Well people, it was an adventure. The kids loved it. The adults survived it.
Here are a few pictures of my kiddos enjoying their week.
And this one here is me with my bestie. Without her and G, it would have been a wee bit too much.
She looks amazing as usual. I look like I need another shot of Baileys. Anyway…
The family showed up. The family that made it quite clear that they didn’t want us to attend. The ex-pastor showed up. The one who became quite forceful about how he felt I was living and why I was wrong. People from my past showed up that I knew my ex-husband had run to and had spread lies to about me. People that I had cared about, but was now uncertain if they still cared about me.
It was a long week.
But it was a good week. It was a good week because we showed up anyway. It was a good week because we went and participated and enjoyed ourselves and believed that we had every bit as much of a right to be there as everyone else. After all, if Jesus came to seek and save the lost and have relationship and fellowship and joy with his people, then we were invited too.
There was a group of people that we hung out with. People that were loving and accepting and just all around Jesus kind of people. Friends for years that have walked through the crap, and people that G knew from years past that came up to visit. They didn’t care what had happened, they just cared about him, and by extension, about his family.
But it was a hard week. It was a hard week because the family members ignored us. The little kids were confused and unsure if they were even allowed to talk to their uncle who they love. And my brother-in-law….oh my brother-in-law….he would leave a room if I entered it. If I joined a line he was in, he would get out of line and walk away. He would stop mid-conversation with someone and move away if he saw me walking towards him.
I felt like I needed a bell to ring and a loud voice to cry out “unclean! unclean!” everywhere I went. It was ridiculous.
A couple that I loved and cared about, the same pastoral couple that dedicated my oldest son when he was a baby, wouldn’t even really look at me. They said hello and that was it.
So here is what I did.
I entered buildings. I stood in lines. I talked to my people, and people I didn’t know. I attended the workshop that the pastoral couple was teaching. I took pictures and cheered on my kids in their activities. I held hands with my husband. And I hid in my trailer when it got too hard.
I’m glad we showed up. Although it was a hard week, I think it was good for G and I to go and participate. We are trying to set an example to others in the same boat as us that although our story is different and out of the normal for our little Christian bubble communities, we are still here. We are happy and normal and good and safe and trustworthy.
We are just like the rest of you.
We are people who want to be loved and accepted for who they are. After all, is that not the premise of God’s love for all mankind? That no matter who you are and where you’ve been and what you’ve done, that you are loved and valued and accepted and wanted?
I mean, granted I wanted to walk up to the family and tear them apart with a few well thought out phrases. I wanted to go to that pastoral couple and set the record straight and let them in on a few things about my life with my ex-husband. And there may have been a few times in the safety of my trailer that mean, spiteful words may have been said regarding my brother-in-law. After all, I’m rather human like that.
But instead we just went quietly about our week. Enjoying our time with our family and friends.
And it was good.