Yesterday I did something I almost never do. I volunteered to speak to a crowd of people.
I'm not shy, not even a little. But I am not a public speaker. Some people use nervous energy to propel them forward and excel on stage, but not me. I stand there, dry-mouthed and stuttering, forgetting my point and doing my best to just make it stop. All the same, yesterday I offered to tell a story to a group of women I've grown to love, a local moms group I joined in January. Because yesterday was the first time words have bubbled to the surface, and a language for the story I need to tell began to take shape.
The theme for the group this year is bravery. The call is to step up, to do something you wouldn't normally do for the sake of being true to who you are. As I listened to another mom share her "brave" story, mine suddenly crystallized. All at once, I knew the bravest thing I did this year was to tell the truth.
After my baby nearly died, I wanted to feel overwhelming joy and gratitude that he was okay. I wanted to praise God publicly, to look at my son's face and feel soul-bursting happiness and contentment, knowing I get to have more time with him. We got to walk away from that day with our son healthy and whole. Most of the time, that doesn't happen. I witnessed a resurrection, and I wanted to be able to revel in it.
I hadn't planned on leaving, but as we all know, not all of life can be shared with the wide wide world on a screen. I had to take some time to live life before I could write about it. But there are things I want to tell you - like the time I went swimming with my kids and did not care, even a little bit, about being in a bathing suit. Or that time I took four kids out of state alone - and actually had fun. I want to tell you what I learned from the Holy Week liturgy this year, and how healing happens so slowly, and even the things you think should be easy never are. I want to share some new friends I've made along the way. So I'm coming back.
I hope you are well, too. I've missed you guys. It's good to see you again.
I am Stephanie - mom to four beautifully rambunctious little kids and wife to a guy who still makes me smile. Last spring I moved to Colorado, where I fell in love with the mountain air and the Anglican church. If you have ever abandoned religion in search of faith, ever had to leave your hometown to find your home, or ever climbed to the very tip-top of a jungle gym to rescue an overzealous toddler, you've come to the right blog.