au·to·mat·ic pi·lot
ˈˌôdəˈmadik ˈpīlət/
noun: automatic pilot; plural noun: automatic pilots
  1. a device for keeping an aircraft on a set course without the intervention of the pilot.

I was walking through the grocery store today, in a lot of pain, in a hurry, pretty ticked off, probably with a not so nice look on my face, and I thought how terrible would it be for someone from church to see me like this? When I’m in church mode I’m on auto pilot. I laugh. I engage. I smile. I ask the right questions. I nod at the right times. I don’t say the wrong things. I don’t bring up my stance on politics, drugs, guns, or any other controversial topics. I’m just a generic nodding smiley gal with no opinions.

It’s exhausting though. I love when it’s over. I love when I get into my car and can release. Release the tension I have been putting my body through for the last four and a half hours, just let my mind breathe, let my body breathe. It’s such a relief. I’m not an extrovert. I have never claimed to be one, but when you’re in so many ministries you have very little choice on the matter. You are programmed to be bubbly, outgoing, smiley, polite, pleasant. Dare I say fake. Gasp. Yes, fake.

You don’t want to see the real me. No one wants to see the real me. The real me is in pain 24/7, the real me is a serious introvert. The real me doesn’t like hugs. Or people. Or talking. Or trying to remember a thousand names. The real me is impatient and a very deep thinker. The real me has struggles with God. My relationship with Him is really rocky. It’s on the verge of a cliff almost every second of everyday. But I can’t show that. I can’t show the real me. So I will continue to put myself on auto pilot to get through the day in one piece.  But as soon as it’s over and I am in the comfort of my own car I break into a million pieces. I usually sob on my way home and lock myself in my room under the covers because I am so exhausted I cannot do life anymore that day.

If you do happen to see me one of these days in the grocery store in a cranky state, I suggest you keep on walking, for your own sake.