Monday, May 16, 2011

This I know.

I am a Christian.

I don't talk about it a lot, for two reasons. One being that a lot of people who proclaim to be Christians are really hateful and judgemental and bitchy, all in the name of the Lord, and I don't want to be lumped into that category. Also, because I'm really hateful and judgemental and bitchy just in general, and I don't want to give the real Christians a bad name because of my general assholery.

(Also? I say things like "general assholery". And? I don't feel bad about it.)

Lately, I've been compelled to be a better Christian. The real kind...the kind that have the good inner-peace thing going on. The kind that are really like Jesus, all good and loving and kind and caring of all people, not just the people who look and/or act like just them. I really, really want this, especially the inner-peace part of it. That sounds rad.

I'm not there yet. I've been a Christian for at least twenty-five years, and I'm still not there yet.

I think about this a lot and I'm pretty sure I know why I'm failing.
It's because I'm afraid.

I get really weary of being afraid all the time, but I still am. I'm afraid. Like a couple of years ago I didn't have much money, but I could carve out time (not much, but some) so I did that instead. Then I started having more money and I was able to give some of that away too. I was scared crapless to do so, but I did it. It's always okay, but writing big checks scare the crap out of me. Seriously. You should see me at the grocery store. I always feel I should apologize in advance to the people in line behind me because I might have a heart attack at any moment, particularly since milk is like $400 now.

It's always okay. It always is. But it is scary. The fear sneaks up on me at night sometimes. It never permanently goes away, even when I am more stable, even when the bank account is healthy, even when everything seems to be okay. When everything really should be okay.

I don't know how to fully trust. I don't think I'm good enough. I've failed so many times. I don't feel worthy of anything, including my children, my husband and my job. How could I possibly feel worthy of everything else I've been given? Of the times my life was spared? How my children got to live when so many others do not?

I know Jesus loves me. I know he's like so into me, for real. I get that.

I don't know why I'm afraid. I don't know why I'm afraid to just let go and trust.


Theresa said...

Wow Steph. WOW. Do you know you described me e.x.a.c.t.l.y. (except for the money being healthy and okay, but I know that will come). Thank you for this. I never quite identified that feeling, or if I did, I hid it-most of the time. You rock and you just made ME a bit better of a person.
Love you!

Jill said...

Our church has been awesome for this feeling in me. I never feel worthy, but they have repeated, many times, you are never WORTHY by actions or deeds or giving. You are just LOVED no matter what. Which is awesome. Why would you feel bad about yourself when God loves you so much... I still have those times when I feel bad, but overall, I feel much better these days.

Little Red Hen said...

Trust is a scary thing! I often pray over something, but then never let it go and TRUST that the Lord will take care. Letting go is also scary. This world is scary!
But, we've got an awesome God who loves us even though we might cuss like sailors! Or say things like "penis wrinkle," which I'm sure He's not particularly thrilled with when used as and adjective.

Misty said...

i totally get this. I've been a believer (i sort of don't like the term Christian because, well, Donald miller sums it up well, but because it's sononomous with a lot of pretty negative stereotypes)for the entirety of my adulthood... But i don't really shove it in people's faces, (or my readers faces) and when my one-day-book deal comes, I won't publish under the Christian guise of things and you hit the nail on the head with why... both reasons.

But, getting to the fear part of your post, I get that too... i was telling my husband, the other day, about how we all deal with this... It's what stops him form things. Me from things. Fear of failure. Fear of trying...

Theresa said...

I should correct myself a little bit here! People DO know I am a Christian; but I totally do NOT go on about it or even talk about it a lot, for the very reasons you wrote.
: )

Karen said...

Ditto. You just pretty much described me. Glad to know there are others out there that struggle with feelings of "not being good enough."

Jamie said...

