Sin and All
(From June 19, 2021 Sip & Tell)
Picture it... Marion Square, Charleston SC. 2003. 2 somewhat intoxicated sudo-siblings roaming around Piccolo Spoleto, living life to the fullest. At least that is what I thought at the time. Little did I know that those days of worshipping on Sunday, working my ass off all week, and partying like it was 1999 on Saturday would actually introduce me to the God I had feared as a child, loved as a teenager, and shunned as a broken, divorced, young mother.
I saw it... in the blur of the day’s intake... It was the bright shiny object that you just can’t resist. There it was and all it would take was one swipe of a credit card to make it mine. In my case, this bright shiny temptress was 5x8 oil painting of a colorful cocktail in a beer mug with the words, “I feel a sin coming on” haphazardly written on the edge by the local artist. The two of us looked at each other and grinned as the feeling of sweet rebellion bubbled up at the sound of the words.
See... I am a preacher’s kid, raised by very conservative, reasonable people. Wonderful, loving parents that just simply didn’t deserve my constant pendulum swing over what I believed, decisions I made, and life I lived. My mother, while she loved me dearly, would have likely preferred the happily married, PTA mom of 2 that served at church, worked at home, and never touched a drop of alcohol in her life. Well... suffice it to say, that is not what she got! Twice divorced, single mom of 3 who has only attended one PTA meeting in the collective 36 years her kids were in school, who really loves wine... That is this girl.
In 2003, that girl was also carrying around a lot -- A LOT -- of shame. I always felt I was doing it wrong and was never quite enough. I thought I had to choose between the faith of my family and the independent abundance I craved so badly. 18 months before Piccolo Spoleto 2003, I met 2 people that would change my life forever. They would become a second brother, and the sister I never had. They would share the Jesus freak in me... and my complete intolerance for “religion.” They would sit in rocking chairs at sunset with a T&T and share what that still small voice had been saying to us that day. Or cry late in the night about loving the wrong person and having to walk away.
Accepted and loved in spite of (or maybe because of) my flaws, gross moments of misjudgment, waves of unbelief... NOT being ashamed of my humanity. This was so foreign to me and yet, seemed so natural to this newfound trio of friendship. So, as I walked across the art tent and swiped my credit card, my life took an unexpected turn. I didn’t know it yet, but I was on my way to finally finding my balance in the faith that has grown in me and sustained me ever since. Possibly for the first time in my life, the messiness of all that I was, was ok. More than ok. It was exactly right. I was growing, learning, happy, and loved.
That gorgeous May day, floating in Tanqueray and Tonic... after years of hiding and defensive maneuvering... Church found me. Sin and all.
This blog is a personal collection of my thoughts, wins, losses, memories, and crossroad moments. Almost all of which were hashed out around my kitchen counter and in my journals. If any of it resonates with you and you are ready to free-up the hidden badass you ARE right now, I can help. It’s time… Click the link and Let’s chat.