7 Quick Takes #38 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

In church (place of worship), I learned to…cry in public and not worry about it. 

I am blessed with a church which has a beautiful, involved community and when the congregation meets each week, I know that not only am I among friends (the people I know) and acquaintances (the people I know of) but that I am among family (my brothers and sisters in Christ). This realisation struck me quite early on when I began attending the church as an adult.

The enormity of it has stayed with me.

The practical applications are enormous.

Not only do my church family get involved with one another’s lives, they truly care, even if they don’t know a person overly well. It is an upwelling of compassion and empathy which floods through the congregation and out into the wider community and I am pleased to be a part of it.

I was pleased in particular this year, after either one of my losses or after the dreadful news that, infertility having already stricken, our two miscarried Neverborns were likely all the children we were going to parent, when I found that church was a place in which I could cry safely.

I never worried about being judged. Or questioned. Or badgered. Or tutted at.

People didn’t stare or intrude.

They let me get on with it.

And the number of songs, prayers and sermons I’ve sat through when something’s just *got* to me and I’ve felt that overwhelming grief bury me again, I’ve felt secure enough to let the tears flow.

And after each service, prayer ministry is offered, and in these times I’ve been held, brought before God for His spirit to make *something* good come of this awfulness that Husby and I are going through – *some* way that The Plan for our lives is not just a quagmire of pain, and I’ve been comforted by the people offering the prayers on my behalf as I stood, shaking and weeping and unable to join in.

I kept going back for many weeks to whoever was on the rota for prayer ministry (yes, cherry-picking those I felt most connection with, who I’d seen before and knew my story) and gradually, slowly, there began to be a lessening of the pain.

And since that time, and since my terrible, gut-wrenching decision to give up on my dream of having biological children, imperceptibly, healing has happened. My attitude has improved. I’m less panicked about the idea. I no longer feel as though I’m stuck in a pit of darkness with only Husby and two tiny graves for company. 

I have found peace.

And although I went looking for it, I am quite certain that it would have been impossible in my own strength.


‘There is a day’ – Phatfish; one of the songs we sing which has really helped boost me through
— 2 —

On the subject of infertility and miscarriage, Katia at I am the milk has been doing a series, inviting people to guest-post their stories.

I was delighted when she invited me to share my story.

Please go and read it by clicking the link below – she’s doing such marvellous work to promote awareness of these issues and to break down some of the taboos that surround them by starting conversations.

And she’s just awesome – check it out.

Donate a post

— 3 —

Now a public apology to my bloggy friends, who I confused massively this week.

It began with the germ of an idea; that I’d originally started the blog to practice writing for an audience. And that I was being rather slack in terms of stretching the ol’ creative muscles.

So I figured I’d do a series of posts (all linked into an explanatory brand-new-tab) with the aim of writing fiction in order to evoke particular feelings from my readers. Ergo the title ‘Making You Feel’.

Harmless enough, right? I couldn’t see how it could go wrong.

I was blind!

My creative, fictional piece on meeting an esteemed blogger for coffee and having it all go horribly wrong, went horribly wrong. Course, I suppose it didn’t help that the title was ‘Coffee in Real Life’. My bad.

Somehow, my link (displayed prominently enough to my mind, at the bottom of the post) was bypassed by a lot of people. Some of them caught the gist from the comments section that this was, in fact, not a rendition of an *actual* meeting.

Some of them didn’t.

So I moved the link to the Very First Thing in the post.

It still got missed.

I still got comments about how awful it must’ve been and how the commenter really felt for me.

Oops!

On the one hand, I am a little bit pleased (okay, a lot pleased) that my creative writing exercise in Making Them Feel was so effective.

On the other hand, I took a bunch of dear people through the wringer and hope I didn’t upset them too much when they discovered it was not real.

My friends, I’m so sorry. I’ll do better next time to give the heads-up.

 

— 4 —

I’ve been joining in with Yeah Write’s challenges and finding them super-fun.

