Public Confession: Forgive me, Newark

This blog is something I’ve both dreaded and looked forward to. It’s awkward, I’m not proud of the things I’m going to confess, so know it’s taken a lot longer than it should have. None-the-less, it’s here. I’m here. You’re here. Please hear me out.

Newark. Land of my bones for 3 years. Home to my heart for many more. I’ve done some of you wrong. My biggest thing? For about 1/2-2/3 of the 3 years, I feel as if I wasn’t what I should have been.

Let me back up. NOW, in recent months and even the last year, I feel like I’ve come alive – again – with my faith in Christ and the God he’s apart of. This faith journey has been like any other – with ups and downs and confusion and hope. Upon moving to Newark, all on my own, I kinda got lost. I got stuck in doubts about who God was, how He showed up in my life. And so I wasn’t ever ready or sure about how to live any beliefs out, because, well, I wasn’t sure I had them.

I’m very thankful for the darkness and empty times. I wasn’t then, but I am now. Now I have more perspective, but I still feel like I was a coward.

So I confess:

I was afraid (and still am to a degree) of my co-workers, TFA friends, and others knowing my heart. I was, and still am, afraid that these people would reject me if I talked about God. If I spoke about certain topics that weren’t PC. And so I was a coward. And I feel like I jipped you because maybe YOU too, friend in Newark, were searching for answers, asking questions about God, or just in need of some hope. Maybe we could have journeyed together. Maybe God could have used a coward like me to make a warrior, like you, not feel so silly. I’m ashamed of those times. Not proud. Not happy. So, please hear my sorrow, my sadness, my wrong in not offering all of myself to you. I’m sorry for holding things back (maybe you’re thinking, Thank God you DID hold back, Nicole, otherwise you would have freaked me out). I’m not saying I would have run around trying to pray over people and throwing crosses around, but really opened up my heart to live life with you. So if you saw me live this double-life, a life where I spoke about God in one breath (even in a coward-like way), but heard me swear in the next. Or heard the way I skirted ‘big issues’ about religion, but claimed one a day later, just know, my friend. That I’m a hypocrite. I’m a broken, screwed-up, messed-up gal. No excuses. No games. Just truth.

But if I stopped there with my screwed-upness, I’d be cheating you again. That’s not it. I’m not done. The fat lady’s NOT singing yet. The deep brokenness that I carry is actually a path. To a place where my deep brokenness is laid down for perfection. Not my perfection, but the one of a Man-God who sacrificed Life for my Death. He laid down and suffered, so that I might have hope in my life. He took the bullet so I wouldn’t have to. And I’m quite still in awe of all this business. But it’s given me such a hope. And there’s such a change, friend. That sometimes I just wake up in the morning and start dancing. Because I have hope. I see another way. It’s not republican or democrat. War or no confrontation. My options aren’t just YES! or NO! But there’s this 3rd way. There’s a path through the darkness, out into the desert, where I’m finding out about Real and True Life. and I’d like to live it with you.

Sorry I missed my chance. Perhaps you’ll forgive me.

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