First off, my apologies if you have visited this site in the past week or so and found yourself unable to enter. We had some technical difficulties that, I think, now are solved.
Secondly, I’m excited to direct you to the podcast “Holding (It) Together”, a joint effort between the Women In Leadership Project of Mennonite Church USA and The Mennonite, Inc. Each episode of this podcast has stretched and inspired me and I encourage you to go into the archives and listen for yourself, if you haven’t already.
This fall I had the privilege of coming together with Sarah Bixler to do our own episode on this podcast. We shared about our experiences with infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. I’m finding that sharing my story has two different effects on me (maybe not so different, but they can feel like polar opposites): first, it’s been freeing and empowering to share some of my story. The journey with infertility has been marked by deep loneliness along the way. Finding my voice in the midst of the grief has been part of my healing process. Second, sharing in this way has led to big “vulnerability hang-overs”. After recording this podcast (which we did the same day that Dr Ford was testifying about Kavanaugh which had its own layers of emotion and heaviness), I crashed for about 24 hours and then spent the next few weeks wondering if I had said anything worthwhile or publishable in my doubts that often come after putting myself “out there”. I have felt these vulnerability hang-overs many times in my life – in my preaching, in relating to friends and partner, in pulling back protective layers of “stuff” that I’ve built up over the years to keep myself from the very vulnerability that is necessary to my own healing.
I’m trying to grow in awareness of these things, but the practice of vulnerability seems to always be hard even as I have known the gifts that come in growing empathy and connection that vulnerability inspires. I will keep trying/practicing and I offer this podcast here in the hope that whenever we share our stories it buoys one another up and encourages more sharing, more healing, more hope. You can find the podcast, episode 10, here: https://themennonite.org/the-latest/holding-together-podcast/ .