the swing backwards

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Today I called the woman who stayed with me that relapsed after she left me a few messages regarding her stuff. A few Saturdays ago I had taken it to her work, after being told by someone who works there she was on shift. Later that week I got a call from her, in Ypsi, asking for it. I texted back I had dropped it off where she worked.

She called again yesterday and left a message. A very close friend of mine who runs a men’s house, (and is in the process of buying his own house now), advised me I had to call her and let her know I’ve done all I’m willing to do -she might have never got the text or can’t understand it.

That’s what happened. I had the feeling I was calling into a place where everyone is using and I heard in the background, as she got upset at me for doing that, “that’s very Christian of you” and then there were expletives at me and then she hung up. She had given me a few spaces of time to say something but I said nothing beyond explaining what I had done and why. I was told she was still employed there and left it.

My friend encouraged me that in the future we’ll have rules and contracts and it’ll be more clear cut. The truth is she was supposed to pick it up on the weekend and never showed. She went over a month without contacting me. I couldn’t keep those things forever.

But I did keep a picture of her as a kid. The other one that went back to using – I kept her letters, (didn’t open them, just have a pile of them). the stuff is set by a candle where I pray over them and the other women I work with.

The house is in the appraisal stage so it’s a waiting game. The advisory board is next, but my partner and I have to come up with a list of things we want to cover and accomplish. I’ve got a venue now, a Jewish recovery meeting on Tuesdays that I think the last board member will be at.

All I could think about – although I hated getting accused – was the abuse I’ve given my parents or God or people I’ve dated and warped perspectives I’ve had – this was the receiving end for me for the first time of such hostility. I sort of feel relieved as if it’s some sort of penance, but mostly it stings because I’ve done it. The passages about persecution and blessings flitted across my mind but I know its nothing in comparison to what our church (universally speaking) experiences. But I felt good because I’m taking one for the team, I guess. Even if it’s just scrape. I felt like I was on the right path. Deep down I know this woman knows the truth.

It’s like I am on the swing and trusting God as I freefall backwards, legs tucked, eyes squinted shut, fingers clenching the chain and ears ringing. It’s a thrill, an adventure, and totally not what I’m used to. I’m safe in Him but not safe in the world.

He’s also sent me this friend, the guy that runs the sober house, to walk through all of this with. The man is not Christian but is reading a copy of Dangerous Devotions (that I gave him) – the first book I read about the bible about 6 months after I converted. I figured that I needed something simple and since I was like a kid, a kid’s book sounded perfect. It was a great foundation and I’ve worked through it a handful of times, and used it for an 8th grade summer study once, (though it was a little too young for them, the principles are solid.)

He’s in control. We’ll see what happens.