This Might Get Messy

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about something personal.
Don’t get me wrong, what I am doing, “my job”, it’s all very personal- it’s just easy to leave that part out. I don’t have a career where I go to work for my 8 hours a day, earn the money I need, and come home and disengage from “work”.
I carry my job with me; almost constantly.
No, I don’t spend countless hours in the Red Light district of Berlin.
I don’t spend countless hours with girls I’ve met on the streets.
I have a manageable amount of hours I spend working on administration for the ministry and I have days off. But, I can promise you, countless hours are spent carrying my job.
I spend countless hours loving and caring.
Countless hours thinking and contemplating.
Countless hours mourning and grieving broken hearts and broken lives.
It’s easier to tell you their stories- to share what I hear and not what I feel and definitely not what I, myself, am going through. However, I’m reminded to share with you also, my journey; my own continuing story.

So, yes, my job is personal, but then there is still my life apart from what I do.
I try my best to combine what I do with who I am in a healthy way- because really who wants to live two lives? And sometimes one bleeds into the other, regardless of any intention or desire, but I recognize that these two are not the same and both need to be consciously separated every now and then.

So taking a step away from the nicely packaged, tough stories of other girls, what has my life actually looked like this past year?

“…But Nancy, your engaged!”
“…This year must have been such an exciting year for you!”
“…God is so faithful.”

I can almost hear the thoughts, of people looking in from the outside, audibly.
And yes! All these statements are more than true. But, what isn’t so easy to see from the outside looking in, is that this has been one of the most challenging years of my life. Instagram and Facebook can taint reality all too easily.
They say, “a picture paints a thousand words”.
I’d say, “a picture paints a thousand assumptions.”
No one likes assumptions and both sides are at fault. The post-er and the viewer. I can say that because I’ve been on both.
As the post-er we often do a bad job of portraying an accurate version of our lives. And in all fairness who really wants to present there crap to the world?
But as the viewer, although we know this, that it’s only natural for people to post their “picture perfect moments” and although we know, we all have crap we aren’t putting on display, we assume everything’s great in the lives of people we are watching.
I think that’s because it’s much easier to go with that assumption than actually ask and then potentially have to deal with the struggles, with the person.
I mean, it is a much nicer life when we tell ourselves everyones happy.

I hope you see that my point in all this isn’t to say,

“You didn’t ask enough”,
“You didn’t care enough”.

Like I said, we all do a bad job of portraying reality and I admit to not showing my messy side for far too long. My point is that we all need to face the truth and get a bit more real and vulnerable, a bit more often.

What does real and vulnerable look like in my life?
I think in a word, I’d summarize the not so picture perfect side as, disappointment.
My year has had incredible highs, and many promises fulfilled; the goal is to not minimize that at all, in my honesty. But let’s be real, the beautiful testimony isn’t in sharing our perfect pictures anyway. The beautiful testimony has always been God in our pain. No perfect picture will ever compare to the beauty of what God is doing in our greatest pain and weakness.

So let’s not rob God of revealing his masterpiece.

To be continued…


One thought on “This Might Get Messy

  1. tgshannon says:

    I appreciate your honesty, Nancy, about this past year. I can’t imagine the challenge of daily dealing with the situations you face working with the women that you do, and then trying to go home and reconcile that with your every day life.

    I hear you on the dangers of social media and the “thousand assumptions”. I definitely feel the temptation to just post cute pictures of Oliver, rather than disclose the overwhelming challenges of this past year as a new mom.

    I’m so sorry to hear your past year has been one if disappointments. Perhaps visiting BC was one of them, with the strange highs and lows of introducing your soon-to-be-fiance to your Canadian community that’s mostly disconnected from the very different life you’ve built in Germany.

    I’m glad you’re taking an honest and vulnerable look at yourself and your circumstances, and yet realizing that you need to lean into God. That’s an encouraging reminder that I need to do the same.


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