If only YOU could see yourself as others see you. You totally are a good Christian. TOTALLY. And I get that you aren't really saying that you aren't but in a way that is exactly what you are saying. Just because you believe that others have given the C word a bad name, that isn't really the case. Christianity is something to be proud of. You lead by example, totally. Others look at your life and certainly know it isn't perfect, because that's the honest kind of awesome you are. However, you always let everyone know that you are trying. That next time, it will be better. That is all anyone can ask of any human. You are a wonderful wife, a great mom, a beautiful human being that loves Jesus and it shows. Whatever it is that you believe you lack, you're wrong. The trust in God comes with time. You are getting there. Anyone that knows you and how hard you try would be proud of you...(including Jesus). Seriously. Big hugs, friend. :)

Lisa (formerly tlg) said...

Abba doesn't give us a spirit of fear, but instead, the Spirit of love, and a sound mind:) whenever you feel fear? And you're sincerely asking Abba to help out? Well, it's easy to trust Him when you realise He NEVER turns away a humble, seeking heart, Steph,

Honestly, our Father never ever turns a deaf ear to anyone who really needs Him and wants to find peace in Him. :)

I don't blog anymore and I rarely comment, but I'm still around reading everytime you post:). tlg:) (if you remember)

Tarasview said...

oh fear and me go way back... I have discussed it at great length with Jesus and anyone else who will listen and have yet to figure out the "stop being afraid" solution.

I once had someone tell me it was because I didn't grow up with a father so I don't know how to relate to God as a father and therefore don't expect that He has good things in store for me and won't just zap the crap out of me for whatever idiotic thing I have done that day.

they might be right. I have no idea.

I don't really care... I'd just like it to go away.

Damn anxiety depression disorder.

Also? I would really like it if you could come to my church with me from now on because I do believe we could have some really good laughs.

Of course that would mean you have to move to Canada and this is terrible timing what with us being homeless and jobless in 6 weeks so you might want to wait to move up here until AFTER we figure out all those minor details.



val said...

Because life is scary, Steph. And you see good people suffer.

The whole "Things Happen For A Reason," thing was shot to hell for me when I was still in Kindergarten when a gentle farmer uncle ran over his own child.

What possible reason could have brought this devastation anyone?

Particularly these decent people, loving parents and funny brothers, that sweet little blonde kid?

Yeah. Defining moments. This was one of mine.

Sometimes, Steph, things are just



In my life today?


Every day for me is compared to a parent running over her own child.

It's always a good day here, so far.

Cross your fingers for me okay?

Mine are crossed for you. love, Val

Meredith said...

All "good Christians" feel like that, Steph.

I feel that way all the time.

But I realized in church on Sunday, when listening to a sermon on Psalm 23, that God may just use that fear and uncertainty to make me turn around and look to Him.

I'm a sheep, Steph. I'm a dumb sheep who gets distracted by pretty flowers and patches of sunlight and I go wandering off because I know that my Shepherd is keeping an eye out for the bad stuff. And then I find myself unable to see my Shepherd. I hear a quiet voice saying, "turn around. I'm right here." And there He is.

And all those wonderful things in my life? Gifts from Him. He takes me to green pastures. He wants me to lie down in the warm grass and rest. He restores my soul. I don't need to be questioning why me and why not someone else.

He's your shepherd too, Steph. And He's watching out for you, even when things are going well. He never turns His back on you. He's always waiting for you to turn around.

He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him.

I'm also reading a book about dealing w/ a crazy ex, and they talk about how, when you're going to climb down the face of a mountain, you don't think "I'm about to fall off the side of a mountain on purpose." You think, "I'm going to take a step backward and move in the direction I want to go, and I'm secured by ropes that are not going to let me fall."

Trust is like that. You don't say "I trust you, Jesus, but I know I'm gonna fall so I'm not taking that step because it's better for both of us if I don't risk it." You say, "I know that Jesus is not going to let me fall and so I trust Him, and I am moving in the direction He wants me to go."

What's gotten me through this hellacious divorce, and the absolute insanity that continues post-divorce, is the knowledge that Jesus did not bring me this far to abandon me.

Sunday's sermon isn't posted yet, but it should be soon: Give it a listen.

CPA Mom said...

May I suggest a book that has helped me? It's fiction but by one of my favorite Christian fiction authors. It's a first person account of someone who accepts Christ even though she's not someone "good Christians" approve of. I loved it. Just as I Am by Virginia Smith.

Darla said...

Great post. It's where I am in a lot of ways.