This week’s entry in particular – I discovered, quite by accident, that I’m totally hooked on comments.

A bit shameful, a bit funny, and a whole lot of fun.

And guess what – I had *SO* many comments (some ironic) from people who read me and understood and agreed that maybe they were a little bit of a comment box whore as well!

Are you one too? See what you think and let me know.

— 5 —

I GOT THE JOB I WANTED! And extended last weekend’s Ten Things of Thankful on account of it. And wrote a massive post about it. And it’s STILL gonna be in this weekend’s Ten Things.

— 6 —

The water quality in the tank is now A+, perfect, crystal beautifulness. So today, it was FISHY TIME!!!

With Niece and Neff in tow, Husby and I made the trek out to Aquajardin to buy six very cute, very awesome, Gold Ring Danios.

This week the danios; next week CAMEROON FAN SHRIMP!

— 7 —
I began another new venture this week – for the next 8 or so weeks, I plan to feature one of my Ten Things of Thankful Co-Hosts on a Thursday. At the end of the round, (as compensation…or bait) I’ve agreed to let them come up with questions for ME to answer. They could ask me anything. I’m a little scared, but still excited to kick things off by introducing Kristi, of Thankful Me

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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40 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #38 x FTSF

  1. So far so good on the fish front. Just realised I TOTALLY forgot to write about the new ones I got this weekend! Doh!

    I love my church community. They totally rock, and the crying thing is probably healthy and I should be less hung up about it.

    I am gradually getting there – once I've cried my way through the glacier I've yet to cry, I'll be done and dusted and on my way 😀

    (no-one was *too* upset. Miffed, perhaps though)

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  2. It's so wonderful you have such a loving community that will always be there and support you (outside your other family/friends). Learning to feeling okay with crying in public, with others, or in general is an important one. I've known a handful who never (still to this day) have accepted that.

    As time goes on, I hope your attitude/feelings/etc all grow more and more positive as you two continue on past your current struggles!

    Again, I really liked your fiction piece and I hope no one was upset to find out that was all it was. It was so great 🙂

    Some nice recaps through the week, and hopefully the fish live long and healthy lives (meaning no eating each other).

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

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  3. Thanks Kristi – it's been really good to guest post at hers and at yours – an honour to be able to work with you in breaking barriers and establishing communication.

    Tears do help, an awful lot. I've never bawled in church though. That took two bottles of wine for bawling to happen 😉 (ever the clark, ever striving for control, even while grief-stricken)

    Yeah. I'm not sure what happened there really. It was a bit blunt, wasn't it 😀

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  4. Lizzi! I'm going to head on over to Katia's place now – congrats on that. Also, I am so happy for you that you've found a church community that you can cry in front of. Tears at church are powerful and healing. The first time I went to a new church when I was pregnant, I started bawling during the Lord's Prayer. I think it helped.
    Your fish look so cool and I couldn't help but giggle at the first comment I saw when you said “I plan to feed them commercial food!” HA. Love it.

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  5. Ahh thanks Stephanie. And thanks for hosting. I do enjoy this little Friday whirligig around the internet. So fun 🙂

    Katia's series is the BOMB! It's exactly where I'm at with this whole thing, and I love that she's making it so easy and gentle for this whole sharing/education/empathy thing. It's been amazing all round.

    Katia and Kristi – both up there in the top of the bloggy pile for this kind of thing 🙂

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  6. I reckon there must be, and I maybe hit a small jackpot on it. You're right – it helps to have people to comfort one. Sometimes. On my own terms.*

    I will most certainly be taking notes. You can count on that.

    😀 Thanks

    *no indeed

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  7. I'm so glad you have such a wonderful church family- you are truly fortunate in that respect. I'm glad you participated in Katia's Donate a Post series- it has been phenomenal so far, and a gift to readers as well as those of us who have written for it. Thanks for linking up with FTSF today! Always happy to have you!

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  8. Good Post.

