Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

That Girl

There are five stages of grief.

Or is it seven?

I have no idea. I only know that I’m leaving.

The crying stage.

And the complaining stage.

And the woe-is-me-my-life-is-so-much-harder-than-your-life-stage.

And the woe-is-me-my-divorce-is-so-much-harder-than-your-divorce-stage. (And just so you know, is actually is. You know, harder.) 🙂

And  the I-take-no-ownership-and-this-was-in-no-way-my-fault-stage.

Scratch that. I’m thinking I’ll stick around that stage for a while.

It’s not exactly out of maturity and growth. I had a little nudge. 

My Pastor says, “Don’t be that guy.” Actually he was very politically correct (something that I’m thinking is not particularly easy for him) and he says, “Don’t be that person.”

But he meant don’t be that guy.

The my-life-is-so-much-harder-my-divorce-is-so-much-harder-guy.

Preaching in front, his head turned down; my head turned to the side. Please God. Don’t let there be eye contact.

Cause I already know.

And I don’t want to be that girl.

Last week a friend of mine referred to me as “religious.”

Which at first made me laugh and then I stopped laughing and decided my feeling were definitely hurt.

Cause I don’t want to be that girl, either.

I can’t remember if it was too religious or real religious or just what the context was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t meant as a compliment.

Religious reminds me of the word lovely. Sounds good, but kinda not?

(Insert southern accent here)

“Well, isn’t that just lovely.” (As in, “Bless her heart! When did she start shopping at Sears?”)

Religion is tied to a church or a doctrine and in my short 40 years I’ve been a Methodist and a Baptist (Southern and American). A Non-Denominationist and a Lutheran and a Presbyterian (both kinds) and an Alliancer (which is not really a word), and a church led by a former Methodist pastor, turned non-Methodist pastor and we were “meet in the park-ers”.

Religion is a set of rules; a doctrine and a human interpretation of the gospel. Faith is a relationship. (And thank you to my friend Chris Estudillo for summarizing about 300 of my words into one sentence).

And I’m just thinking it’s possible that we’ve gotten a lot of it wrong and we are going to be reeeeeal surprised when we finally meet Jesus.

Anyway, this girl is reading “The Story”. It’s the Bible as one continuing story. I would say that it’s a dumbed-down version of the Bible for those of us who, after years of trying to read the Bible through in a year, but continually get stuck in Exodus ( no pun intended), but I can’t say that because some of the people I know reading it are actually quite smart.

Wait. Maybe that wasn’t a pun at all. Did they get stuck in Exodus? They left Egypt and then got stuck. What comes after Exodus?

Anyway, reading. The Israelites (and I’m  nervous to use that word).  Knowing a word like the Israelites definitely makes one sound religious. They were so ungrateful. All the bickering and complaining and whining and Oh. My. Gosh, I am so sick of reading this story. Seriously people, he struck a rock and water came out of it. Food is like literally raining from the sky. What more do y’all want?

And then it happens. I have my little, “OH! So that’s why we have to read the old testament.”

And I text my friend Jodi. I’m an Israelite!

And the Word is on her lips as it is commanded to be and she says, “Yes. They didn’t miss the promise land because of murder or adultery or lying.”

The missed it because the could not shut the HALE up with all their grumbling and complaining.

To be fair, Jodi didn’t say the last part. That was me.

The water always comes from the rock and the manna is there every morning. All we must do is look back on His faithfulness in order to move forward with steadfastness.

Oh Yeah!

Time for the Happy Dance!  (Something I can do since I’m so not religious!) 🙂

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