Tag Archives: hurt

And then Tuesday came… (a.k.a The Great Crash of January 2008)

There have been several posts brewing in my illustrious mind in recent days and there may well be a sudden blogging boom in this small corner of the ‘parallel universe’.  This one, however, is most unexpected – or at least it was until it began to brew as I sat in the office today.  Who knows where it will go?  Who knows when it will stop?  Watch for the sign of the lollipop…

Last night at approximately 16.47, I was in a car accident.  From henceforth it shall be called

“The Great Crash of January 2008”.

Panic not, I am – as you can (hopefully) tell – still alive to tell the tale (soon to be the only 365-able part of yesterday). So, in true anything-and-everything-is-blog-fodder style, we must go back to bygone days of yore in order to set the scene for said Great Crash…

 *cue wobbly flashback screen*

I remember my friend Roberta and I taking a notion to cycle a couple of miles downhill to the local leisure centre when we were about 13.  Great idea at the time, not so good when going back UP the hill (the road with the graveyards if anyone is familiar with the Valley Leisure Centre).  It was half way through the uphill homeward slog that we composed our should-have-been-a-hit-record “Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo I wanna car” (I still remember the tune!)Do you remember being 13 and the driving test glory days of 17 are a million years away?  Painful.  I longed to drive ever since that day.

Eventually the day of my test rolled round.  I passed.  First time.  Oh the freedom!  Oh the joy!  Oh the days of two years free insurance!  It was wonderful.  I bought sunglasses, I made mix tapes, I sniffed magic trees… and a passionate love affair with driving began.

So, for two happy, happy years I trundled away in a little dark blue Corsa with ne’er a scare nor bump.  Then the free insurance ran out.  The first quote we got was actually in the region of £5000.  I artistic-license you not.  Crazy.  We shopped around and around to try and get a better deal, but – alas – no affordable insurance for little 19 and a half year old me.

Thus began the Driving-less Years.

The human spirit is resilient and so my life went on.  I became accustomed to my lack of freedom and social life-less existence, sometimes aided by car-insured friends, sometimes dependant upon moody-driver-always-late-when-its-raining buses.  But – oh! – how I always longed for those heady days of “mumsie-pays-for-my-petrol” splendour.

Three long non-driving years ensued.  It was only when considering a second year at Bible College that I began to pray seriously for the miraculous provision of a car.  Four bus journeys a day and no mates had really begun to wear thin!  For ages I hummed and haa-ed whether to do another year at Bible College or to move to France.  (Who needs a car in France?!  Its only in Northern Ireland that a fifteen minute drive on clear roads takes one hour to travel on two buses.)  I finally made my decision and informed the college registrar that yes, she could tear up the one-year certificate I’d already received at my graduation and start writing the two-year diploma one instead – I was coming back.  She said: “Oh great!  It’ll be good to have you around.  You don’t happen to need a car do you?”

Whaaaaaaaat?!?

“Yeah, I got a phone call from a man who wanted to donate his son’s old car to someone who needed it.  Do you want it?”

Does a bear…?!?

(“I saw a bear once”)

Thus began a beautiful relationship with a lil red escort called Samuel (which means ‘asked of God’).  This is Sam:

dscn0461.jpg

Isn’t he lovely?! 

For 18 wonderful, free-and-independant months, Sam and I (and sometimes Daisy, but that’s another story) chugged merrily all over Ireland (well, the North and Sligo- do any other parts matter?).  It was so wonderful! *sniff, sniff*

Then disaster struck… Sam one day began to choke (she conveniently applies artistic license in omitting to tell the reader exactly why he began to ‘choke’) and nothing could be done to save him from a scrap yard fate.

Well done, good and faithful steed, well done and fare-thee-well…

(moment of reverent silence)

 The period of mourning over and a brief flirtation with a red Corsa later, the search began for my perfect car: a Ford Focus.  Not exactly the stuff of dreams I hear you cry, but I didn’t want anything too flash (only partly because of money issues!).  I wanted solid, reliable, quietly attractive with room in the boot for a guitar.  Several debates took place as to whether I should be waiting for the much-desired Focus or just test-drive whatever came along in the meantime.  Yes, many drew the obvious parallels to the husband/wife search.  Honestly, can’t a girl even get a car without people over-analysing?!  Gosh.

Then I saw him… the One.  A sleek, affordable Focus, all mine for the taking!!!  His name shall be call-ed Milo because… well, because girls have to give their car a name.  Its, like, the law.

(again conveniently omitting the exact details of this naming process for fear of being deemed completely bonkers.  The Daisy story is definitely worse, though…)

That was 11 months ago and Milo and I have been very happy ever since.  Bit of a wobble with a recent screw loose (!) but otherwise, great.