    To have a place where you can gain peace is a good thing. I bet there is a sub-clause somewhere in the “So You're a Human Being” user manual* that says, you are entitled to let go (among those who offer the support) of the pain and suffering, not with the expectation that it will simply vanish, rather with the hope that some of the load, the weight of difficulties can be lifted, even just a short time. So that you can regain the strength that is yours.

    Looking forward to hearing about the job as it unfolds, remember what we say at the Doctrine, “Take notes!!”

    …and your story? Nice writing… y'a'll just suspended our disbelief for us! lol

    *not that we read the manual all that often.

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  9. That's very sweet of you to say so (and something I'm sometimes guilty of in other places, so I know what you mean. But you know that). Anyone gagging round here will be swiftly given the order of the boot – it's YOUR comment, say whatever you want 🙂

    Are you in the market for a job then? Good luck if so – hope you find a really good one soon 😀

    And thanks. I'm glad you didn't take it personally. I wasn't intentionally trying to pull the wool over people's eyes. I was mighty smug when it happened though 😉

    If it helps, I TOTALLY got my scott on today and did something a bit cheeky, which I may one day reveal.

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  10. Lizzi…I so appreciate your sweet heart! Thank you for sharing –all of it! 🙂
    Also, I love the word quagmire…but hardly ever, ?never? use it. Hmmm….

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  11. Let me say again – I've never had the urge to scroll to the end of your posts. I read 'em to the end. Some of you (after gagging) are thinking “sure Girlie, it's all about you. Aren't you so special. LOL
    On a serious note, this was a powerful piece and eloquently written. You are lucky to be part of such a community. But it is as much about you as it is about the people surrounding you:)

    Again: CONGRATS ON THE JOB! One day soon I hope to be hearing those very words. (yes, yes I do know this isn't about me lol)

    Lastly, and I say with much affection Lizzie: don't be such a clark. Having said this, I know exactly how you feel:) Apologizing for unintentionally putting some of your friends through a bit of emotional turmoil. I was one of those who thought your fiction piece was “for real” at first. But I didn't take it personally that your writing made me feel bad(for you). That's a rogerian thing:) It was a testament to your writing skills that so many folks read your words and reacted as they did. I say, ride that fictional train some more, disclaimer or not!

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  12. Ok – first, your church sounds amazing and I'm so glad it's such a positive part of your life. Second, I will check out your post at Katia's right now! Third – Yay again for your new job!Fourth – I'm a comment whore too, and you leave great ones. Fifth – that's it. Have a great weekend, Lizzi!

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  13. Woo, there's a lot here! I'll comment on the community, which you are very lucky to have. I always felt like an outsider at the churches I went to, so I know the value of a strong church community.

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  14. True dat! It's been a rollercoaster. But so much of life is – I think we're all on our own private non-amusement park rides, trying to keep things together enough in the down-loops to enjoy the ups a little bit.

    The fish are *so* cute. I'm gonna spend a while in a sec trying to get a good photo of them for tomorrow's Ten Things of Thankful hop 🙂

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  15. This is it – it's a way of life – a living, developing way of being, not a fusty tradition kept for tradition's sake. I definitely think you're right, cos if you read it, he was (is still) completely radical and counter-cultural. An amazing kind of pioneer.

    And thank you 🙂 I am glad to hear something hopeful on the fish front 🙂 I shall stick to community species to be sure 😀

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  16. I felt bad. Very bad. Seems I did that to a few people.

    It's such a relief to find some peace at last…definitely an ongoing process though, and no, still mourning, but less…panicky about it all, which means I can LIVE again* 😀

    Promise I will. Cross my heart.

    *so, of course, I'm here – blogging.

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  17. I grew up going to church and my feelings about it are similar to Rich's so it's always nice to hear from people who have good experiences and find support. That's really, I think, what Jesus conveyed, not that people should live a certain way. It is great that you have found healing.

