I was at lunch with some friends the other day and I noticed something. As much fun as I was having with them, I noticed how surface-y the conversation was.
It’s not that I want deep, introspective conversations at every mealtime or get together. It’s impossible to do that with such big groups of people. Sometimes you just want light and fun conversation where you can forget about things that are troubling you and you need an escape. And sometimes you just don’t want to talk about yourself and you don’t want to hear about everyone else’s heavy stuff. Sometimes it’s better to keep a distance so you don’t get too involved.
At the same time though, it made me realize that a lot of people don’t really know me. Sure, people see me every week, we talk, we hang out. But I also realize that they don’t know me. I don’t get asked questions beyond normal chit-chat. And a lot of time I do the exact same thing. I’m not sure if people either don’t know what to ask or if they read my blog and think they don’t need to. I’m not the type of person to volunteer information either. I figure if you wanted to know, you’d ask and if you don’t ask, then you don’t want to know.
For example, I have a good feeling a lot of folks have no idea that I’m divorced. It’s not like I walk around introducing myself like “Hi, I’m Deborah. I’m divorced.” I’m not trying to hide this fact about myself. It’s just not something I’m going to voluntarily bring up the first time I meet you or even on the first date unless the conversation leads in that direction. People just assume I’m single and never been married because I will admit, it’s how I act. Since kids weren’t involved and it was done very non-messy, there’s nothing really to indicate anything else. While statistically and legally I would have to classify myself in this way, I don’t live my life based on this label. There are different connotations to just being single and being divorced. Again not trying to hide anything at all. It is just something that I don’t bring up unless I have to. 9 times out 10, it is not something that has to be brought up.
And yet it is a part of me and I feel like if you don’t know that part, you don’t really know me. For folks that know me in person, if you’re reading this and made it this far, if you want to talk, just ask me. I’m more than happy to talk.
I’ve been thinking lately about how I would like to share my testimony with people. It’s been a while since I shared it and even then it was only with a select group of people. I know that sharing how I found and lived my faith is something that is very important. It’s not something where I’m like “turn and burn” after you hear this. It’s more of I know that what happened in my life affected my faith and my faith affected what happened in my life. But I’m worried about telling it. I feel like I’m going to get judged by a lot of Christians when I share it. Why? Because it’s a messy story. It’s not something that they are going to be able to relate to. They’ll hear my story and it doesn’t matter if they know me or not, they’ll make snap judgments about me.
Someone asked me “Why do you want everyone knowing your deep secrets?” The answer to that is I don’t. Not everyone needs to know everything about my life just like I don’t need to know everything about theirs. But the parts of my life that I do feel I need to share, I want to share. Just have to figure out a way to properly do so.
Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. (Psalm 66:16)
Photo credit: (Original source: National Ocean Service Image Gallery)