I don't need you to love me for who I am. Well, I do, but I mostly need you to love me for who I am not.
Who I am is essentially understood, once you get to know me: I am a believer in Christ Jesus. I am a preacher's wife. I am an artist and a communicator - a speaker and writer and blogger. I am a mother to four grown children. I am a grandmother to four - a three-year-old, a two-year-old, a six-month-old, and one on the way, whose name is Susanna Joy.
I am deeply loyal, deeply spiritual. I am so intense that I need my closest friends to be not intense at all. I have enough intensity...so much intensity, I nauseate and overwhelm myself. I don't need more from anyone else. I don't need a dose of hyper spirituality, complete with tears for all the world's prodigals (and my own) over lunch at Wild Wings.
I need you to love me for who I am not. I need you to love me when I take a break from myself, which is a lot. When, instead of primly saying that "I am a Christian", I flatly state:
"I am a jacked-up Jesus Freak!"
Or when I lovingly call my family, "The Freak Show".
When I am so broken I don't want deep conversation or even companionship. (Know that "this too shall pass", and give me some room to be who I'm not!)
When I confess to being addicted to Red Band peppermint "crack sticks", or Dr. Pepper. I'm really not addicted to anything but Jack Daniels - aaaand there I go again. Just kiddin'.
See, I'm a living, breathing hyperbole. I hyperbolate to blow off steam...all that intensity about the Gospel, it boils like a fire shut up in my bones, and occasionally I absolutely must act silly and say shocking things and adopt pretend personas to relieve the pressure of being inside my own head.
You should've been there when I played milk-pong at a church party, and pretended to get smashed on tiny Dixie cup after Dixie cup of milk. I did make myself a little sick...but I had friends laughing until the tears ran down.
Laughter is carbonated holiness. If that makes me holier-than-thou, I will let you figure out how to deal with it.
Yes, I hyperbolate occasionally. It is my own signature coping mechanism, and I shan't give it up.
It's why I listen to the occasional country song. ("Red solo cup! I fill you up! Let's have a party...let's have a partaaaaaay!")
It's why I sometimes use replacement vocabulary. Dingdangdadgummit. Shut. The. Front. Door.
It's why I can blog about boots and scarves and nail polish one day, and the Ecclesia the next.
It's why I can think deep thoughts about pneumatology, but there was that time I almost lit my big toe on fire, and that other time when I couldn't properly signal a right turn while driving....instead, I honked my horn. (??! I have yet to figure that one out. Don't you try to figure it out, either. You'll never do it in a million years.)
The deep thinker is the real me. The idiot-me is comic relief. The hyperbolic mess is just for fun.
Love me...accept me...for who I am not. Who I am won't scare you. That other girl might.