a moment of truth...

So here we are my bloggy friends...on a wet Friday morning in the Northern VA and I am sitting in my living room listening to the washing machine doing the work that I praise God I don't have to. Scrubbing and twisting and cleaning fabric filled with the grime of life.

I shouldn't be here right now.

I should be sipping on a cappuccino at the local Starbucks going over manuscripts with my three fabulous critique partners. Women who spin stories filled with laugher, love and intrigue.

Instead I am sitting here listening to the washing machine and Miss Courtney's even breaths as she sleeps in fighting another infection, on another round of antibiotics. A burst eardrum this time along with an outer ear infection as well. She fights once more, brave and strong.

me...strong??...not so much...

It's time for a moment of truth here in this space. Nothing glossed over. No happy smiley faces taped on for good measure. No "It's fine" today my friend.

Remember last week when I attended the blogging conference?  I wrote a lovely piece all about inspiration and meeting my idols in the blogging world before coming home early in the face of a winter storm? That was true...but it's not the whole truth.

There was a storm all right. A storm that swept me away and pushed me to run hard and fast from that hotel and it had nothing to do with snow.

Most of my friends will tell you that "Mary has never met a stranger in her life".  I am an extrovert of the highest order. I love meeting new people and hearing new stories. They fascinate and inspires me. So heading to a conference where I did not personally know one single soul didn't scare me. I was excited to see where God was leading me with this. So I packed my bags and off I went.

From the moment I pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, nothing felt right. Over the next 36 hours I worked hard trying to figure out where I fit in, feeling WAY outside my comfort zone meeting new people and trying to figure out where God was leading me with this blogging thing. I smiled, I handed out my cards, I sat through sessions on how to grow my blog and blogging with Christ in mind. With each session my shoulders curved in and my back began to ache. I felt heavy and full of dread.

I wanted to get in my car and go home. 

I used to be brave...

Apparently that is no longer the case. 


This wasn't me. I don't run away. I face it and bear it no matter what. So I went up to my hotel room and called my hubby. I poured out my heart and told him that I didn't belong here. Where did I fit into this equation? I am 44, no longer homeschooling or nursing, I didn't have a large family or live on a homestead, I don't blog for money, I don't sell anything or have an etsy shop, even though I was writing a memoir it would never be as good as any of the ones I had read from the speakers at this conference, no one cares about my story, I didn't want to sit through another meal in silence while others who knew each other shared personal inside stories, jokes and laughter all while I sat there with a pathetic smile plastered on my face trying not to feel like a complete impostor. These women were smart and savvy...who was I kidding...

I felt like a complete loser. Please let me get in my car and come home...

He calmly listened and encouraged me to stay with it, open myself up and see what happened. I sighed and said OK and hung up the phone. Whatever was happening I needed to be brave and face my inner demons.

I didn't understand why this was happening. 

So, I put on my happy face and went back out there to face my demons. I got a cup of coffee and sat down with my laptop write while waiting for the next session. My stomach rolled, my hands started to sweat and shake, and my breathing began to labor. I was having a panic attack.

A freaking panic attack!!

That was the last straw. I got up went back to my room and paced for about 15 minutes. I turned on the TV and the early local news cast was on. They were talking about snow that night, a Noreaster coming through that would leave a lot of damage in it's wake of heavy icy snow. Downed power lines were expected as was the closing of the airport.

I had my out!

Praise God I had an acceptable excuse to leave. I called my hubby informed of the incoming weather and he gave me the all clear to head home. In 20 minutes the car was packed and I was in the drive-thru Starbucks line getting my latte for the road. I was FREE and it felt wonderful...

...until it didn't...

It's taken me a week to see it. A week of feeling like a complete idiot, a wimpy wuss, an absolute freak.

I let the devil get his way.

I let him win.

I gave into the panic and ran away carrying all my guilt and imperfections with me.

You see my friends, people tell me everyday how strong I am, how organized and motivated I am.

What they don't know is it's all a lie.

They just don't see the panic that happens on a daily basis.

I am not strong when I cry in the shower because I am worried about my daughter's future or her current health crisis, wether or not I can deal with all the changes that have to be made to be able to care for her through it all, or my husband's stress level or his job security, or the strength of his back as he lifts his daughter once more or the 22 year old son who can't make up his mind what he wants to do with his life and is driving his parents crazy in the process.

I am not strong when I look in the mirror and see a fat girl who used to be a completely different shape. Someone who used to take pride in my athleticism and at that moment just wants to dive into the cookie jar to cover the self-hatred running through my mind. I am not strong when I bake a batch of fabulously delicious cookies for said cookie jar and then spend the next twelve hours slowly but surely eating them to cover the pain of feeling inadequate or like a complete failure in life.

I am not strong as I freak out over hotel arrangements and buffet menus for a writing event I am in charge of. People are paying for this event...what if they don't like it? What if the foods cold? What if the speaker sucks? They will kick me out...they will no longer like me...my heart beats faster and the sweat begins to pool on my lower back. Yeah...not feeling so strong now...

...I am not strong...I run away. 

The truth is there is no where to run and hide from life.

There is no such thing as perfect or strong enough to go through everyday life in this house and be OK all on my own.

I know I need Jesus.

I know I need His grace and mercy.

I know this...but right now I am really not feeling it.

This morning I am typing these words and I wonder if I will have the guts to press publish. No comments on this one, I just felt the need to be real and honest, to show you that Mary does NOT have it all together and the demons I face each day sometimes get the best of me.