This is what it means to be heldWith the end of the song I begin to tell my story. As a practice of vulnerability, and honesty, and community building we are all telling our stories and tonight is my night.
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
I love this practice in general: the telling of ones story. I love it because it is the telling of the ongoing work of the Good News of redemption. We are all living the story of redemption and in telling our stories we are telling of God's work.
However, I will admit I do not love the practice in the specific way of me telling my story. I mean I do and I don't. It just always feels so heavy and it feels that I am placing the heaviness on others, expecting them to bear the weight. It is in fact a practice in trust; and I don't trust very well.
Nonetheless, tonight I told my story. I told it and I started it with a cheesy Christian song, because my life is a lesson in learning what it is to be held.
For much of my life I believed, unintentionally, that the promise of God was that I would be safe. If I obeyed God and was a good enough Christian girl: God would protect me. That idea has been stripped from me a thousand times. I have in fact been 'good' but my life has not been safe. My life has not been protected and secure, but I have been held. God, my community, my friends, and my family have held me.
So, tonight I told my story of what it means to be held, and my community held me. They bore the weight of all that I have grieved, and survived, and longed for, and lost, and they laughed with me, and celebrated with me, and lifted up the joys I have experienced.
It is a terribly vulnerable thing to share your story, and it is a profound experience to know you have been held.