Anyway

There’s a song that Martina McBride sings that I’ve always loved because,simply put, it stirs my soul.
“God is great but sometimes life isn’t good
My prayers don’t always turn out like I think they should
But I pray anyway
I do anyway”

That’s a plain and simple truth and there’s times when I just “pull on my boots” and do things anyway.

One of these things involves going to church. Don’t get me wrong-I believe in God and I love being in His presence, but I feel closer to Him on my patio, outside in the nature that is truly shows His majesty. I read,ponder and pray as the sun warms my shoulders and the birds sing melodies.
In the church,though, I sit there,my legs crossed,and usually shivering,trying to grasp bits and pieces of what’s being said,
I latch on to whatever verses are showed on the screen and do my own bible study. I hear the roars of laughter and wish I could catch what everyone else does.
I miss about 95% of what’s going on, but I still go anyway.
I go to church because I know it matters, and because I love the moments when the music and the people fill my heart with joy and gratitude.
It’s far from perfect,but it is good enough,anyway.

There’s times when everyone is gathered around the fire pit,sharing stories,and I long to draw the chairs closer and bring out lanterns because I know that as soon as it becomes dark, I’m going to be left out. It still stings a little,but since it’s something that happens just once in a blue moon,I’ve learned to accept that,though,and just enjoy the warmth of the fire,anyway.

A few days ago, I shared with a friend that I felt like I needed to go shopping and get all “Tallydah” because of some big changes in my life. She quickly texted me back, “I think you’re beautiful inside and out,and you don’t need to change a thing!”
Those words made such a difference,and even though, I’ll probably get a couple more outfits; she made me feel like I’m just fine exactly the way I am anyway.

One thing about my deafness that’s sometimes hard for others to accept, especially women, is my need to stand or sit close , so I can read lips and touch. I’ve realized that most people think I’m flirting-and truth be told-with my personality,sometimes I am, and it makes some of them uncomfortable. I’ve had women express jealously or even,forbade their husbands from coming around me.
It’s a shame because I can’t help this.  The only way I can understand and communicate is to get up close and personal.so I’m going to do it,no matter what some may think,anyway.

Several weeks ago, one of my treasured friends came to my studio. We walked,hand in hand, to a nearby restaurant, taking our time to talk and enjoy the stroll.
After we sat down, he said, ” Did you notice how people were looking at us?” 
Of course,we gave them something to talk about- it’s not every day that a young,handsome gay man walks hand in hand with an  woman that’s 20 years older.
We were secure in ourselves and our relationship,so we held hands anyway. What mattered to us was our rapport and friendship and the simple pleasure we felt in each other’s company. Others may have noticed us but we didn’t give it a second thought.

I’m very aware of which friends are comfortable and willing to make sure I feel wanted and valued, no matter what the circumstances are.
I don’t have to understand every word because the energy they wrap around us,envelopes me in love and acceptance.  I can sit there,slightly touching one or the other,and feel incredibly connected,anyway,even though I’m obviously not catching everything.

I have one precious friend that will lip sync the songs for me wherever we are. She knows I hear the music so she brings the lyrics to life.
Another friend long ago found me an app that gave me gift of understanding lyrics. Not a day goes by that I don’t use this app and whisper gratitude for his kindness.

It’s the little things,like getting up from across the table to sit right next to me that makes all the difference in the world.

Lately , I’ve been more aware of relationships and how my deafness brings out the best or worst in people.
Yes,sometimes,even,those that know better, unintentionally leave me out, but I love them anyway.

So,something else I’ve noticed is that sometimes you have to step outside of yourself and look through the eyes of others, to fully see who you are. .it’s so easy to find our shortcomings,our flaws and imperfections, especially when we feel that we are being compared to someone else.
I’ve learned that it’s even better to see myself through the eyes of God. 
I may not always feel beautiful or beloved, worthy or wanted, strong or capable, but,deep down, I know I am,anyway.
I know that,on the days when I stumble and struggle,and let doubt tickle in,that no matter what I’ve done or will do,no matter what I’ve said, there’s another pure and simple truth, that the God of the Universe loves me anyway,and when I sit close and listen, when I’m mindful and present,when I surround myself with God’s beauty and the people that love me, I realize something else-I hear with my heart and that’s all that matters anyway.

Feel with both hands, Jeanna’

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