Late last year my husband and I went on an amazing trip, hosted by Bethel Church, called Gather. It was a life-fulfilling, spirit-resetting trip full of laughter, fellowship and worship. It was a special time, to say the least.
One thing the trip offered was time to work on inner healing. I, of course, took advantage of this — we could all use a little inner healing. During the process, I got this message. I debated writing about it because I was thinking maybe it only made sense to me. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought: “You know what? I think this is a good analogy.” So journey with me into the inner workings of my mind, won’t you?
I wanted to work on my feeling of self-worth and the idea that I’m not being selfish for taking time to write and wanting this book to be a success (I know, I’m a broken record; healing takes time, OK?). The problem, as I mentioned previously, is that one role I don’t value is Kristin. Writing — especially because right now I’m doing it purely because it helps me and is therapeutic for me — definitely falls into the Kristin role.
This is where I’m going to talk my life as a believer. I’m trying to stay away from talking a lot about my faith here (despite it being a big part of my life), because I know a lot of people who have received strong shame messages from their church — or, more accurately, the people in their church. I don’t want to alienate anyone or have them feel like they aren’t safe here, so I try to talk plainly. But since this inner healing happened through a kind of guided conversation with Jesus, you are going to get a glimpse here.
At one point, I was asked what Jesus wanted to show me about myself. The first image I got was that of an avocado. (Side note: I’m always an image person. I’m rarely the one who gets a direct email from Jesus, telling me line by line what to do. It’s always cryptic images and phrases.) So here we are at the avocado. I’m sitting here, thinking about the avocado: What does it mean for me? This is what I worked out, and I apologize that it took me 400 words or so to get here: I am the avocado.
When you open up an avocado, the first thing you see is the giant pit. If you don’t know anything about the avocado, you might think the pit is very important to the enjoyment of it. I mean, when you remove it, it leaves a huge indentation. The whole avocado is built around it. If you have a giant pit, there’s a big hole but not a lot of actual avocado to eat. If it’s a tiny pit, there’s a small hole but a ton of what I like to call the “good stuff.”
Great. What does that mean, cryptic one? Well, I took it as this: The pit in the avocado of my life is all the roles I take on. All the performances I think are what define me: wife, mother, daughter, volunteer, house cleaner, chef. Yes, they are important. They leave an indentation on me. But the good part of me? The best part? It’s the Kristin. The pit is not the avocado. The green flesh is, and that is Kristin. The pit, the other roles, are important. They impact me and are a part of me, but they are not the best part. They are not the “good stuff.” I am. Just plain old me.
It’s a strange analogy, I know, but I got a lot of peace from the idea. The idea that I, not my roles, am the “good stuff.” That I need to continue learning the value of me and recognize that the roles are not as valuable and defining as I thought.
It ended with an image of Jesus and I at a table, eating chips and guacamole, which I also love — because who doesn’t love eating chips and guacamole with a good friend? I left feeling a lot more comfortable and a lot more secure in the direction my path was taking. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I cling to this desperately, purely because I really want one of those Squishable Stuffed Avocados (because I really, really do). But as I write this, and the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s true for me. It’s just the random, bizarre image I needed to see to understand that Kristin is the “good stuff.”