Monday, July 29, 2013

...And Then I Cried

I've never been one to hide my light my tears under a bushel. I was always the little girl who start crying when it was time to say goodbye to my cousins or my grandma or the several times we had to move when I was younger. No one else cried. No one was sad to see me go. But I sure was sad to leave.  Back then it created a problem for me that was nothing short of embarrassing. The lump in my throat forming. The blinking several hundred times to try and hold back the tears. The attempt to dodge the hugs goodbye and crawl in the car quickly so no one would see me cry, while my parents dragged me back out with a adamant "Julie, aren't you going to say goodbye to Granny?" Uh, well, ooops, I guess I forgot.
Now I embrace my tears. 
I share them with the world...apparently.

I wasn't really shocked to cry my first time speaking in front of people. I knew  because of what I was talking about, it surely would rise some sort of emotion in me. In fact, right before we began, my sister pulled me into the other room to pray with me quickly and as we left the room, I grabbed a box of kleenex and said "I better grab this, because I will probably cry." Her response was "Well, you are my sister."  She said this because she is well known for her tears when she is speaking. Jenny is a preacher.
 So, she's been doing it for a long time. And crying isn't a one time thing for her. Whenever she reflects on the goodness of God or a hurt she had been dealing with, naturally, here come the waterworks. 
And everyone knows it.
We embrace our tears...apparently.

She introduced me, I walked up, not feeling the least bit nervous surprisingly. I was a little unsure of how I'd do, but I felt confident. A little scattered, but confident. The group was small enough that if I messed up, I felt like they'd be understanding. And it was big enough that I didn't feel like a complete loser that no one would want to hear. Plus it involved several friends of mine and women that had known me since I was a little girl, not to mention a few newer ladies at our church. It was a nice size group for me. I felt comfotable.

And then I get up. Introduce myself. "For those of you that don't know me, I'm Julie. I'm Pastor Ted's oldest daughter. I've been married 17 years. I have 3 kids. And before I get into my what God put on my heart, I want to share with you a little bit of where I come from and my story and why I want to talk to you about this."
And then it starts. I just start bawling. I hear the "awwwws," the sighs, gasps. And I start laughing.
You know, the kind of ugly laugh that you laugh, when you are also crying, so it makes your cry even uglier. Yep, that kind.  I went into a few details of my recent history of the past five years, the depression, the obsession, the mental anxiety that led me to feeling suicidal. And although, because I have three little kids who I knew needed me, I don't think I would have ever did anything to myself.  I prayed and hoped that I would die some other way. And the sooner the better.
This whole time of my life I have talked about occasionally on my blog, but never spoke about publicly, other than to a few close friends, so needless to say, I cried.

But it led to my desperation for help. True help. And not just little fixes of meds or therapy or alcohol or exercise or more sleep. Those all can give you temporary relief, highs and adrenaline rushes.  I tried doing lots of things on my own. Trust me.
But I needed something deeper.... permanent help.
What I needed was Jesus. I needed peace in my mind. His peace.

And from there I went into a lot more, completely tearless. And mildly fearless. It was just those first few minutes,that it brought out that deep emotion in me. The rest of the time I spoke, I made them laugh and 
I got lots of nods and "Amens." The picture I am holding is actually one my little sister gave to me last Christmas. I brought it as a humorous example of what my life is like without the peace of God. It's chaos.  Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it.  It was evident to me that it wasn't me, it wasn't by my strength, words, or anything else. It was all him.
But with my personality. Which He gave me. So it was still him.

 John 15:5 "I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me."

Thank you all for your cheers and notes of comfort. I think it went just as well as could be expected.
I can't say that I wouldn't ever do it again. It was fun! But, I'm glad the "first time" is over with... 

(Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures until people were leaving.. Oooops. And my sister only did with her phone, so I did the only natural thing and stole these off her instagram.)

I did record, both video and soon as I get around to it, I will upload it.


Niken said...

Julie, your have a big kind heart.
in one way or another, you comfort me by sharing your stories.

Jacy Pulford said...

Aw Julie, that is beautiful! God sure knows how to take our tears and turn them into nourishment for others :) So happy for you xoxo

AbsoluteMommy said...

You are beautiful. Inside and out. I can only imagine the emotion in your voice and in your heart. You will have changed minds after your talk, and that's a blessing. Not everyone understands depression and anxiety.
On a side note, I love that sign. I feel like my grandparents need one in their house!

Cody Doll said...

I have been thinking of you alot. I have been worried about you. I knew this event would help you out. I am so proud. I can't wait to hear the video/audio of what you had to say.

Just to let you know I think that you are strong. I still have problem showing my tears to James, let alone anyone else. It takes alot to let tears flow in front of others, I am glad you do. =]

Brooke @ Covered in Grace said...

Wish I could have been there to hear you!! I can't wait for the audio upload. =) I know I would have definitely ugly cried with you!!

Kelly {Sparkles and Shoes} said...

These pictures are great!

Sparkles and Shoes

TicoTina said...

oh good, I was hoping there would be video! I'm so happy for you that the first time is done, too, and glad it went so well!

Sippy Cups and Pearls said...

You are beautiful both inside and out and I'm so glad to find and follow your blog :) I used to hide my tears and then one time a girl got up and spoke and started crying and she said "you say 'oh you're so emotional, stop crying'" and she said, "no, I'm just passionate, and I cry about things I'm passionate about and I cry about Jesus" and it just made me realize that it's okay to cry about things and just let it out!

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