Hold Back

For several months I have been trying to write about something that’s been weighing heavily on my heart. Every time I have attempted, I have had to stop. There have been too many words, too much hurt, and too much disappointment to really share. It’s been an emotional and spiritual drain on me.

We visited with a church for over two months and no one ever welcomed us or attempted to get to know us. I know that most churches tense up when a family like mine walks through their doors. Their favorite day is the day we don’t show up anymore. Eventually, that day came, and we didn’t go back. It’s been over two months since we were last there. No one ever reached out to us while we were visiting, and certainly no one has reached out to us since we stopped going.

Today, I ran into someone from the small group that I sat next to every week for two months. It would have been okay with me if she just smiled and went about her day. But she decided to strike up conversation. I had a split second to think of how best to respond to her, and decided to hold back.

  • I held back. Because that’s what I do best.
  • I hold back. Because you can’t handle what I would say if I could let go.
  • I hold back. Because if I opened up my vulnerable parts to you, you would only ever disappoint me. You can’t meet me where I need you most.
  • I hold back. Because cold shoulders and silence are on the daily menu.
  • I hold back. Because I haven’t held a real conversation with anyone besides my husband in months.
  • I hold back. Because your body language pushed me away before you opened your mouth.
  • I hold back. Because I don’t want to crush you with my words.
  • I hold back. Because it’s just better for both of us.

The conversation was awkward before it even started. Her facial expression when she realized we made eye contact and recognized each other spoke volumes. “Oh, hey!” Like we were long lost pals that could spend the next several hours reliving old memories. I’m relieved she didn’t try to hug me. “I haven’t seen y’all in a couple of weeks. Are you comin’ back?”

[Inhale] [Exhale] [Hold back, speak gently] [Inhale] [Exhale] [It’s actually been over two months, thanks for noticing] [Exhale]…

It took all that I had to spare her in this moment.

I chose to tell her that we were visiting elsewhere. Which is a true statement.

While my heart has been hurting and in some form of lonely torment and isolation for the past seven months, she’s on the other end of the store feeling good about herself. I’m sure it’s already been posted on social media hashtag blessed, {IOW: thankful she’s not me} and hashtag randomactofkindness.

Please don’t ever feel sorry for me, and don’t ever pity me. Please don’t ever think I could have a better life. I say that truthfully.

It is an honor to get to serve my son and to hold him in my arms and to relish the sweet baby boy that got bigger but stayed a sweet baby. It is a joy to hear his happy sounds and hearty laughter. It is humbling to learn from him. It is a privilege to teach him and watch him grow. It is everything and so much more to love him and be loved by him.

Today, lady at Aldi may have poured salt on an open wound. Today, I had to practice humility and grace. Today, my Handsome helped carry the groceries in.


Today, I chose to celebrate my Handsome boy and little victories that bring great joy.

8 thoughts on “Hold Back

  1. You know we love you and “handsome”. I wonder why our meeting was so brief, so here and then missed…but then it’s God’s story and we’re all learning to fill our roles the best we understand to do. In the meanwhile, you bless us by your willingness not to remain silent…a lesson of life I keep needing to practice. ◇♡◇ Lillian. Tampa

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for pouring out your heart to us. I remember the hurt from growing up with a mentally challenged sister, and now as adults we still sometimes deal with it. Can’t wait to see where God is going to direct you and your fam 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My heart is heavy after reading this post, Tricia. I am so, so sorry to learn that things are still tough trying to find a home church. It is sad that sometimes unbelievers are right about us: Christians are hypocrites and shallow people. I wish I could do something more than writing this and praying for all of you.
    Please know that you and your beautiful family are loved, and we remember you each day!
    The Freges

    Liked by 1 person

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