Authentic. Sounds like a powerful word, one I am trying to live into. I found a good, working definition of authentic today in one of the devotional books that I read, Reflections for Ragamuffins by Brennan Manning: To open yourself to another person, to stop lying about your loneliness, to stop lying about your fears and hurts, to be open about your affection, and to tell others how much they mean to you.
I have had a very hard new experience lately. I had foot surgery about 1 1/2 weeks ago. I was SO fearful about having it. So scared that I updated my folder with "End of Life Instructions!" and told Kat where it was just in case.... That is really over the top! I scared myself. I nearly had a panic attack at my pre-op (and pre-pay a bunch) appointment and then almost again when I went to pre-check in (and pre-pay a bunch again) at the surgery center. What was gong on? I even told Molly and Kat, and I usually try to spare them that kind of stuff. Mothers aren't suppose to be scared and telling their children about it are they? Mothers are suppose to be ... the mothers.
I prayed alot about this a lot, asking God for answers, to show me why I was flipping out over this pretty routine surgery. I had gone to the grocery store, pet store, etc. It was all set up, all my ducks in a row, so to speak. I had it taken care of.
Molly, Jeff and Jack were gong on a trip to visit a cousin and Jeff's brother and would be gone when the surgery took place so I went to tell them 'bye' and I was leaving and Molly told me they would be holding me in their prayers, I realized what was going on. And this was it.... When I was married, when I went to birth the girls, when I brought them home from the hospital, the times I had gone for day surgery, or in-office surgery, my now ex-husband never took me or picked me up. I had to arrange my own rides, both going and coming home. It was totally up to me to survive the experience the best way I could.
It did not happen that way this time. My Thursday Sisters group prayed over me, Kat offered to take me to the surgery center and a dear friend offered to take me home. Kat sweetly came back after work and spent the night with me. I did not have to ask. They were just there. Kat came by every day after the surgery for a week. Just to see how I was. People called and checked... In other words, I had gone from being totally in charge of all of it to having people in my life who lovingly offered to help. It was hard to let them care for me. It was so very foreign and HARD.
God has spent a lot of time this year trying to teach me to let my children and others love me and do loving things for me. That I was more than deserving of this love from them. That like Him, they loved me just because.... not because of anything I have done or said, but just because.
Authentic. What I started with. I got to work a little on each part of that definition. This experience has been all about me moving towards being more authentically me.