I have never really had a squad. I don’t have a girl gang that I’ve run with through thick and thin since forever. In most seasons of my life, I’ve had a handful of very close, very dear friends who are deeply precious to me. I was never teased harshly, bullied, or picked on. People have mostly been polite and friendly to me. I’ve just never had that ride or die tribe of girls.
I know I’m not the life of the party. I can actually be pretty awkward in group settings. My sister once described an awkward group experience saying that she left after she “Beaned around the room” (as in Mr. Bean). I laugh until I cry every time I think about it because I can relate so much. Maybe you know exactly what she means. Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about.
I’ve struggled with my social status and how I’m not “in”. I’ve worried that I’m boring or not enough. I’ve asked myself if I’m too much or too out there. Maybe I’m rude, over eager, or stand-offish. I’m not sure, but I know it’s hurt my heart as I’ve wondered. From high school to summer camp to grown up life, I’ve always played politely just outside the squad.
The end of 2019 wasn’t what I expected. My time away from social media and work was supposed to be a time of purpose and presence. Vision and planning. Breathing and receiving. I wanted to enjoy the season with my family, and find clarity for 2020. I expected to slip into a meditative and peaceful state. For God to breathe life and confidence into me. I expected revival through stillness. I wanted comfort and peace after a year that was not comfortable or peaceful.
2019 actually thrust me into discomfort over and over. In good ways. And painful. For one, I created a product. A beautiful, meaningful piece of my heart - The Selah Journal. In producing it, I tumbled deep into Google for help, I compared samples and quotes, and waded through jargon and industries I didn’t understand. I felt inadequate and clueless. At a low point, I even found myself weeping into the phone to an account manger in Utah after a problem with the order. There I was, pulling my three kids in a wagon through the neighborhood and crying into the phone, saying something like...”I just wanted to make something that matters and everything is going wrong. I feel like I’m being attacked. Do you believe in God?” Like an out of body experience. I was unraveling and couldn’t stop. I was crying and babbling while simultaneously thinking, “I am really doing this. Losing it. I’m the crazy crying lady unloading on the nice 20 something account manager.” So, yeah. Making the journal was uncomfortable. Hard. Embarrassing. Vulnerable. And awful.
But also? I did it. With a lot of help. Grace. Gumption. And grit. I answered that call. And through the discomfort I grew stronger. And something beautiful burst through. The Selah Journal is a real thing. Made from my heart and my tears and my hopes and prayers. You can hold it in your hands. And it’s so lovely. I’m astounded really that it was born from my dream. It’s a pure treasure to me. And my secret confession is that I haven’t written in mine yet. I think I have a fear that my experience writing in it won’t be as powerful as the experience of making it. And I want to keep it shiny and perfect. I’m beginning to realize, though, that it will be even more precious when I pour my heart into a second time.