Saturday, July 23, 2005

Freedom and the Single Girl

Confused single girl, that is!

Today I attended a pretty inspirational seminar for ministry leadership. It was powerful for me for many reasons, but mostly because I have been on what's called the "decline" in my faith. I was feeling burnt out, and angry that now that I am "free", I still am being so-called "held back" in my living because I am a Christian. I knew I was supposed to be one person, and I felt pulled to be another, and the tug of war resulted in me turning away from being a Christian in my actions. I justified this by telling myself and God that this was only temporary. I was trying on hats and seeing how they fit. And while it felt freeing to do anything I wanted, I still felt miserable and lost.

I stopped going to church and any religious activities during this "vacation". To attend these things would have multiplied the guilt tenfold. I felt like a hypocrite at church, and stopped feeling the passion. And you know what happened during this time? I changed. I became pessimistic. My mouth became dirty. I had an angry demeanor. I wasn't as polite as I used to be. Everything looked a little more bleak. A lot of this I didn't even notice until my mom pointed it out to me this morning. Even though my family does not attend church with me, she was pleased to know I was going to this seminar today because of how negative I've been lately.

Being there was inspiring. We read the story about David and Goliath, but focused on the characteristics of Saul and David. And we were to look for things about us we saw. I saw negatives about me. Many negatives. I am not patient in the Lord's time, constantly wanting to do things in my time. This is in relationships I've had, and in my life direction in general. My impatience results in me being knocked back down and having to start all over again, sometimes creating even more work for myself than I began with. I am focusing on the wrong priorities. I have been obeying the world instead of the Lord. A big red flag was on what my reactive response is. I have NONE. I think I've become too callous and unfeeling. Sometimes I have even felt like emotions aren't real, or even attention seeking. What?!? How many times have I been stroked by some caring friend in my time of need? I cannot recall too many times recently that I have done the same for someone else. This was a hard *gulp* on my part, and made me feel pretty ashamed.

One thing that I really received an epiphany on was how I even got to be there at that seminar today. Someone had taken notice of my absences and called me yesterday. And even though I informed this person that I wasn't going, she made it eventually impossible to not go by curing all the reasons that might have prevented my presence. I finally promised her I would go. This morning, I dreaded my decision, and even came a little late. But once everything started, I felt that I was in the right place.

My epiphany is, there are many people besides me who are struggling with their walk. The very first sign is neglecting their church and/or homegroup life. Have I noticed anyone at my own church or homegroups suddenly not going? Sure I have. Have I ever just called that person when I noticed their absence? No. I have not. There are some people out there that have turned away from the church in their confusing walk, saw that nobody even cared, and just kept on walking away towards a life without God. And I had the power to change that. We all do. And it's as simple as a phone call and a "hey, I missed you the other day. How's it going?" And then LISTENING to them.

Our walk with Christ is only as meaningful as what we put into it. It is not an easy ride. It is not even comfortable sometimes. But sometimes when we leap way out of our comfort zone, it's when we feel the most rewards. I am climbing out of my decline, and sweeping my path. But this shake-up was just what I needed, to feel something horrible that I can take with me and create something positive out of. Now I am truly free.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Am I normal?

I'm having this moment in my life where I am wondering what I'm doing. Am I on the right path? Do I really have the answers? Is this it? I am constantly worried about if I'm good enough, and see myself as a failure in God's eyes because I refuse to be faithful enough. And then I feel angry because this is the time I finally get to be me, to be free and live life to the fullest. And then it's almost like Christianity stands in my way. And part of me is pumping her fist in the air, saying "right on girl, life is supposed to be lived," and the other part is scared to even feel that way. And I want it all. I want to love Jesus. I want Jesus to love me. And I want to enjoy life. And I don't want to feel guilty about it. And I wonder if Jesus ever felt this way, that the life chosen for him was too much of a burden for him, and it would be so much easier to just melt into the world and be "normal".

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Gone for a week

Not that I've been writing here much anymore, but I just wanted to give a heads up that I will be gone for the next week. And then for many weekends after that. This is my busiest month! Tomorrow I leave for summer camp with my daughter. It's the same camp I went to when I was a kid, out in Angwin, CA. Now she's going, and I'm so old I get to be an adult chaperone. Yes, there are people naive enough to trust me with their children. MUWHAHAHA! Besides not being fully packed up, I am ready to go, and I'll be gone until Friday. I'm not fully looking forward to sleeping on those hard planks, but it's still a fun way to spend a week. For us grown-ups, it's wonderful to hang out and gossip after the kids are in bed.

Lucas is staying home with his dad, and then with my dad, and while I'll miss him, I will be able to catch up on my sanity. Poor kid has been really testing his limits these last two weeks. My absence this next week is not going to help things, but at least I will have regained some patience to deal with it properly. I've just found out that his wonderful father, who I would never think any bad thoughts about, is not setting limits with him, and instead leaving it on the GF's shoulders to do so. Lovely. After camp I will be setting the appointment for co-parent counselling, since he hasn't done so yet. Then we can nip that in the bud.

Anyway, have a safe 4th, and a wonderful week!