Unmasked | Pine-Sol, Bibles & Mints

“It matters not if the world has heard or approves or understands…the only applause we’re meant to seek is that of nail-scarred hands.” ~ B.J. Hoff

When I was a little girl, I was shy. Actually… I’m not going to use that word anymore to describe the horror I felt when pushed onto a stage I didn’t want to be on. The blinding hot lights, the sea of unknown faces mixed in with a familiar one here and there was not something I wanted to see. My father was a very well known pastor/evangelist and when he wasn’t preaching at his own church, we were traveling to his friends churches. I loved traveling to different states. I loved being around the pastors and musicians at the churches. I loved running around and exploring the empty churches while the guys set up equipment. Revivals were my favorites. The services that just went on and on. I remember being so worn out one night as my step-grandpa picked me up and carried me through a huge church while I rested on his shoulder. The late night dinners at restaurants with preachers and musicians after services were the best.

I really enjoyed being around men of God and the musicians. What I did not enjoy was being on stage and having hundreds of people looking straight at me. That is terrifying! I’m not a performer. I preferred to do things behind the scenes like preparing things for church, making bulletins, cleaning, helping in the nursery, setting up for communion…etc. I was just happy doing anything my parents wanted me to do at church that did not require being a “Dancing monkey” on stage for the crowd so to speak. I was the complete opposite of my family. I hated when people clapped for me and to this day, I hate people singing happy birthday to me. In fact…

The only applause I seek is that of nail-scarred hands. 

Right before each service, it was time to get ready. All to often, I had to wear frilly dresses that were scratchy and uncomfortable.  I would be summoned into the bathroom by my mother who insisted on curling my baby fine/stick straight hair. Then, it was time. The only part of church I hated was when I had to get up on stage. Standing to the side, I would freeze. Anxiety… stage fright, one of those or both would take over. I just couldn’t do it. My mother would try the guilt trip trick and when that did’t work, she resorted to bribery until I finally gave in. “Everyone wants to see you. Get up there with your brothers. If you get up there, I’ll get you an ice cream on the way home.” I hated the looks of disappointment I would get from my parents anytime I hesitated to behave the way I was expected to. Like a robot with no smile, I would take my place and do what I had to do to please everyone. Why did people want to see me anyways? Being the youngest child and a little “late to the party”, I wouldn’t fully understand the answer to that until later on. 

Looking over at my brother, I would watch/listen for “the beat”. I was terrified I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Somehow, I managed not to pass out in the floor and as soon as I could, I would get off of any stage I was made to go on. I can’t explain the feeling I felt as I exited the stage. It was like getting off of a terrifying roller coaster that you never wanted to ride. I hated people looking at me. I hated being on stage. I loved sitting in the pews. I loved blending in with everyone else. I liked sitting with my mother and listening to my father preach. He was always so sure of what he was saying. He preached with fire and confidence. My mother would nod her head and raise her hand, giving the air a kind of tap while saying “Yes” Or “Amen”.  The men would yell things like, “Hallelujah” and run around the building sometimes. My father would give an alter call and lay hands on the sick. All across the floor, people would be slain “in the spirit” and I always wondered what they saw/where they went while laying there. Church services lasted for hours. It was all so fascinating!

If you asked me where my favorite place to be was, I would’ve quickly answered, “Church!” There was something about churches that pulled me in. I loved church pews, stained glass windows, huge crosses, weekly bulletins, the smell of “pine-sol” coming from the clean bathrooms and setting up for communion was something special. Bibles… I LOVE bibles. There is nothing like feeling the pages between my fingers, turning to the correct verse and seeing the written word of God. 

After service, I liked to go up to my father who was talking with people and I would attempt to reach my little hand into his pocket where he always kept his mints. He had the BEST mints. I think they were called, “Certs”. He usually didn’t pay me much attention. I can still remember the smell of his cologne and the suits my father wore. He would have his bible in one hand and be shaking hands with the other. Sometimes, I might hug him or grab his arm. He would let me have one of his yummy mints and I would go on my way. Man, I miss those mints… 

 

Amazed By His Grace, 

Purple Rose

 

More posts in the “Unmasked” series:

Unmasked |Fishing Trips, Poor Little Worms and Sweet Tea

Unmasked | Church Ladies, Anxiety, Chili & Preacher Cookies

Unmasked | Bedrooms And Where I Find The Most Peace Right Now

Unmasked | Grandma’s Cakes, Heartbreak, Patsy Cline, Cigarettes and Jovan Musk

Unmasked | Hearing From God, Grocery Stores & Reacting To People

Unmasked | In Honor Of St. Valentine’s Day…

Unmasked | Cadbury Creme Eggs, The Pharmacy And Finally Saying, “Thank You.”

