I found a picture of myself as a 6 year old. The story is a good one. My parents were having a party. Really they had another couple over to play bridge and drink beer. It was always fun when there was company. I tried to stay up. I was told to go to bed a few times, but refused. I didn’t want to miss anything. There were threats and subtle hints. My mom was creative. She said, “That’s fine, you don’t have to sleep. Why don’t you go to your room for a few minutes and listen to what is happening. If you stop crying, you can come back out.” I dutifully tromped off to my room. I stood there, holding my pillow. I would not go to bed. I was not tired. I would show them. Well, that’s the picture. Me standing next to my bed, holding my pillow, sound asleep.
I saw this picture as I considered buying a Winnebago and driving to a beach in Bora Bora or something. I would eat crabs and coconuts and mumble about the world as I wondered if I still owned any shoes. You see, I am a quitter. I have started quite a few things, but end up not following through. I tried guitar as a kid and played for about a year. I walked 2 miles to lessons dreaming of being a rock star. I learned “Greensleeves” for my Dad’s birthday. HE harrumphed a thank you and I quit the next day. I tried piano for awhile, at my mom’s insistence. I would watch TV until I heard the car in the driveway and run to the piano and pretend to practice. My parents were baffled that I never seemed to get any better. I joined a bowling league and quit when my fingers outgrow my ball. I tried getting into movies and quit when I didn’t get a role in “The Outsiders.” I tried to buy a house with some college friends and freaked out. I dropped the contract and lost the earnest money my Dad had fronted me.
I quit drinking…7 years sober now. I quit not standing up for myself. I quit hiding from myself.
I was thinking of quitting trying with my daughters. I am embarrassed to say it and it brings tears to my eyes. I felt like I couldn’t handle the pain anymore. The rejection and the tumult mounted. I pondered the futility of pursuing them. I questioned my importance. I cried.
I quit letting myself be beaten up. I quit avoiding dealing with my mistake. I quit guilt and shame and asked for redemption. I quit hiding behind excuses. I quit lying about who I was. I quit believing what some others said about me and believed what God says about me. I wont quit loving my daughters. I wont quit waiting to welcome them in my open arms. I won’t quit. I am not tired. Hand me the pillow please.