Sunday, December 06, 2009


We have an interim minister at our church right now. I don't envy his position at all. There is a huge staff and the previous senior pastor had been at the church for a long time. His delivery is stiff and not particularly inviting. He looks and sounds more like a Baptist minister, if you know what I mean.

Not that any of this is relevant. Other than, regardless of his demeanor, he struck a chord in me today.

The Advent liturgy always stumbles through John the Baptist. Like the brussel sprouts you have to eat before you can have your figgy pudding, you have to have a Sunday in Advent where somebody talks about John the Baptist.

Today though, I realized that I really don't mind it. Adding in the repentance in Advent actually is something to enjoy. A clean slate. A dumping of the baggage you've been carrying. It makes it far easier to celebrate when you've had a good helping of repentance.

What Bill said this morning that was so striking was about victims. It wasn't a main point of the morning, rather just something he was mentioning on his way to repentance. He said that it is all too common today for people to have no concept of repentance because it's always someone else's fault. Our society is full of victims who aren't really victims.

I should have taken notes, because that's not exactly it, but it's close.

I guess that's why I don't mind the repentance part though. I like to own it all, the good and the bad. Even when I was in therapy trying to work through the emotional and sexual abuse I endured my senior year of high school - even then, when we got to the part about how none of it was my fault and I was the victim - that was when I stopped. I had to own the fact that I chose to stay silent. I had to own the knowledge that regardless of the threats made against me, I knew I could find help, and I didn't.

There have been plenty of mistakes in my life. Mistakes that I've made. Some of them I'll be happy to drag out into the public eye, and others I'll keep between me and God and Kevin if he wants the laundry list.

There is only one aspect of my life in which I truly feel like a victim. Where there was nothing I could have done to change things. Nothing I did to have such a horrible outcome. Nothing that I could have done to stop it.

That would be the pregnancies I have lost.

After that first loss, I tried. I tried so hard to figure out a way to own it. I wanted to find a reason that I could place the blame on myself so that I wouldn't be a victim.

I hate being the victim.

But then I lost another. And another. And I began to accept the fact that there really was nothing I could do or could have done.

I guess it's December, and I'm going to be thinking about the babies that will never be along with some of my other friends. And I repent how I was arrogant enough to believe that I had complete control over my pregnancies. It just doesn't work that way.

I'm ready to quit trying to own it now and let the victims just be victims.