you can’t get there from here

can't get there from here

Today’s post is written by Brave Writer, Lorretta Stembridge
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About a month ago, I was invited into this space, deciding to share how social media has saved my marriage and restored my soul. Then, as now, I’ve trusted that each one God sends to read, would graciously understand and “get” what I was attempting to say- and especially what I was not.

Obviously, there is no way to make such a claim about something as broad and impersonal as the almighty “Interwebs” and the impulses driving us to tweet, share, poke and follow–without inviting some skepticism, or at least some curiosity. And I was right.

Everyone seemed to instinctively understand that there’s more to this story; and there is. There’s something WAY bigger and something much smaller as well.

The bigger, of course, is God. (but you already knew I was going to say that didn’t you?). The smaller is something  I’ve learned is important in so many, many ways and yet so often neglected and overlooked. It’s so vital– the heart and soul, life and death type of  vital— and yet

it’s something we often  sadly and pridefully choose to live without.

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Truthfully, the companionship of the communities I’ve discovered out here have done wonders to help restore my sense of worth, place and purpose. Blog communities such as this one have served to share tremendous wisdom and witness in the midst of great heartache. I think you’ll agree– it’s wonderfully healing to know you’re not alone in the middle of your crazy! Amen?!

I’ve been able to share sorrows and  joys. I’ve been released to my true identity and passions. I’ve gained a better understanding of how to make this journey called “Life” as I’ve listened and have been able to speak into the journeys of those around me. I’ve developed a deep awareness and self-respect coupled with a respect for others.

It’s a beautiful thing. A costly and precious thing purchased for me by Christ. Then, folks like you have added grace upon grace by allowing me this privilege to visit and share with you out here.

However, I want you to know all these things were born from a different place even while they’re often lived out and express themselves here.

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I’m probably one of the last people on the planet who

A)   just got a “smart phone” and
B)   still doesn’t own a GPS

A while back, I had to borrow one for a trip and had plugged in the address for a restaurant in an unfamiliar town. I drove in and out of this tiny, cramped neighborhood along some narrow and winding roads only to come to a complete dead end– at a guard rail facing a major interstate. On the other side, I could see several strip mall-type areas where I was sure this place was located.  I could see it clearly in the distance but you know what?

I couldn’t get “there” from “here”

Nope. I had to turn around and go back the way I came– much wiser this time–  and then take a different path to get to my destination. This is roughly the scenario I was awakened to not long ago in my life and relationships in general, specifically in my marriage. It was, umm.. complicated.

This different path has included some familiarities and samenesses even as many things have been redefined. There hasn’t been a total upheaval or overhaul but there’s been some tremendous redirection and reclamation.   Overall, I had to be willing to recognize a few things and then take some risks.

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First, I had to recognize my weaknesses. I had to recognize my need. I had to recognize that I really couldn’t do it alone– at least not well or for long without messing things up.

Then–I had to risk vulnerability and nakedness of heart, mind and soul. I had to risk being gut-honest about my fears and failures and reveal the Me I’ve been hiding or running from all these years.

I had to be wholly truthful and truthfully holy and risk accountability. Face to face accountability.

That “small” and yet oh-so vital thing missing?


Accountability.

I’m fond of saying  I’m “too dangerous to be left unattended.” It’s my way of remembering I need to have someone in my life who “gets me” in the ways I need most. I believe this is true of everyone no matter how old or young we are.

  • It’s at least one person who will carry us to Jesus even when we’re not looking and yet refuses to play God in our lives. They’re not in charge of “fixing” us or our situation.
  • This is someone who’s brave enough to ask how we’re doing and then press in harder to the “next” question…the one who won’t take “fine” for an answer when it’s obviously a lie.
  • One who, without judgement and in total love,  sees that nervous twitch or fluttering eye for the fraction of a second it takes to call our bluff –even when we think we’re fooling everyone and then courageously tells us what we need to hear whether we want to hear it or not.

Yeah, THAT person; accountability. I need that.

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I’ve also learned– the hard way– that it’s just not wise to mix up the sexes in these things. Yeah, I know it works for so-n-so and maybe you can document a variety of situations to dispute this. But it’s not wise. It’s real easy for things to get “muddy” if not downright dirty and complicated. Jus’ sayin’.

Some folks will claim it’s necessary to have someone “older and wiser” in this position.  I say–ask and pray and then trust whom God provides. When I prayed for someone, God sent me a sweet Saint, 25 years older than me, who’d traveled many of the same paths. We’re both affirmed and amazed at what God has provided for us and truly love one another like mother and daughter.

Since then, I’ve discovered several like-minded Sisters to “bare and share” with…each at a different place, age and stage in their journey and yet I find so much joy in the mutual encouragement  we can share.  Truthfully, I’m a changed woman and I owe it all to God’s gracious gift of accountability in my life.

Seeking together

So maybe you’re like me–you know where you need to go and God’s been revealing some new directions in your life–but you know you just can’t “get there from here”. Not alone.

BE BRAVE.

*  Pray about that person God would send you to “do REAL life” with.
*  Pray about being that person in the life of another.
It’s definitely worth the risk—and then maybe, like me, you can discover how to live free– like you have nothing left to lose and now everything is gain.

Amen!

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Lorretta strives to live every day as God’s big “show and tell”, trusting nothing past, present or future will be wasted in His capable and loving hands. Lorretta writes at Dancing on the Dash http://dancingonthedash.com/

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9 thoughts on “you can’t get there from here

  1. Oh, thank you for sharing! Accountability is important and life is all about taking risks, is it not? I like thr phrase “I’m too dangerous to be left unattended.” I might have to br thinking on that for a while.

    Blessings to you and yours!

  2. Oh Loretta, I can relate on so many levels. And it’s bloggers like yourself that have helped me through so much in my life the past 5+ years by encouraging, challenging and inspiring me. Thank you for your “straight to the point” of what to pray on, because it’s exactly what I long for, and need.

  3. Dear Lorretta…thank you so much for writing this. Accountability: as scary and as vulnerable as it felt, I wanted it for my marriage. We received direct accountability from a nationally known (Christian) marital professional for almost a year. And yet, the marriage is being dissolved. Without a willingness on both sides to follow advice and be held accountable, well, it is devastating to say the least. It is still hard not to feel like a failure and wanting to hide. I, too, want to live FREE, with nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Even in the midst of this. It is scary. Thank you for being vulnerable and honest.

  4. I’m fond of saying I’m “too dangerous to be left unattended.” It’s my way of remembering I need to have someone in my life who “gets me” in the ways I need most. I believe this is true of everyone no matter how old or young we are. –
    So good! Thank you!

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