Spiritual Issues

No More Nice

November 5, 2008

I am heartily sick of being nice.   It’s been a very long time since I felt the freedom to just be.  Even be offensive if I want to be.   Guilty pleasure.

See, I’m Joann Average Christian now.  2.5 children (each pet gets .25),  SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), part-time job and married beyond 10 years.   I suppose I’m not really as average as I think I am since I home-school while avoiding denim jumpers and think almost black nail polish is cool and deep red lipstick should be worn any time day or night.

Anyhow… My point.    Nobody cares.   Nobody is watching.   I have no “Game Face” needs.    If I don’t want to?  I don’t.

Free at last, free at last!

I’m done being Sweet.   Not that I’ve got  a secret desire to be a totally snarky person.  I don’t.  Really.   Every 28 days we let the Terminatrix out but otherwise I’m fairly ok.   In my own self-delusional world.

See I have lost the desire to blend. I don’t want to be socially acceptable or to look any part.  I want to streak my hair, wear funky shoes and ignore the echo of Shalyn’s voice.  The woman who told me once I shouldn’t do XXX because I was a Mother. Memo to self:  Call Lisa.   It’s chunky, funky weave time.

Do you know what I mean? I’m gonna start by being real about my faith.

Ever since I started down this road of Out of The Box Faith  I’ve struggled.  You know, the journey where I ended up on the outside of the Organization looking in and not really wanting to be reinstated?   Don’t get me wrong, I don’t despise those on the inside with their mission and their purpose and their busy-ness and all that.   Go get’em, tiger!  I just don’t personally want to have anything to do with it.

So where does that leave me?

I can’t/don’t read the Word the way I used to.  I don’t see G-d like I used to.    I’m not sure I believe He’s all benevolent all the the time.  I think He cares more for His favorites than He does for me.   I think He has hung me out to dry on more than one occasion.  Is that heretical?   I know His eternal purposeses are “good” and “for my good” but His temporal purposes more often than not have ended me up in some pretty dark places.  I know I’m supposed to smile and nod and say all the Right Things about it.  But, honestly? I’m refusing to do it.  You can’t make me.

Do I believe?  Do I follow?  Obedience is better than sacrifice, but sometimes obedience IS the sacrifice.

C’mon.  Seriously?  Eternal Glory, Heavenly reward.  Fine. I’ve got the brochure and paid for the seminar.   I’m all in.   It just doesn’t look like anything I was ever told it would look like.   Where’s my 40 acres and a mule? Where’s that house on the hill and the “every good thing”?   I’ve been lied to.   And now I have to work through who it was who lied to me.

I have friends who don’t struggle with anything that I struggle with.   Do they sail through life?  No, not really.   I’m sure their battles are every bit as heavy as mine to them.   But they don’t struggle with what I struggle with.   YAY!  Heidi just wrote something stupid.   *whatever*

I wonder, when I don’t have a circle of friends (real friends, not just Have To’s), is it because I appear too independent?  Am I too guarded?   Aloof?  Will I ever have a rich circle of fellowship, no matter how small?  Does that make me an ungrateful wretch for the friends I do have?   I’m thankful, I truly am.  You know who you are.

I wonder, when we work and work and work and Do All The Right Things, why we still struggle so hard financially while some other folks rake it in for minimal effort.   Is it just my “role in the body” to be the one who does without?  Why does that have to effect how often my kids go to the dentist?  Is that part of G-d’s mystical/mysterious plan for my life?  Teach me what by depriving my children? Exactly?

I wonder, when I see people given opportunities they don’t ask for, guidance they didn’t know they needed,  why I have for most of my life watched from the sidelines with no input from others. Never selected as anything special.  No “precious potential/G-d’s got a purpose/You are significant” for me.  Am I not worth it?  Am I just one of those who should be content being a cog in the wheel being ground down to what?  Ideas?  Input?  Just greasin’ the wheel…

I am tired of being the one who notices the outsider because I know what it feels like to never quite fit in.  I get tired of being the one who reaches out because I know if I don’t no one will reach out to me.    The one who encourages, looks for ways to build up, affirms others as sincerely and genuinely as I can.   Because I know how hard it is to work and work and have other’s overlook both the effort and take for granted the result.

There are stages in life.  I think I just entered Cynicism.   Is somewhere between Acceptance and Don’t Give A Damn.   Just not sure which one I’m leaning toward most heavily.   I really don’t know if I can handle a conversation where someone tries to tell me how I should or shouldn’t follow G-d, hear His voice,  obey His Word.

I’m not entirely sure He really cares as much as I’ve been told He does.

  • Wow,
    I have been wondering why G_d has put you and the Mr. on my heart lately and now I think I know why. I am trying really hard not to have some kind of pat answer because that is the stupidest thing to do, but I tell you a bunch of them went through my head. The fact of the matter is words will not change how you feel.

    Trust me Heidi NOTHING makes you question how much G_d cares like losing a child. Getting a personal dose of reality like that levels you flat, leaves you with nothing else but Him. When you get to that point you find out intimately how much He really does care. Kind of puts life into perspective.