And then Tuesday came…

There we were, driving from the North Coast to the Glens of Gormley (or the Rock of Fergus to be more precise) when all of a sudden a numpty – SMACK! – bangs into the back of us at a roundabout:  My neck!  My CAAARRRR! MY goodness – its pouring out here!  Neck and shoulder banjaxed, a new bumper required.

*cue vast waves of sympathy*

We’ll survive.

You know, I envisaged this blog to be about the annoying-ness of the current blame-and-claim culture; the paranoia that makes you wary of saying anything more than ‘Give me your contact and insurance details, mate, then nark off’.  But telling a random story about the cars in my life so far has been much more fun.

For me 🙂

The moral of the story is, don’t expect anything more intelligent from a self-confessed un-intellectual.  At least until the whiplash goes down…

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Second Rate – Two things to remember…

This is all a little overwhelming for me, all this discussion.  Never in a million years did I expect such traffic through my small corner!  I’m glad it has come up (kind of) and I’m glad its given others a chance to ruminate, illuminate and elucidate!  Most of all I’m glad that this is bigger than me.  Permit me, however, to share where I’m at in it all since it all began…

I think there are two reasons to proceed with caution here…

Firstly, its so helpful to have input from people who have had time to think through this stuff and are further down that road in general.  I’m aware that I’m not quite ready to do all the reading myself.  Not because I enjoy the torment of not really knowing, but rather that I’m still relatively new to this whole issue, as are – and no doubt will be – a lot of women out there.  To have spent my life so far eking out what it really means to be feminine from all the messages bombarding me only to come face to face with people who believe that my worst fears of not being what I should be are confirmed ‘clearly’ by God in the Bible – that is pretty damn difficult.

I’m in mourning. I don’t mean that I spend every waking moment thinking about this stuff, so sorry if that sounds pretentious, but it’s the best way I can describe it – mourning.  I could discover a whole list of convincing arguments, but the fact remains that there are people (not just men!) within the church of Christ who exclude and judge not only me but everyone of my gender: they have done so and will continue to do so for years.

Ouch…

It is good to know, though, that I’m not alone on the road much less travelled.

Secondly, the problem with having lots of convincing reasons as to why my instincts are right, is that the temptation to clamber up on a high horse is immense.  For whilst clever reasoning shows that Jesus’ ministry displays much counter-cultural grace and acceptance of women, doesn’t it also model the rejection of judgementalism and self-righteousness…?

I wrote about a friend who told me I was thinking too deeply; but in his defence, I hadn’t thought it worth much consideration either.  I don’t think I realised that it would ever really affect me until very recently.  Naïve, I know – especially for a woman.  But if I have been ignorant, then can I really condemn men for not considering the issue at length when they’re even further from the equation?

I nearly walked away from a conversation in church this morning about this ‘kerfuffle’, because my feelings around the debate are still red raw and more often than not, tears spring unbidden (as in, more so than usual!) – not so much because I know what ‘side’ the person in front of me is on, but more because I don’t know how I’ll handle it if they disagree with my gut instincts.

The hijacking of ‘feminism’ which gives the term a very negative, militant connotation is deeply regrettable and is not something I want to be associated with.  Especially not in the name of the gospel.  I don’t want to react in a way that makes men everywhere to feel guilty over the way this has all panned out.  Okay, let’s be honest here – part of me wants them to feel the crapness of it all and to wallow at length in the mire that has been perpetuated ever since the Fall.  But is that the gospel?  Nope.  Not as I understand it.

How then…?  What do I do with all this?  Where do I go from here?  Am I ready to move on?

I’m still not sure.

In the end, I had that conversation over coffee in church.  It was good – it was just a young man and a young woman discussing the fact that their thoughts on the matter are inconclusive. And you know what?  If a conversation like that helps just one person to open up to thinking about the role of women in church, then I’m going to try not to walk away from that.  Even if it means being in a public place, a snivelling wreck covered in snot.

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Second Rate

A sharp, wavering intake of breath as I stumble across a blog post about the role of women in the church.  I barely dare to read on for fear of hearing someone say that, yes – God does think I’m second rate.  That He’s made me the way I am just as a cruel joke: to hurt me, to frustrate me, to play with me, to trample me into submission and teach me – by hook or by crook – a lesson about humility.

All around the issue I see inconsistencies and ignorance (“I’ve never really thought about it, but my dad says this…”), inverted pride and nonchalance (“It doesn’t really affect me…”), tradition and stubbornness.  I live in fear of judgement, exclusion and hurt; I live in fear of being labelled too independent, disobedient to God, a feminist

But mostly I live in fear of finding out they’re right.

I once tried to share with a male friend just exactly how much heartbreak these thoughts inflict only to be told that I “think too deeply about things”.  My attempt was obviously horrificly inadequate. 

Even my book of Big Words cannot help me.

A degree of comfort is found in the fact that there is at least one of my male contemporaries who is willing to give more than a passing thought to these things. 

I hope its not as lonely a journey for him.

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Filed under church, fear, heart, questions, women