A lot of my life I have not loved. Despite not loving my life I found ways to love life around me, and found good things wherever I seemed parked even though I was held up by accidents and construction quite often.  I know that might not make sense.  I did live the life I had - dutifully mostly because I thought that's what I needed to do based on how I was raised and my own inability to understand God's real design for my heart and life.  That life limited the real me from being totally free knowing others wouldn't know how to take all of me, my more liberal views, the irreverence that coursed through me, my questioning spirit, or my freedom of thought.  I tried to conform to this life that I was in and it was hard and honestly, painful to operate in a way that made me less.  To be a free and open spirited soul in a boundaried and constrictive world creates problems.  Operating in ministry for 25 years was always a challenge for me.  I didn't hold doctrinally to some theological stances of my denomination or their narrow window on things like drinking and dancing just to name a couple.  A glass of wine, a beer, a martini I don't have a problem with.  But I could never say that or do it where anyone from church would see me.  I hated that!  I was married to a person that had been a huge mistake at age 19 and I had truly and deeply loved someone else all my life - you can't say that in ministry!  I'm sure when my daughter got married (outside of the church) and we had a dance floor and music blaring some of our former parishioners from the churches we had served in who were in attendance must have thought we had gone "liberal" (they didn't know I always was)!  I also don't think an occasional swear word is going to send you packing straight to hell but for obvious reasons kept those words from being used around that group of people and even my husband who would chastise me constantly for it.  Questioning everything is part of my makeup and I had to curb it constantly and just accept what was in methods, traditions and just about everything!  My irreverence of most things also had to be kept buttoned up as that can be taken as sin in many people's eyes.  My quick mind was also buttoned down so as not to totally usurp my insecure pastor husband who would get angry when people looked to me instead of him many times. My desire to pursue things in my own life took a backseat with a mate that used my abilities to cover his blaring inadequacies in ministry and relationships with others.  As time wore on I really looked at the issue of my marriage and how I had to operate in a not-lynn-zone to even manage the struggle daily. I realized I could not endure neglect, ambivalence, no passion, no connectivity, no love, no mental stimulation any longer as I had seemingly lost myself at a great cost.  When I battled it out what God really thought, I mean really thought and could know His desire was just to love me - not dependant on what my family thought, the church people, or sometimes even myself, I knew it was time to end that life and start the one I should have lived all along.  He designed me to flourish and I was not and had not in 25 years.  I unbuttoned my top button that day.  Today a year and half out of the pastorate, a martini and a couple glasses of wine splattered through my week, my divorce final, a clearer vision of God's view of me and life, I have unbuttoned several more buttons and am now actually showing some cleavage - that is if I had any:)

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