    And congrats on your job and your fish. We've had tropical fish for years and they don't eat each other much at all – only if one dies. So I feel sure yours will be just fine!

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  18. First, I already forgave you for the panic attack you gave me. Second, I love the FTSF that you have been finding peace and healing. I am sure it is an ongoing process. And that peace does not mean you still don't mourn.

    Lastly, thank you for putting a disclaimer on the TOP of your next fiction post. 🙂

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  19. Ha! Go for it. It was such fun.

    Thank you again for having me – it's *so* where I'm at at the moment – to be publicising this condition so many women find themselves in, to be breaking down barriers and making connections. It's awesome, and you facilitate it so beautifully.

    *hugs* I hope you get that feeling of belonging back…it's so special. I did like your FTSF post though, it was lovely.

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  20. XmlSplit-36-Trial Lizzi, I was reading the FTSF part of your post with a lump in my throat. That feeling of belonging was what I tried to describe in my post and you did such a great job and I got nostalgic all over again reading yours. I am so happy you've found peace through church and that it helped you accept your path to parenthood. Finally, thank you so much for the mention and for the warm words I was thrilled to have you guest post. And finally finally I totally missed the post about the fictitious meeting, I'd have to go back and read it, I'm intrigued!

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  21. Sorry to hear that. I hope that you either manage to conceive or find out what's gone amiss, very soon. I can't imagine how much harder it must be without a diagnosis *hugs*

    If you ever want to talk, do get in touch

    Thanks – the fish outing was great. Another one next week, I hope

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  22. I know what you mean about number one. We are struggling to conceive (2 years; no clear diagnosis) and I cry in church all the time! I feel so close to Jesus in church and unburdening my heart to him generally involves some tears…the prayer ministry you describe sounds wonderful.

    And good luck with the fish! Sounds like a fun outing.

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  23. (HUGS) it's a wonderful feeling to know that your church accepts you and supports you and helps you heal. that's what faith and worship should be about.

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  24. I know what you mean about that last thing. Dead religion (for religion's sake) seems empty, hollow, and rather a mockery. Thriving spirituality on the other hand, is a force for good to be reckoned with – it's alive, it's vibrant; it transforms. He's there, in the thick of it, that Man Upstairs 😀

    I hope you like my first attempt at fiction in this style…any constructive criticism you could offer would be gratefully received.

    And thank you for the further best wishes for the job. I really hope it's as good as I think, but in a way, it will be – because I'll be approaching it in that mindset 😀

    I hope you manage to get a really relaxing weekend and have some time to chill out and regroup.

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  25. Lizzi – My job has been ultra demanding this week, and I must admit I missed your voyage into fantasy. I now must go back and read it as my interest has been truly stirred. I am happy you got the job you wanted, as I said the other day. I just hope it's as good for you as you want it to be. Now, about the church thing … I think it's wonderful you were able to truly find strength in what it offered. So many times, many of the things you stated were absent there are present, and it becomes more of a status symbol or community requirement to attend. When church provides a true meaning, as it has with you, one can only smile with the knowledge, perhaps, the man upstairs isn't absent, only busy with others who really need him. Great post!

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  26. Absolutely.

    And yes – they *loved* it and helped keep track of the timer (every five minuites) as we gradually added water to the fish's bag (floating in the tank) to acclimatise them over half an hour or so)

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  27. Thanks for hosting Janine – I love these hop things we're into.

    And the fish are wayy pretty (but still scared this morning and hiding behind the bogwood I put in the tank.

    Church has been a *massive* factor in my being where I am atm.*

    *as opposed to someplace worse.

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  28. It is such a wonderful feeling to know you have a church family to hold you up and support you in difficult times, but that you can also hold up and support others in theirs.

    Oooohhh, pretty fish. Were Niece and Neff thrilled to help?

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  29. Oh I love your new fish. And truly so happy hat your church was able to take a part in your healing process. Thank you for posting this and linking up with us, too as always!! 🙂

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