Unmasked | My Scars And The Scars I Really Want To See

Unmasked | Pregnancy, Heartbreak, and Losing Myself

Unmasked | My Father’s Sermon Notes And What Jesus Looks Like

Unmasked | Pain, Feeling Hopeless And The Voice That Keeps Me Going

25 thoughts on “Unmasked | Pine-Sol, Bibles & Mints

  1. Vanessa Williams says:

    I’m sorry you was forced onto a platform and expected to do something you didn’t want to do! It’s horrible! I know the feeling of being embarrassed. I’ve had many teachers that would make me get up in front of the class and read when they knew I couldn’t read very well and I didn’t like it. That’s why I’m terrified of reading in front of people now. I will have a full on panic attack if I even think I will have to read in front of people! It’s horrible!

    I totally agree with you about church! It’s such a unbelievable peaceful place to be! There is NOTHING like the house of God!! If I could stay in the presence of the Lord forever that would be fine with me! (I eventually will when I get to heaven) but there is just something about the presence of the Lord! Words can’t describe it! It’s my favorite place to be!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Rose says:

      On goodness! I feel ya. 😭 Sometimes, people push us to do things thinking It’s the right thing. It’s not always good to be pushed though. It can make things much worse. 😔

      Yes! I’m glad you know what I’m talking about! Never lose that feeling girl! Stay in church and keep loving Jesus. 😉🙏

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Dollfaced Writer says:

    You were such a good daughter to listen to them, even though they were wrong to make you do that. You’ve always had admirable regard and respect for them.

    Your love for church is beautiful and is something many of us miss out on. Even though you felt scared and anxious at certain times, that didn’t take away the peace and joy you felt when you were in church. You always remind me to cherish the spiritual aspect of our world! 😊❤

    I love this new series!!!! 😉😀😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stuart L. Tutt says:

    I feel ya on the stage thing. I was never one to stand in front of people and speak…then God me a counselor and I spoke nightly to roughly 50 teenagers. I learned that if called you to speak He will give you the words to say.

    The fact that it doesn’t stop you from enjoying church and serving speaks volumes about your heart even back then.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Rose says:

      Yes, that’s true brother Stuart. God will give you the boldness and the words to say when he calls you to do something. Until he calls us, no one should force us to do anything we are not called to do. I learned to not push my children, but to let them be who they are. They belong to God. I wasn’t supposed to raise “clones” of myself or live vicariously through them. My job was/is to love and accept them for the wonderful human beings they are while looking for the gifts/talents God placed in them.

      Nope, it didn’t stop me! Wow. 💕 You always see things I miss. 😂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Rose says:

      Amen Renee! 🙏

      I do have lots of good memories from church. I loved the “Church ladies” who made delicious food, I always liked to tag along for visitation at member’s houses and hospital visits.

      When I became a teenager, I got better at being in front of people, I LOVED youth group, helping prepare materials for Sunday mornings and going out to get people in church. Our youth group took over the mall and we were like modern day disciples going out and compelling people to come to church. We were on fire for God. I wanted the Holy Ghost like the other kids. I really loved my teen experience at church and I got so bold. I had an experience and finally felt what the adults I had been watching felt. Once that happened, I was all in. I couldn’t get enough of Church. It was amazing! I actually got up on stage and would sing my heart out. 😂 It’s crazy what happens when you let go and let God have control. 12 years old to 17 were my best years spiritually. 💕

      (I’ve got to stop writing entire post in the comments! 🤦😂).

