Just As I Am

As I am starting this, I have exactly two hours before I go in front of the search committee in front of my church. The hymn that keeps going through my head is just as I am, without one plea… I just want to be accepted for exactly who I am, because the things that make me fallible also make me invincible. I am one narrative, and I hope they see it. I also hope they see the light of Christ that they are looking for, because I certainly have stopped hiding it. In fact, my life got a lot better when I did. When I started living simply, the light within me shined as bright as I needed it to be to change my life and heal my pain. With the frenzy of the last two years, I lost my light because I didn’t have the ability to see it. When you feel worthless, you act it.

Getting out of a crazy existence allowed me the time in the desert I needed to find myself in the middle of the mess. My own resurrection, in a manner of speaking. I couldn’t be the person I am now if I hadn’t seen the destruction of which I was capable. I couldn’t see how gigantic my love could be until I got that out of the way. It was the shock of cold water, or perhaps the smelling salts, God saying, “wake up, dumbass. I need you.” I stopped playing with darkness and started drinking tea and sitting still. I started dreaming forward, which I’ve never really been able to do. I have had the ability to endlessly ruminate on the past, but I have not had the ability to see my own future. I clued in, but it took a whole hell of a lot for it to happen, emphasis on the hell.

I am wearing the necklace that Lindsay gave me at her wedding as a maid of honor present, and in some sense, I feel that Diane is here with me, too, because even though we are apart, I know she would be doing gymnastics to hear that I finally accepted my call. Plus, Sandi Patty is playing in my headphones, reminding me of the time she was flipping through my CDs on a road trip, found a Sandi Patty album, and proceeded to sing every single track. I couldn’t help but laugh and remember our time at St. Mark’s. Plus, it was a small car and she has a BIG voice. I think we ended up rolling down the windows so everyone could enjoy the high As. 🙂

The last track I listened to was Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, which was the last anthem the choir did at Bridgeport and one of the only things I remember singing with her at St. Mark’s. We went out like we began, and as I was singing I remembered her elbow on my shoulder, dressed in her preppy, looking all cute. I was about 13 and she was about 24, and the last Sunday at Bridgeport was 20 years later. No matter what happened, there were parts that were an amazing journey, and the music is one of them. I am getting to the point where I can listen to those songs again without pain, because there are so many reasons to smile when I think of her. There will never be a way to let her back into my life again, but at least our music is sacred to me again.

I need her as the angel on my shoulder, because she’s seen this calling in me since I was in middle school…. a cheerleader of massive proportions. I’m going to take her into the room with me. I’m also going to take my mom, dad, and sister, without whose love I never would have thought I was strong enough to take this interview in the first place. I’m also taking Sash and Bryn, whose love at Bridgeport became action. They both see this dream as clearly as I do, so they’re my angels, too.

And finally, I’m going to take Dana. She knows I’m going to ace it, even if she doesn’t say so. But I’m not taking Argo. She doesn’t do church or organized religion. I’ll see her tomorrow at Pizza Night, where I can dish all the dirt over Jack. My angels are the best, and they take me places I never thought I could go……..

just as I am.


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