The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Over the Wake

I was looking through some old school papers tonight, and I came across one that I wrote in high school about the unknowns looming ahead of me at that time.  I have found it a bit interesting and makes me think, "hmmm," as I compare it to other times in my life and my way of thinking at that time.  I make some valid points in this paper that might be good to consider again in the face of fears.  So here it is:

by Cindy Boersma (1993 or 94)

"I don't want to water ski any more," I cried through my clenched teeth as the boat pulled me through the water.

The beach was getting closer.  I stood stiff legged on the skis, trying to keep them from slipping away.  The boat wake loomed like a mountain on either side of me, and suddenly the joy and excitement of water skiing was replaced by fear.  Would I make it over without crashing?  Would I be able to hang on to the rope until the right time?

I can feel that same fear now as I see that mountain of college unknowns standing in my future.  Will the classes be too hard?  Will I do well?  Will I make lots of friends?  Can I make it on my own?  Life up to now has been safe under the protection of my parents' roof, but soon I will leave this safe place and see what I am made of.

I had to see what I was made of that day water skiing.  Staying behind the boat in the smooth water between the wakes, I felt safe, but every skier knows that to be let off at the beach he can't stay behind the boat.  When it is time to be let off, the boat angles toward the shore.  Then it speeds up as it turns back again.  The skier flies over the wake and toward the shore.  When he can't get any closer by holding the rope, he lets go and glides smoothly into the shallow water.  All this may look simple when done by someone else, but for the first time it doesn't seem so simple.

Looking at the wake that day, I began to doubt my ability.  I could just see myself tumbling head over heels onto the skis and hard water beneath me.  Why did I have to go into the shore?  Couldn't I keep on skiing, staying safe between the wakes?  I wanted to believe that, but I knew that was unreasonable. My arms and legs were already starting to ache.  If the boat didn't run out of gas first, I would.  Then I would crash for sure.

"Let go of the rope," a voice in my head suggested, "then you could avoid the humiliation and hurt in crashing and just sink safely into the water."

Yes, that would be so much easier, but no.  I had to hold on because letting go would be giving up.  If I let go, I would never know if I could cross that big wake.  And to be the best water skier I can be, I have to cross it one day.

"Just let go," the voice repeated.

The boat was speeding up.  I had to decide now.  So I took a deep breath, gripped the handle with all my might, and turned my skis toward the wake.

The unknowns in my future may look as big as the wake of that boat, but no matter what, I will take a deep breath, grip the handle with all my might, and turn my skis toward the wake.

I will not let go!


Well, there it is.  "Hmmm."  I am sitting here thinking, and don't quite know what to say.  Who would have known that I would come to a time later in my life when I would let go...

...Maybe though, God is giving me another chance to make a grand beach finish.

Death and Freedom - My Butterfly Tattoo

When I got my butterfly tattoo, I decided on a butterfly because I just like butterflies.  I think they are pretty, so delicate and free.  Free to fly and flutter through the fields and flowers and trees.  But where do they come from, these things of delicate beauty?  Have they always been so free?  Do they arrive in the world with such brilliance which allows them defy the gravity that holds them down?  And why does my eye follow them in wonder?

The Butterfly Tattoo I have on my lower back.

I read tonight on The Butterfly Site on the internet that the pupa stage is "one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life."  It sure doesn't seem very cool to me though.  I remember once as a kid finding a chrysalis, as they are called, in our back yard.   To me it didn't look very cool.  It looked like something that was dead.  I watched it for a moment, and nothing happened.  It was ugly, and I threw it away.  

As I think about that, I think about my years of deep, dark struggles in depression.  I felt like I was something that was dead, something that was ugly and needed to be thrown away.  Nothing good was happening.  

A chrysalis once was a caterpillar that was very much alive, moving around, taking in all it could.  Wasn't that what happened to me?  I was once so alive, and then everything stopped.  I was stuck.  Nothing good was happening.

But wait, as the web site continues it says, "From the outside of a chrysalis, it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting[or dead], but the inside is where all of the action is.  Inside of the chrysalis, the caterpillar is rapidly changing.   Now, as most people know, caterpillars are short, stubby and have no wings at all.  Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge."

I can now look back and say that about myself at my time of depression.  From the outside it looked(and felt) like I was dead, but the inside is where all of the action was.  Inside, I was slowly changing.  Within me, the old parts of myself and my understanding and my heart were making a remarkable transformation to become the beautiful parts that make up the me that is starting to emerge bit by bit today.

I realized that God loved me even in that time of death and ugliness.  In fact, it is because of that death and ugliness that I was able to feel an unfathomable, deep, and unconditional love that God has for me.   "For God soooooo loved the world[including me] that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)  Wow!  Because I believe, when God looks at me He sees the perfection of His Son Jesus!  I can't even understand that great of a love.  Feeling that love made it OK for me to be me, just me as I am, just me with Jesus as my Savior and the Spirit within me.   What a freedom! 

This freedom that I now am experiencing to be me, the me that God made and loves, brings with it a kind of quiet confidence to begin to stretch my new wings and to start to learn to see that there is hope that God will really let this butterfly fly free, released from the gravity of what held me down. 

So, now when I think of my butterfly tattoo, I think of the freedom I have in Christ, and I wonder what delicate beauty the world will be able to see in me?