Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling brittle, as if the least little tap would send a spider web of cracks racing across my surface. I wish I could say that it has never happened before, but that wouldn’t be true. There were certain things and reasons that I felt that way, but it didn’t really matter. It was too late to prevent it. I’d given out too much of myself. Once I’m there, the best thing for me to do is crawl back under the covers and hide from humanity for a day or two.
As much as I needed to, staying in bed wasn’t an option. I was supposed to be at a venue early in the morning to help with a concert. It would be a day of taking care of artists and crew, feeding them, answering questions, selling tickets, answering too many phones calls to count, all with very little down time.
As the day went on, I alternated between moments of ok-maybe-I-can-do-this to I-have-to-leave-this-instant-or-I’ll-burst-into-tears. Mid-afternoon, I shared how I was feeling with a friend. I told her that I didn’t want to be that way. She replied, “But that is how you are made.” All I could think was that I didn’t want to be made that way.
George MacDonald wrote “I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.”
I believe that. For you. When it comes to me, I can think of plenty of glorious creatures I would rather be.
Why would God give me gifts to nurture, encourage and tend to people and at the same time give me this urge to run away from people? They seem at odds with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hermit. I like people, just in smaller doses. Especially when I start off feeling fragile, one small interaction or a series of them can be more than I can take.
And I had more than I could take last night, so I left. Once the concert started, I got in my car and cried the whole way home. I hate that I’m like this. Why couldn’t I just sit down and enjoy the night like a “normal” person, instead of feeling like I’m weak?
People tend to think that I have it all together. I’m smart, talented and have a house, job and car. Sometimes I even buy into the hype. But deep down, I know that I don’t have it together because I have this weakness. It reminds me that I’m not perfect. Not even practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins, even though I try.
Maybe that’s why God made me this way. To keep me humble. I think that is part of it. But I believe the larger part is that this piece of me that I hate is also what makes me relatable. I often find myself observing human nature rather than interacting as a way to build a needed buffer. As a result, I’m pretty perceptive about people and they often feel comfortable sharing with me when they need to talk.
Looking at it logically, I can see how my weakness has good in it, but it is more difficult to see that emotionally. Right now, all I know is that I’m longing to be a different glorious creature. And I know I shouldn’t.