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Renee/Heart Tokens says:

    It sure is amazing what can happen when we let God have control! He can work miracles! Quiet people suddenly become bold lol…Sounds like lovely memories! And I make long posts in my comments, too!😂 I’m beginning to wonder if that is why the spam filter is removing my comments on some posts. 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    Believe it or not, I’m shy. And I’m very… antisocial is a very strong word but I don’t like being around people too much too long. This world has always been awkward to me. And as strange as some people think I am, I think they’re just as strange.

    So I guess I understand what you’re saying to a point.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Rose says:

      You are?!!! Me too!

      Yes, people are strange! I don’t like big crowds or lots of conversation with people. It takes me awhile to get comfortable around people. Funny thing is, everywhere I go, people try to talk me. I am always nice and I will listen to them, help them and/or give them advice. My oldest daughter comments on how much people talk to me. Complete strangers! I just noticed it the other day. 😂 I have no idea why.

      I really do care about people, I just feel… awkward all the time. I guess that’s why I go out of my way to make other people feel comfortable. I would hate to make them think I don’t care. I love to throw parties at my house, but I do not invite very many people. I want everyone to be comfortable and I prefer more intimate settings.

      This world is awkward my brother. I think I can understand how you feel. It is not our home, we are just passing through. 💕 I try to make it a little better for the people who love me by always showing up for them even though I would rather curl up with a blanket and stay in.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        I’m weird… I’m not a people person but on here things are so different… I can talk to anyone about anything on here. And I think I aggravate and freak people out because of my talkativeness. That and my quirky sense of humor…

        Liked by 2 people

      • Purple Rose says:

        Not weird at all! You are unique. 💕 Like my oldest daughter tells me, “Nothing is wrong with you! Everything you feel is NORMAL.”

        Yassss! I know what you mean. On here we can be ourselves and say ANYTHING we want. It’s wonderful. I love it.

        And if someone doesn’t want to chat or thinks we are freaks, fine. No big deal. We can make new blogger friends that “get” us. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Mandy Campbell says:

    I can see the splinter and fracturing coming even as I read this post. Such a beautiful sharing of beautiful memories, but… At some point, childhood gets shattered for us all. Your opening quote really resonated with me. Like you, I grew up in a church. I was literally in the building six days a week because I went to a private Christian school in the church. I got to go for free because my parents taught there. I have so many amazing memories…but…
    Now you’re making me want to write a post about the fracturing! The miracle is that He put me back together—and is still putting me back together! You shatter so much easier after the first time, right? Like a fractured bone that didn’t quite heal fully. One day we will be healed completely though!
    Also, your descriptions of stage fright really gave me insight into something I’ve never experienced and always wondered about! I prefer the stage because it’s a barrier between me and people. I just see lights and it’s just me and the Lord. Peaceful. Alone in a way. The moments before going on stage are another story, haha. But once I’m out there…peace.
    PS
    Why were you forced onto stage? 😔 I can commiserate with you on the whole scratchy dress thing and wanting to please my parents in everything too. 💙

    Liked by 2 people

    • Purple Rose says:

      Yes, it does. 😭

      Oh my goodness! My parents had a Christian school when I was young and I was “at church” 6-7 days a week most of the time. Oh man, I remember being there from morning to night and wishing I could go home like the other kids. My parents offices were there and church was my second home… or maybe my 1st as much time as I spent there.

      Yes, write that post!!! I would like to read it. That’s awesome He has put you back together. 💕 I long for the day when we are completely healed. 🙏🏻

      Why was I forced to go on stage? My brothers were fantastic musicians and I was supposed to be like them. Playing instruments didn’t come naturally to me like it did them.

      I’m 7 years younger and I missed a lot of things and everyone kinda had their place already. I just didn’t fit in at all. I didn’t understand how big the ministry was or why it was a big deal for me to be “seen”.

      During church and visiting other churches, my parents wanted all of us children in the band. Back then, I just did whatever I was told to do (played instruments). I really could sing, but I was too afraid to use my talent until my teen years.

      Oh those dresses!!! They were awful. 😂

      I have had to learn how to love certain people while trying not to please them to the point of hurting myself. And that I am not an extension of anyone. I’m not on this earth to be underneath anyone. I LOVE my family. I LOVE that I was raised in a Christian home. I LOVED going to a Christian school. I just see success and life differently than certain people. It’s taken me about 40 years to understand that God made me the way I am, I am not a surprise to him. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with me or the way I feel. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

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