Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Different Point of View

August 5, 2012

Dear Friends,

This is Lori Clark writing for Gay again. She planned a trip to spend time with Beth this past week. Gay called me with a specific request, "Would you be willing to write about what it's like to be in relationship with me? If you agree, maybe we could dialogue for a few posts?" In typical Gay Hubbard style, she gave me the option of saying a solid, "No, Gay. I cannot or will not do that."  In typical Lori Clark style, I instantly answered, "I'd LOVE to do that, Gay!"

In the discussion that followed, she explained further that it seemed fair to her readers to hear if, indeed, her actions matched what her words reflect about living in relationship with others.  Because I know Gay well, I could hear in her voice a bit of trepidation in the request. Not only did she give me full permission to say what I'd like to say, there was an implicit agreement for honesty. 

Her desire for others is to learn and grow. If through her life, she can offer opportunities for others to be transformed--even through the ashes of her mistakes and limitations, she takes the vulnerable position of truth and transparency. Which, in my estimation, might just be her greatest asset.

I've known Gay for over 20 years. I came to her as a client. I was newly married, living far from nuclear family support and struggling in a different, powerful way with an eating disorder. I was also recognizing for the first time that I was depressed. Standing 5'8 in my size ten dress, I was concerned about how fat I was on the first day I met Gay face to face. I will never forget what she said to me just after she'd handed me my Styrofoam cup of coffee in her Lakewood office. She rolled her chair towards me, put her arms on the round table, and said without a smile, "I am overweight. I have been this way my whole life. If my weight is a barrier to your healing, you'll need to find another therapist."

I was stunned. It wasn't because of her weight. I'd already decided I wanted to see Gay. I knew of her through the seminary my husband attended. I even knew what she looked like. I was stunned because I'd never met anyone who was willing to openly admit what for me, at that time, was a source of shame. Much more, she didn't apologize or make excuses as to why she was overweight. I knew deep in the core of my confused and mostly undiscovered self that Dr. Hubbard could help me. I couldn't have articulated what I wrote earlier; but, it was her willingness to own her limitations that sealed the deal all those years ago.

What I could never have imagined at that moment is that Dr. Hubbard's influence would alter my life, my thinking, and my patterns in ways that would lead to joy and contentment I'd never known. I couldn't have dreamed that as my friend, Gay would walk beside me and war for me in Heavenly realms while I sat contentedly overweight before a jury to decide the outcome of the custody of my only child. What I can say, along with throngs of others that walk in relationship with Gay, I wouldn't be the person I am today without her.

Gay is truly the most humble person I know. She is not perfect. She and I have had conflict over the years and found reasonable, rationale ways to work through our differences. Her trepidation was not primarily, I think, because of anything I might say that would be unflattering. Her concern is that I might speak the truth of how marvelous she really is. Reading her blog, you know that she tells on herself regularly. I'm just going to point out the particularly wonderful sides of her that she would never, in a thousand years, write of herself.

I feel confident, that although slightly red in the cheeks, Gay will approve of my approach only because many people will learn and grow.

Let me add.....Gay also knows me well. I'm fully comfortable knowing in many ways, she knows me better than I know myself. She knew I'd say glowing things that would embarrass her. Isn't that the power of true humility? She understands the balance between sharing what transformation looks like. She does her part. God does His part. Miraculously, He makes us more like His Son. I just plan on sharing the family resemblances that will last for Eternity.

Please, if you will, keep Gay in your prayers. She is weary and in need of both physical and emotional energy. Whether via me or Gay, her blog will be posted again next week. Until then, ~lori

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