fat laughs

i think i am starting to know what people mean when they say they finally get themselves figured out by the time they are 40. it seems this VERY short amount of time i have had in my 30's (let's just say i am closer to 30 than i am to 40) keeps bringing me face to face with me. and the me that is buried deep in there is not who i thought she was. she's far more complicated than originally thought...and not nearly as all-together as was once believed.

a humongously obese comedian - that's who i am. (i'll pause while you go check the pictures.) i am that person. those people who laugh at the very thing that is the most painful part of their being. that person that uses humor to distract from the torture and goes to great lengths never to let anyone know what is buried deep down in there. the person who claims they are completely happy but can't actually talk about it with anyone because the tears prevent any semblance of a normal conversation.

that's me. i hide. i distract. i move people away from my pain. sometimes its with a funny line, a lot of time its just silence (i am shy, so i can get away with being quiet). and much of the time its because if i actually opened my mouth nothing would come out that resembled anything anyone could understand (think blubbering tears, unintelligible sounds)

often people make a comment about our kids. it's my life, so i don't think it's weird, but evidently having four children in a span of 5 years is not necessarily the usual. even having four children - they think its crazy. people, it wasn't that long ago that families always had four and five and six kids. and it isn't the end of the world if i can't go on a disney vacation every year! THIS hits my passion button; however, for now i am figuring out myself, not the american culture.

anyway, it never fails that someone makes a crack about me being pregnant and i automatically make some joke about how that would be the most awful thing ever. could you imagine? pregnant? yeah right, i would die. at least that's what i tell people. the truth...i would do almost anything to be pregnant. after prayerfully making the decision to end our fertility after micah's difficult pregnancy, i suddenly have found myself in the realm of the infertile. the world where people would do almost anything to experience the miracle of life within them. unless you've been there, you don't get it (and take my advice, don't try and get it if you haven't been there). it is one of the most deeply felt emotions i have ever experienced. it is a longing that is almost unbearable when i dwell on it, that makes me fight back the tears when i hold a new baby, a pain that for the most part stays hidden but occasionally, when i let it escape, comes forth with weeping and questioning and wondering why. i'm the big fat guy whose always making a joke. but inside i am dying. i am being crushed and the pain digs itself deeper and deeper to places in my soul i didn't even know existed. (and if we keep finding new places in the soul, it is going to take me longer than 40 to figure myself out)

why? why can't i just look in their eyes and say, 'gosh, that would be wonderful. i would be thrilled!'

i don't really know. it seems easy enough. and it would for sure shut them up really fast. and make for some good moments when people stare at you and don't know what to say and feel really awkward. ...........because to admit that would be to admit the pain, the hurt, the unresolved questions. and i certainly don't want everyone seeing my pain. i am pretty real, but that's really real.

and i guess that's what i am figuring out. that as much as i am real (i was actually called "raw and real" today, not sure if that is a compliment or what...) i am not. i hide the tenderest parts of me. even from myself. sometimes they stay so hidden i think they're gone until i suddenly find myself with uncontrollable tears and irrational frustrations. and then, i remember, that yes...it's there.

it's at this point that i say, "but God is healing me and bringing me wholeness and there is no journey i would rather be on than this one."

ahem, hold the presses. cause that ain't what i'm saying.

deep gutteral longings unmet by life's circumstances are not so easily resolved. and even more so, the isolation that comes with the pain is not a place i enjoy. i'm discovering, and God's going to have to hand me over a treasure map to get to the gold part. cause right now, i'm on the dirty, stinking pirate trail just digging up a bunch of clues. (i may have been reading a bit too much about somalia while doing the digging)

but you know, i've got 7 more years. it's a journey. maybe when the 4-0 comes around i will have at least figured myself out. ...then i can move on to figuring everybody else out.

step away from the 40 year old.