Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ministry

If you read yesterday's post, you'll know it was a genuinely sucky day, to say the least. But there were things I left out.

The first thing was that my mother, healthy sister, and brother were concerned about ME and how I would take the news about baby sister. ME! This is novel. But I realize it's only because I've been honest with them about what I've experienced since the big blow up with baby sister's ex in October. I told them the truth about my slide down into the grips of partially medication-induced despair, and now they are protective of me. I'm not used to this, but I think I like it. My healthy sister said the main thing she was concerned about was what the news of the rape would do to me, hoping it would not send me spiralling downward again. When she heard my voice on the phone, she said she was so relieved to hear me sounding so well. Later, we talked again, and we both admitted that we felt a little less "OK" than we had before, now that there had been time to let it all sink in, but I assured her that I'm still not backsliding. A little more depressed than I have been lately, but not overly so.

Second was the care used in how I would learn this hideous news. My mother had phoned my brother at 6am, which is about the time they learned about the incident. My brother then called my husband on his cell phone, because no one wanted to wake me out of a dead sleep to tell me this. Husband then left me a note to call him when I got up. While it was obvious something was wrong, I do agree this was a gentler way to find out than to answer that phone myself.

Third -- after my medical appointments yesterday, I realized I needed to talk to someone, badly. So, I called a friend who happens to be employed by my church. I asked if she was in her office, and could I come by. She said of course, and off I went. I was able to cry and unburden myself to her, and while I was there, our Minister knocked on her door, not knowing I was there. When she saw me she said "Oh! I just left a message on your answering machine! I was worried about you & hubby because I haven't seen you since the tornadoes and I know you live up in that area! Are you ok?" Now, this minister has only been with our church since August of last year, and is not from this area, so her knowing where *I* live is amazing to me, much less that she realized we weren't in the service Sunday (we were subbing in a Sunday School class -- actually, we call it Religious Education). I was so very touched -- I can't really express how much that meant to me.

She then said she could see that, while I said I was OK, meaning I'd survived the storm, I was definitely not OK for some other reason, and if I wanted to talk, she was there. I told her that I didn't want to talk about it anymore, but my friend could share with her after I left. Then my friend brought up something totally unrelated to my reason for being there, which the Minister needed information on, thus distracting me. We discussed this issue, and I recalled that the Minister needed help doing something on the Internet. I offered to come up to her office to help her do it, since I was there anyway.

Now, I had NO intention of talking with her about this at this particular time. I've never gone to a minister to talk about anything in my life, other than getting married. I have not trusted ministers in the past, because I've always seen them as judgemental, and feared that if I ever did tell them anything "serious" they would always hold it against me. But I had forgotten that I don't go to those kinds of churches any more. While sitting at the Minister's desk with her, working on this Internet issue, I began to cry again, and I told her what happened. She immediately took my hand, so softly and so gently, and tears welled up in her eyes, too. She heard my words and felt my feelings, I think. Though she offered no advice whatsoever, she ministered to me in the very best way possible. She simply listened and sympathized -- she didn't "preach" or anything else. She held my hand, and she heard me.

I felt more ministered to by those simple acts than I've ever experienced in my entire 43 years. Connection -- that's what ministry is. That's what church is. And I'm an exceptionally lucky person to have finally found this. Some people never do.

Peace,
WIP

3 comments:

neuroticillinifan said...

I don't know what to say other than I am so very sorry about all that has happened, and am very glad that you have what sounds like a whole lot of wonderful support.

Please accept this cyber {{{hug}}} from me.

Wrkinprogress said...

Thank you, sweetie. :) I'll take all the hugs I can get -- cyber and otherwise. You're a doll, and I appreciate your friendship.

Love,
WIP

Julie said...

I am so sorry you are going through this and KNOW how much the babies mean to you. I'm glad you have people in your life that cherish you and show you love. You deserve it. I wish I was there to give you a big hig myself.
Julie