What Goes on Behind the Scenes?

There are so many things I want to write about right now. I’ve been lacking in inspiration, or motivation. 

But also I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety more than usual. I’m fighting my way through it and learning a whole lot. But I’ve been introverting a lot for the past couple of weeks and it’s been helpful. Every once in a while I kind of “disappear” for a couple weeks and recharge. Being am ambivert, it’s weird needing introvert time as much as I need extrovert time. Extrovert time is more helpful for my depression and anxiety most of the time, but introvert time is important for my inner energy and to refocus on who I am inside.

Anyways…not AT ALL what I intend to write about…BUT like I said…there are many things I want to write about, so bare with me…I may be a little all over the place haha…sorry…

I gotta stop saying sorry so much. Especially when I’m not really sorry…

I guess what I wrote about could be related, actually…just applied to an entire family…

So…I wrote in a previous post What a Time to be Alive about my Granddaddy passing away…so what I’m going to write about is related to that…

My mom and I were talking about the funeral and she mentioned how our family was surprisingly somewhat unemotional throughout the whole thing. There were tears and some laughter, but not what you would really expect from us, I guess…kind of...

I told my mom why I thought that was…my family (for the most part) doesn’t care for being in the spotlight, baring emotions that make us vulnerable…mostly in church…especially that church

We had the viewing the same day as the funeral and it was in the gym where the funeral was being held…so our family of 40 some people slowly and reluctantly lined up on either side of the casket. I have no idea why we thought an hour would be long enough for this…we started almost 30 minutes early and it still wasn’t enough time. So the line of people passed by us saying stuff about being sorry for our loss and it being so good to see all of us again and trying to guess who was who and who “belonged to whom…” Then when someone realized that this could take forever since 500 some people showed up, that some of us should start just walking through the line and saying hi to people that way…what.a.relief. So we all quickly dispersed and went into the…whatever it’s called…lunch room? eating room? fellowship hall?…where it was set up just for our family.

I swear we all hid in there as often as possible. 

So then it was time for the funeral…I don’t know about anyone else, but I had butterflies in my stomach as if I was about to walk on stage. It was reminiscent of the old days of being in choir, walking in a line and heading up on the stage to sing in front of a church that isn’t allowed to clap after a song–just smile or say “Amen” if you enjoyed it…(because clapping is seen as giving praise to the people performing the music). So anyways…there were so many kind-hearted, loving, and special people to me in that room…then there were the people who made me feel anxious and defensive of my family…Sometimes it’s hard to block out the negative energies and focus on the positive energy. It was amazing and so beautiful that so many people showed up though…people flew in or drove up from all over the country to be there and that was so special. I don’t want to discount that.

So why this church? Why was it difficult here? 

I think the majority of our family has had some kind of negative experience there. My Granddaddy was the pastor there from the time my mom and her siblings were very young until he retired and I was already out of high school. So…we all kind of grew up there…this church (which also has a school that myself, my brother, one of my aunts, and most of my cousins all attended at some point) was my entire life when I was a little kid. It was such a happy place, filled with family and friends. My dad was the music minister and my mom and all of her siblings and their spouses were involved in music. I had no idea that behind the scenes there were some very difficult situations going on…in my little eyes I just saw smiles and my little ears just heard the laughter and beautiful music…

I’ve written some about when I was little and my mom went into the hospital and we left this church and school and my entire life just changed…well…all that happened at this church. 

Being in that line for the viewing reminded me of when my dad, mom, my brother and I stood on the “platform” (because it wasn’t called a “stage”) in front of the whole church to say goodbye as they walked through in a line and hugged us goodbye after my granddaddy told everyone we were leaving because my dad “answered the call” to be an evangelist…keeping the secrets backstage…So…I was here in a line again as everyone passed by to “say goodbye” to my granddaddy.

Each person has their own experience that could be talked about, this is just mine.

I am thankful for the many days before and after the funeral when our family got to be together…alone…get to say our goodbyes and “I love you”s to granddaddy and spend time together. We also had a private viewing for just our family either the day before or a couple days before the funeral…I can’t remember…but that was helpful.

It’s interesting how a building…how standing in a line…how seeing old faces and hearing old voices can trigger so many memories and emotions. Some good and some bad. I really had some good days there as well.

But anyways…I don’t really “go to church” anymore…it’s weird for me. I love and believe in God and am a spiritual person. I know some people (like those at this church) wouldn’t necessarily believe that if they found out I don’t attend church anymore…and that’s fine…believe what you want. I hope everyone will see past the things they’ve been taught their entire lives and find out what they believe for themselves…but that won’t necessarily happen for everyone. This isn’t to say I hate those people, or that I think they are bad people, or that they are wrong and I am right. In fact, in the New Testament, Paul talks about letting people be convinced in their beliefs and to do our best to not offend them even if we believe differently. So…basically…stay humble…don’t fight and don’t push our personal beliefs on others.

I wish that was talked about more in churches-the whole, allowing others to be convinced in their beliefs and not pushing our own beliefs on them…it’d certainly be easier to feel comfortable being ourselves and allowing ourselves to not be afraid of vulnerability…to not feel the need to hide our emotions…or to keep our secrets behind the scenes.

Stay humble. Forgive. Love. Don’t push your beliefs on everyone else…don’t attempt to take a person’s freedom to be themselves away from them.

All we can do it work on being that example ourselves…you can’t change anyone but you. You have a voice, you can influence, but each person has to make the decision to change themselves.

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