I keep finding myself referring to the concept of “stretching my legs.” Sometimes I’m talking about my social legs, sometimes it’s my conversational legs, sometimes it’s my sensory legs… but I keep coming back to this.
Every week for almost two years, I’ve gone to a Wednesday morning women’s program at my church. It’s something like a hundred (maybe a little short of that) women. It’s packed. In the beginning, we sit around circular tables, talk, sing, pray, eat, all in one big room. Only, that “big” room is quite crowded. Then, we break off into four or five separate studies. I’ve done…. let me think… Esther (a Beth Moore study), SHAPE (which was sort of about finding your place in the body of Christ), Ezekial, and now A Confident Heart (based on the book of the same title by Renee Swope).
Can you imagine all the ways in which my legs are verily nearly pulled right out of their sockets?
Here I am, sitting around a table with six or eight other women, and expected to carry on conversation. Now, my staff is on my left and my good friend Heather is on my right, but truthfully, unless someone directs a question right at me, I kind of can’t hold up my piece of the conversation. I’m so distracted by the loud, colorful, moving environment that it’s pretty hard to think about chit-chat. Did I mention that it’s loud? These are women who I don’t know all that well, making it even tougher. Conversational legs.
I really like these people… just not all at once, please!
The sensory environment can be really overwhelming. The sheer volume of 100ish women is, well, loud! And there’s music. And there’s food and smells and lots of motion and did I mention the volume? Cause, well, it’s loud. Sensory legs.
Anyway, there are also social issues galore to ferret through. Hugs comes to mind. I’m not a hugger, unless it’s one of a very select few people. Maybe I’ll hug you one day too, after I’ve known you for some years and been through heck and back with you, sure. But most people don’t get hugs from me. And yet, people try to hug… time and again. I know you’re being nice, and I really do appreciate the gesture… but why must we hug so readily? Amidst the loud, colorful, moving room… a hug is enough to send me over the edge. Social legs.
So then we move to the studies, and my first issue is that I want to sit in the same seat every time. I chose a seat, the RIGHT seat, the first day… and every week since then, it’s been taken! I almost panicked. I had to sit on the side of the square I didn’t want to sit on, and my friend wasn’t beside me, and… and… it was all wrong! Rigidity legs.
Sitting in a room of, oh, 30 people? Listening? Sitting still? Oi vey. That’s enough to cause some serious anxiety. There go those legs, too.
I love, love, love this group, and I’m not about to let a little leg stretching get in my way of fellowship and worship. These women have accepted me, no questions asked, whatever I need to get through it. From becoming one of my very best friends to offering to me and giving me my Lucy, I’ve been so immensely blessed. Stretching is hard… but oh, is it worth it.