chips and ask you, “What do you think God is up to here?”  You might want to toss your chips in my face, and that would be okay.  I have no idea if you have a relationship with Jesus or if you are angry with Him or if you even believe in God.  However, just for a minute, would you consider what could be going on in your inner world?? Could your disappointment be an invitation to something greater than a gold medal?  Reality did not meet expectation. So where do you go from here?  A lot of people will want you to be okay right away.  They will want you to be okay so they can feel okay.  Girl, just ignore that.  Feel the freedom to grieve over your disappointment.  Also, many will try and give you lots of platitudes and cliches’….they so want to help, but again, you might want to punch them in the schnoz.  Are people already pressuring you for a decision about 2016?  Give yourself some time.  Ask yourself if there are other dreams deep down in that 17 year old heart of yours that are screaming for some space to be explored and developed.  Maybe your dream is Rio, but for now, let your mask drop.  Go there with the Lord.  You will find him in the disappointment.  He certainly knows about disappointment and loss and grief.  He can handle yours.  He can give you direction, perspective all while being able to handle your anger, sadness, and questions.  You might be met with silence to some of your questions, but some things can only be answered in time, and even then, some things can never be answered this side of Heaven, my friend. 

     I pray that as you are walking down the street in London tonight, that Abba begins to play in the background.  Not just the musical group, Abba, but the Father God, Abba.  Cheesy, I know, but it is true.  Press in and cling, Jordyn.  He’s got your back.  So know that as the world is watching you this week that you have at least one fan who is cheering you on to a deeper journey….without a mask.  Go gettem!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dumb and Dumber

I’ve been thinking more and more about writing. So, here I go.  My friend Jen said in order to be a writer that I am supposed to sit down for one hour a day and write.  Is this supposed to make me a Pulitzer prize winner? What is in me that I can write about for one hour a day?  So far the one story I thought to write down I have already forgotten.  Hormones?  Heat?  Unimportant? 

Ah, I have it now.  I was thinking of my friend and how she is lying to herself about the type of guy she is dating.  I remember after my broken engagement that a lady recommended to my mom a book I should read called, Telling Yourself the Truth.  Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  I did not want to read that book, but I was afraid I was lying to myself about the possibility of reconciliation so I drug myself down to local “Bible Bookstore” managed by the local preacher/always running for an office colorful type guy, and bought it.  I stared at it for a few days and finally skimmed through it, convinced I was “telling myself the truth.”

Does anyone remember that scene in the great epic movie Dumb and Dumber?  The hot chic was telling Jim Carrey that there was about a one in a million chance of them getting together and he said, “So you’re saying there’s a chance?!?!” 

Sadly and with great humiliation, I was that girl.  It took about 9 months for me to figure out that I was not in fact telling myself the truth.  I could’ve had a baby in the time it took me to carry to full term my denial and birth it. Gross? Yes.  Why do we choose not to embrace what is so clear?  The avoiding of reality is a full-time job, is it not? Facing reality can mean grief, death of a dream, and letting go of something you thought was promised. However, in facing reality and all that encompasses it, one can sometimes get stuck in the camping out in grief and refusing to take a step toward a new normal, a new dream, a new relationship, or a different kind of promise.  But when you choose to “go there”, then a fun thing begins to happen.  The shadow can lift, the grief has passed, the anxiety and fear of the unknown future are now no longer so anxiety ridden.  The “new” can feel like hope, expectation, and a hallowed and fertile ground for birthing new dreams.  God-sized dreams.  So here begins a new one for me.  What are yours???