Friday, September 24, 2010

The Between Identity


Jason: “I can’t remember anything before two weeks ago.” Marie: “Lucky you.” The Bourne Identity


For those of you who expect more regular blog posts, sorry. At this point, if you want the daily mundane and occasional comic relief, check my Facebook page. I waste far more time there than I should.


When it comes to blogging, I don’t know, I haven’t gotten the daily thing going yet. I so admire folks like Kyle and Jessica Hoover (thehooversinternational.blogspot.com) who keep folks regularly (I mean, like almost daily) posted about their journey to the Liberian mission field in spite of some of the twists and turns along the way. I think I take the whole thing too seriously which keeps me from writing as often. (Here. Like I said, check Facebook if you want to know what I had for dinner.)


I had no idea how prophetic my last blog post would turn out to be about MY last trip to Liberia, and every time I tried to think how to share that honestly yet appropriately on my blog, I got stymied.


In short, the sentence, “I make no promises,” (see last blog post) did end up having great significance. It referred to the fact that – in spite of an awesome trip with awesome folks- I would have to face old pain and have private battles with a personal nemesis. Several nemeses actually, and all of them related to past emotional scarring. They were the kind of battles that leave you reeling in pain and wondering why you ever decided to leave home and try again.


And when I did get home, I wasn’t real sure I was going to try again. (At least, that’s how I felt.)


I thought I would wait until I got all healed up and then write about it from a nice tidy retrospect complete with spiritual lesson learned. After all, since God led me there to face those things, I can expect the outcome to be eventually positive. Unfortunately reaching that destination seems to be taking longer than it should, and my poor blog was feeling neglected. (sniff.) Plus, I wonder how realistic it is to think I will only blog on good days. (wry grin.) So bear with me, friends and followers, on my wild world blogging journey. Since I am still in process, I decided to settle for being honest in this long overdue update, without being too specific. I don't really think most of you want that wild of a ride anyway. :-)


What do you do when you are in a difficult “in between time” of processing? I have several therapies I favor- playing on Facebook, increased exercise, long conversations with a few choice friends, soaking up God time in church whenever possible, sitting in Borders with a book where I have to actually sit still and read instead of throwing it down every five minutes. And once in a while, I watch a movie.


This time I went back- again- to one of my favorite movies: The Bourne Identity. The Bourne movies are some of the very few I actually own, and actually re-watch. (I’m not a big movie person- books are my thing.) For a while I just knew I liked them, and then gradually I started to figure out why.


The film starts with Jason’s body, barely alive, floating in the ocean in the middle of a storm. This is an image that might have described me quite a few years ago, battered and left for dead in a storm. The rest of the movie Jason is recovering and searching for his identity- again, pretty familiar. His search takes him through a variety of countries and circumstances- another thing I can relate to. I like how Jason never gets caught, always manages to escape with amazing skill and daring from the bad guys that are after him. That’s the me I wish I was- my alter ego. (Which is why I tried out a kick boxing class recently. I failed miserably. Jason makes it look too easy.)


The first movie ends with a degree of resolution, but the theme is continued through all three. And even then, there is no real happily ever after, just Jason finally getting all the truth at last, much of it not pretty, and having to learn how to live with it along with the accompanying residual pain.


Maybe that’s another reason why I like these films. No false nicey-nice unrealistic happily ever after wrap up that so many films end with. Just figuring out how to defeat your enemies and come to peace and live with yourself and the truth after it is all over.


The Moby song “Extreme Ways” under the credits at the end could be my biography:

Extreme ways are back again
Extreme places I didn't know
I broke everything new again
Everything that I'd owned
I threw it out the window; came along
Extreme ways I know will part the colors of my sea
perfect colored me

Extreme ways they help me
They help me out late at night
Extreme places I had gone
That never seen any light
Dirty basements, dirty noise
Dirty places coming through
Extreme worlds alone (did I ever tell you about Hong Kong?)
Did you ever like it planned?

I would stand in line for this
There's always room in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart

Extreme sounds that told me
They held me down every night
I didn't have much to say
I didn't give up the light
I closed my eyes and closed myself
And closed my world and never opened up to anything
That could get me at all

I had to close down everything
I had to close down my mind
Too many things could cut me
Too much could make me blind
I've seen so much in so many places
So many heartaches, so many faces
So many dirty things
You couldn't even believe

I would stand in line for this
It's always good in life for this

Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart
Oh baby, oh baby
Then it fell apart, it fell apart

Feeling like things are falling apart is not new to me. Which could be a really depressing thought except that also brings with it the memory of other things, much more hopeful. Because although things in my life have fallen painfully apart at more than one juncture, I also have the repeated experience of seeing God keep all the pieces of the mess- and me- in His hands. And while the outcomes were not always what I wanted or expected, He never abandoned me. And joy did eventually come again.

I know what I need. I need a good birth. Nothing like delivering a baby to put the world back into its proper perspective. That’s right, I just remembered. I am a missionary midwife. I have awesome opportunity to help bring real hope to places in the world that are really falling apart, not just having a bad day. Time to get on that.

Too bad that wasn’t an option for Jason Bourne.

He might have had more of a happily ever after.

2 comments:

  1. I love this post. Keep blogging. Keep going. Big hug friend!

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  2. Lauren EspenkotterNovember 3, 2010 at 3:04 PM

    You are amazing, I am a "follower" for sure :)

    ReplyDelete