I had a Bro Ocholla moment. Yup. I did. Sounds hilarious now, but at the time, it was bad!!!
My heart had been crushed into fine powder, and like any good mourner, I was shuffling back and forth between the different stages of grief. Shock, pain, guilt and rage ran my life. My favourite place to be was ‘denial’ because in those moments I had a sense of tenacity albeit just for a minute. I was ecstatic, delirious even!
Being newly single had popped up on the radar somehow and I had myself going out on great dates! The distractions, I welcomed gladly.
Once, I went out with a friend for dinner, had lots of fun and got a warm selfie with him. In typical slay queen fashion, I excitedly sent it to one of my friends on messenger; except it wasn’t to one of my friends. I sent it by mistake to a lady that looked up to me and knew me as a married and dignified pastor. In fact, her last message to me was concerning how much of an inspiration I was, in matters marriage.
I was toast!!!!
I noticed as soon as I sent it and flew into full-blown panic. I wanted to delete my entire life and shoot myself twice. I tried to scream the picture back into my phone. I sat there cursing myself and Mark Zuckerberg with all sorts of bad words that I had no idea I had in my arsenal.
As soon as I sent it, she saw it. I fumbled with my words not sure what to say and she said nothing, which compounded my embarrassment.
Then, palm to face, I agreed with me and myself that I was a complete and utter train wreck.
She and I never spoke again. I’m not sure what she thinks of me now. At that time, It mattered to me that she thought I was perfect. It really did. It made no sense to me for people to draw from weakness, vulnerability or defeat. I felt I was a great pastor based on my stellar performance.
Fear, guilt and shame were the paralyses I lived with. I was horrified at the thought of people finding out that my marriage had failed. Simple things like going to the supermarket would be so stressful that sometimes I’d go hungry because I didn’t want to run into anyone that knew me.
I also started declining all speaking engagements because I felt I lacked the moral authority to give instruction.
It should have been a great laugh-at-myself moment but the pressure to be perfect, coupled with my own brokenness had me deeply ashamed.
I look back and laugh now. It wasn’t as serious as it seemed.
My point, cut people some slack. Everyone is trying to figure their life out. It’s always easier said than done. Pastors probably have it a little rougher because the expectation is that we’re as near perfect as can be. But we’re products of extravagant grace. Allow me to be human, embrace all of me, and let grace flow through my imperfections as I extend you to same courtesy.
Most importantly, be kind to yourself. Embrace the process. Don’t join the accuser of brethren against your own self. It’s unnecessary to carry every weight as a badge of honor.
Travel easy and light and laugh at yourself a little.
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephaniah 3:17