Monday, June 17, 2013

You Aren't The Only Sinner

Life gets hard in ways that you never expected would come. This is the problem, and it becomes more of a problem when there are people watching – which there always are. Sometimes, I think about the pioneer ladies, and how embarrassing their lives must have been. Their children were probably always walking in poison ivy, and falling into lakes without signs, fences, or lifeguards. They didn’t have dishwashers, or hair dye, or braces, or contacts, or tide pens. Even though I want to talk about how hard life can be, I think we can all agree that it can’t compare to those crazy Puritans.

I was raised to know that life was hard, and it required hard work to keep up with a hard life. I was raised to get up when my alarm clock went off, and to not hit the snooze button. I was not allowed to miss school, even when I was getting bullied in 7th grade because of a bad perm. I was raised knowing that I’d have to get a job at the age of 13, and that a few years later, I’d have to buy my own car. I was raised knowing that if I worked long and hard enough, and then even harder, that everything would probably be ok. God was in the picture too, but from what I gathered in my short 14 years, -- ultimately, it was up to me.

Then the unexpected things came. The cruelty of others, the effects of bad decisions, the painful memories that didn’t go away with time, fear, insecurity, people pleasing, narcissists, lust, addiction, and envy. I would think: Does everyone deal with this crap?

God would’ve really been able to help me out during that time. The funny thing is, I was mad at Him for not being the God I needed, or wanted Him to be, and so I was my own God, and I really suck at being God.

In the few years that I have committed to taking my self out of the place of God, and letting Him in – whichever way He should so choose – He has given me so many answers. I used to tell people that “my story didn’t make sense,” but now, pieces are fitting together.

Funny enough - God has gave me those answers by taking almost everything away from me. At one point, I was very alone. I had lost some of my closest friends, my reputation, given up my job, failed at applying for a Doctorate, was far from family, and totally broke.

Thankfully, this didn’t last long. Being humbled is a lot like healing – an ugly, itchy, scabby process.

I sat in this place of total nothingness. Without my job, how could I work hard? Without anyone to please, or cater to, or help, or impress, what would I do? Just sit here?

I was totally stripped of my identity in every way.

Being alone with God like that is scary. I feel like we spent most of those weeks just staring at one another. And then, one day, He put His arm around me.

It wasn’t easy coming back to God. Even though His arm was extended to me, I felt like the prodigal son, staring at my house on the horizon. 

Is this really the place where all of this has led me? Back home? 

Sometimes I still blush when I walk into church. God’s love is like that.

Since then, God has given me pieces of a life that He wants me to have. Unexpected and hard things still happen, but usually the answers come in, right when I need them. 

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