I survived, y’all. It was terrifying and exhilarating and so, so shameful. And I survived.
Yesterday was nerve-wracking. The kids are sick and contagious, so I didn’t get the distraction of coloring and reading and singing and dancing. And my friends who are visiting from Texas have their own children and didn’t want to risk me carrying germs over to their babies, so I wasn’t spending time with them. So instead, I spent my day stewing in nerves and OMGCANNOTBELIEVEI’MDOINGTHIS.
One fear was that people would think I was mocking Christianity by reading from my old prayer journals. I wanted to be careful to make it clear I was only making fun of the girl I used to be, and the things I used to worry about, not any specific belief system. Another fear was that my friends, my dear, lovely friends who were going to be in the audience, would be so embarrassed by my former display of Jesus-y exuberance that they’d decide not to be my friends anymore.
This fear may have been irrational.
We got there early and grabbed a couple of tables and some vodka. Stat. Then my friend Sage showed up with boxes of Nerds to help calm my nerves. Brady brought two candy bracelets. My friends know me so well. When I’m nervous, I need sugar. And vodka, apparently. But it worked because by the time the show started, I was feeling mellow, groovy, and ready to humiliate myself in front of 150 strangers.
I was the last reader of the first act AND the only first time reader of the evening. Luckily, I had Jesus on my side. The minute I told the audience I would be reading from my prayer journals, which were essentially letters to God, they were with me. And then when I told them I would be reading entries from a time when I was certain God had shown me whom I was going to marry, they were excited. They knew the pages of my sparkly journal were sure to hold juicy, Jesus-y bits of mortification.
I’m not going to type out what I read here, because OMG, but I will give you a sampling of some of the better bits:
“My husband will NOT be attracted to my body; he will be attracted to my obedience to Your will.”
“I want to know the love designed for a man and a woman.”
And my favorites:
“I will wait for your will, even if it means I will remain unmarried until I’m TWENTY SIX.”
“I will not participate in anything debaucherous (NOT a word) or unholy.”
Amazingly, lightning didn’t strike, the audience laughed a LOT, and my friends were all still sitting at the tables where I left them. Glory be to God.
(If you ever have the chance to attend a Salon of Shame, I highly recommend it. Reading was a liberating experience, one I probably won’t repeat too soon, but something I’m SO glad I did.)