Thoughts on doing the best you can but still being “you.”
My friend, whom I always talk about, called me something funny this week. She called me a “virgin girl”. Oh, how I know some of you will run with that, and I’m pretty certain I crossed that bridge a long time ago. I’ve never really “relationshipped”. I am in completely uncharted waters. And when it comes to just being a girl, I’m a little clueless.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know how to “make-up.” I know how to “froo-froo.” I like things that sparkle. I know how to “shoe.” My God, do I know how to shoe. But I also know how to tear out drywall and put it back. I know how to change my tires. I know how to change my oil. My work gloves are beautifully worn. They’re hot pink, but they are worn.
I recently called my guy a yin and yang. Because he’s just a beautiful balance of a couple of different worlds. I think it was only today that I realized I’m the same way. I’m such a girl. But I hold my own like a man and have for pretty much a very long time.
It started with my dad not having a son. My name is Donlyn. I’m pretty certain it was just supposed to be Don Jr. I’ve held the flashlight and watched more spark-plugs and brake pads being replaced than I care to remember. My dad also made me change my oil when I was growing up. I was delighted when I found out you could exchange money for someone else doing it.
Then there was my grandfather and his farm. I was always the wimpiest of all the grandkids, but I held my own too. I had to break my own horse. Boy, that was not easy. Afterward, I remember having dirt in places I didn’t even know I had places yet.
I’m not afraid to get dirty. I’m certainly not afraid to work hard. I know how to do what it takes and be a provider. I won’t stop for anything. I like knowing how to fix things, install things, and haul things. I like knowing how to drive a stick. Sounds silly, but I learned how to drive a stick when I was 12 on my grandfather’s old red Ford pickup. My sister still drives a red Ford just because our grandfather drove one. And yes, it’s a stick. And I love that my daughter also learned to drive on a stick.
You see, there’s something about being fiercely independent. I get that. Some call me independent, others call me stubborn as hell. But after getting myself into a little bit of trouble several years back, I realized how important it was to remain independent and never need anyone for anything. And that’s been my path. Even though I have needed friends and such who have helped me tremendously along the way, it was still like going through a voluntary root canal to even allow them to. I just found a few friends more stubborn than me, (right KZ? Remember the first time my Ford broke down?)
But letting someone do nice things for you, just because. Uh, what? I didn’t even know that was a thing. And I quite literally have no idea what I’m doing. There are these quiet moments that keep catching me by surprise. For a girl filled to the brim with words at all times, I keep being left, well, speechless.
There are a ton of roles I can play. But the one I’m not used to is being voluntarily vulnerable. Everything in my head shouts out SNAP OUT OF IT. But then there’s the other part to the yin, and that’s my heart. And my heart says “trust” and that it isn’t being misplaced.
I’ve had to fight so hard for so long. Now that my life is in such an amazing place, it’s been an interesting journey just allowing everything to be okay. It’s incredibly fulfilling just allowing life to play out and relax in God’s hands who has brought me through the darkest of abysses.
It was only about 8 years ago I recall lying in the bottom of a closet, hiding, praying for God to just take me. Having to suffer one more breath of oxygen was more than I could handle. I didn’t have the courage to end my life. But my life had become quite literally unbearable. I was nothing more than a little shell of a person.
Do you know how people always say God will never give you more than you can handle? Well, that’s not true. He absolutely gives you more than you can handle because then HE becomes the one handling it. And He did. And I remember vividly crying out to him to save me because I had stopped functioning as a human being altogether. There was no way I could save myself.
My abuser had this shirt that hung in the closet I was made to go in. Which in turn became my refuge. I still go lay down in my closet from time to time because it’s so comforting to me. I used to sneak my bible in there. It was my safe place. The shirt he had possessed a quote from Corrie Ten Boom, my favorite person to ever have lived. It was all across the back in large lettering and I still am convinced God placed it there just for me. It/she said “you may never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”
He was all I had. And I took that trust, and I put it in Him.
So, I came out of the closet. (Oh, you stop with your wandering minds, you know what I mean.) And I took the days moment by moment. And one led to the next. And the next. And the struggle was brutal and beyond difficult. Then oh so slowly, my life was changed. And then it was renewed. And then I began to soar. And it was by the grace of God and the grace of God only.
Now, I can’t imagine not wanting my life. I have these moments of such utter joy that I feel oddly lost in them. But it’s the best “lost” I’ve ever been.
So yeah, I don’t exactly know how to girl. Up until now, I don’t think I ever knew how to “life.” And I have no idea what I’m doing, and to be honest with you, it’s exactly how I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because…and I’ll leave you with another Corrie quote I’ve shared before, “You can always trust an unknown future, to a known God.”
Thank you, God, for hearing my cries and delivering me to the most beautiful life imaginable. I am grateful to you beyond words and measure.