We’re in Colorado, in the town where Nate and I met, spending the holidays with family. Our first little condo is here, the one we bought right before our wedding. I hadn’t been been back there for years. We went over Monday to check on some things, to figure out new flooring once the current tenants leave, and to reminisce. On the drive back I told Nate “I miss the us that lived there.” The truth is I miss the us that I remember. The slightly edited version where all the spectacular memories rise to the top and the boring ones sink to the bottom and you’re left with nothing but the creamiest cream and the peaches to put it on. {{If we weren’t lactose intolerant/allergic to dairy. But why spoil a perfectly good word picture?}}

We also hauled around 8 boxes out of the rafters in the garage that have been there since we moved. Boxes of costumes. See, I used to write and direct little plays for a little group of kids at the little church where we met. And it was one of my favorite things ever. As I sorted through the boxes and put 99% in bags to go to goodwill I smiled at every funny memory they contained. Super Truth’s blue sequined cape. A hideous plain blazer. A horrible poodle costume. I smiled at every single one. And that made me glad I waited to go through them. Because when we left they did nothing but make me cry.


We departed that church under bad circumstances. And by bad I mean spiritually abusive ones. Accusations of sin were leveled by the pastor there in a reaction to me not playing by the rules. And by the rules I mean whatever he wanted at any given time. Here’s a life lesson: when you ask a pastor what his biblical basis is for not allowing you to be in a meeting with him, his yes-man elder, and your husband in which the discussion topic includes your supposed sin and his answer is “my Biblical basis is I don’t want to” you’ve got a problem.

I let those false accusations gut me for so many years. I let them eat at my soul and hurt me. And then I woke up and realized that power hungry people will always find ways to put down the ones who won’t bow. And those who support them and try to make you bow? Well, they’re not worth your emotional energy either. And in the years that have followed I’ve found a Jesus I didn’t know before. I’ve found a religion that looks like Him. I’m glad I am where I am today.


So I sorted through those old costumes and let the good memories rush over me. And when the thoughts of failure came at me I pushed them down. Lessons learned through mistakes aren’t failures. Only mistakes without lessons learned are. Growth comes from falling and getting back up. Tal is currently obsessed with trying to jump off the steps like his brother does. So he stands on the bottom step, opens his eyes wide, jumps with all his might, lands on the same step, and then simply walks off of it and falls down. Over and over.

But here’s the thing: he doesn’t think he’s failing. He thinks he really is jumping off that step. And when I look back on my life I see times here and there where I was doing the same thing. Jumping with all my might, getting nowhere, and then just stepping off only to fall. And at the time I only felt the failure, the pain and shame and falling. But looking back I see it like my little son does, I see that no matter how clumsy and awkward it might look from the outside the point is: I got off that step. I succeeded.

I really was jumping, I just didn’t quite know it yet.


{{Do you know how hard it is to get a picture of a jumping baby? So here’s some pictures of him just being adorable on Gigi’s stairs instead. I tried folks.}}