I’m 41 years old and live in the western U.S.. I love nature and activities like skiing, hiking, camping, fishing, etc. I have a household of males…even our pets. My husband and I teach Sunday School for our son’s class, me being the more outspoken one and my husband being the observant and safety-conscious one. I am both an extrovert and an introvert, gaining energy from being with people and losing energy from being with people too long.
I lost my father at a young age to a motorcycle accident and suffered from years of depression and suicidal thoughts as a teen. I used writing as a way to express my pain and to relieve it. Many of my poems from that time period still haunt me at the thought of them. My father’s depression was also very significant, and his journals and notes are emotionally draining to read. It conveys how although he loved his life, his family, and enjoyed many things, he could not escape his depression.
It took me years to realize that it was okay to accept a compliment. My daddy never could, and I thought that was humility. He was good at everything, but he only saw where he could improve. I recognize that it hurts the giver to have the compliment returned, and how unfair that is to them. For years I thought that told them I wasn’t expecting the kind words, and that I saw my accomplishment or talent as still in need of further effort. I try to say a simple thank you now, and let it rest, biting off the instinctual need to add more.
I wrote my first play in elementary school and acted it out with a friend for my class. (I’ve written and produced a few plays since then, but honestly most never have been seen by anyone.) I continued acting in various school plays and joined some friends in choir as well. I am not a great singer, but I have a powerful voice and so I lend support to choirs when I have the chance to sing. I will probably never be a soloist and that’s just fine by me.
My story telling made for interesting babysitting because every bedtime I didn’t know what the story would be about any more than the children I was tending. I looked forward to the process of coming up with a new twist and the next ‘chapter’ of an ongoing story or a story based on whatever they requested. The process of unfurling a story has always been one I don’t necessarily control. My stories unfold in ways I never expect and takes turns I didn’t anticipate, even if I start with a specific premise.
There’s no easy way to define a person fully, no matter how well you sketch their social and economic factors, political views, career choices, etc. and that is no different with me. I could spend a day writing and you would still have gaps in the sketch of who I am. The biggest and most defining moment of my life was when I came face to face with a decision, would I accept the gift of Jesus dying on my behalf or would I let it be less personal. That moment was terrifying and peaceful all at the same time. Terrifying because it rocked my view of everything and peaceful because it was a salve to my soul to discover the missing puzzle pieces that had always bothered me about life. I knew it meant giving up my way and yielding, and I push against that naturally.
But, yield I did after one hesitant breath. I felt like I was diving from a high-dive into an unknown life where I would be pulled along by currents controlled by God. Looking back at how afraid I was it makes me smile, for I was really afraid of something wonderful. Like pulling the pin on a grenade and instead of an explosion there is a cheer of ‘Surprise!’ from a group of the most beloved people of my life. Letting God be in control is still a challenge, but I am always glad when I do. Christianity has solved my depression but has not taken it away, it has answered it. I have hope beyond wishing, confidence and certainty in my future, and joy beyond circumstance.