    I came over to let you know I had sent you and the Mr. and e-mail on your gmail account as I was not sure how often you checked it. Talk about opportunities not asked for.

  • After going back and reading that, it sounded quite harsh. It was not meant to be harsh. I just want you to know that Birdie and I highly respect you and the Mr. In fact I want you to know that WE care and in fact have come to love your family in spite of the fact that our families have not yet met.

  • Heidi,

    We love you and your family. Need I say more?

  • Big Cat

    God bless you and yours Heidi. You ARE loved.

  • Oh, one more thing:

    I think this is where the church (the institution) fails miserably. Do you think you could express those same feelings to your leaders, or fellow church members?

    Either you’d get a look of bewilderment, with stunned faces who wouldn’t know how to react; or you’d be told you just need to have a little more faith. Or you might even be considered a distraction or a hindrance to the church.

    Question God all you want. Doubt your faith. Be cynical. Without being honest about those things, how can we truly work out our salvation together?

  • heidi

    Eagle, got the email. Um… Wow? We are praying.

    I think the thing here is that I’m not questioning the love of the people who are in my life, I’m questioning G-d. Jesus loved me enough to die for me. Like I said, that I get. What I don’t get is where is He now? Busy doing important stuff for the people He has big plans for?

    Without being honest about those things, how can we truly work out our salvation together?

    Thanks, Jason. That’s entirely my point. As long as I keep these things bottled up and kept away under the pressure of staying Acceptable I will never have the chance to examine the anger in my own heart toward the Lord, compare my perceptions to the reality of the Word and, hopefully, grow beyond where I to find this Real Jesus Relationship I keep hearing about.

    Does that make sense?

  • Makes all the sense in the world!

  • Wow. I could have written much of this myself if I had any real writing talent (I don’t and I don’t pretend to). I have struggled with many of the same thoughts and ideas over the past few years, though. Go ahead and ask your questions. Shout them from the mountain tops. Be prepared to get some very unexpected answers, sometimes even painful ones. Questions and doubts always seem to be a prelude to faith. After all, it is much more difficult to find the answers you need when you aren’t seeking.

    You know we’ll be praying for you here. Feel free to e-mail or call us if you ever want to talk. I may or may not have any of the answers you need, but I am a fellow seeker and a believer. Sometimes that helps.

  • “What I don’t get is where is He now? Busy doing important stuff for the people He has big plans for?”

    I have asked myself those questions so many times that I can not begin to recall how long I have been asking. Birdie shared this with me yesterday and it in a way confirmed where we are going and His provision. Read Isaiah 58:10, that one small verse says a lot.

    Like Birdie said ask the hard questions of Him, just be prepared the answers He gives may not be the ones you expect. I know the road our family is starting down was an answer to some of these questions and was most definitely not the expected answer or direction. I may send you another e-mail detailing the course of events.

  • heidi

    You guys….. Are awesome. The Mr. & I are definitely interested in hearing more, Eagle.

    And Birdie… Why can’t we be neighbors?

  • dearest Heidi,
    I am truly sorry I have not mentioned to you how often I have heard your name whispered into my heart and lifted you and yours up to God in prayer.
    I know what it is like to feel
    alone,
    grieving,
    wondering why?,
    why me?,
    does anyone really care?,
    will this ever end?
    what did I do to deserve this?

    …. pat answers don’t help, but I have found that when I am all done pouring my heart out and I quiet myself and listen…..
    He brings a peace that passes understanding.

    Then I don’t have to have all the answers, I just know I am loved and I trust His will in my life. Whatever that is……

    He sees, He knows, He is drawing you to Himself – getting past the facades to the heart of the matter. He is completely OK with your honesty and anger, hurt and expressing yourself the best way you know how. He knows you better than you know yourself. In these times He may be showing YOU what is in your heart.

    Let the dross surface — I think I see gold!!
    Be pliable in the Potter’s hand and you’ll become the vessel of honor you were meant to be.
    I love you….

  • Joelle

    I don’t know how to say this without coming off sounding weird, but it is kind of refreshing to see you not have it “all together” so to speak.
    You know I’ve actually been kind of jealous of you? I mean, God, why does Heidi get to live out in beautiful Oregon, have a great husband, musical abilities, writing talent out the wazoo, and beauty and brains to boot? Not to mention really great hair (from what I can tell by your pics).
    But you have your problems, too. I’ve been reading your story and it sucks to be raped by the church (which is kind of what it is – your innocence gone and you lying battered going “what did I do to deserve that?”)
    I don’t have any pat answers, either. Gosh, if you need to be angry, be angry. If God can’t handle it, well, we’re all screwed. 🙂
    I love you, I’m praying for you, and I wish I lived close enough to tell you that in person.

  • Yeah, I know those feelings. Where’s MY answer? How come I have to work so hard at faith? Everyone else seems to have it so easy.(Personally, I figure it’s because I very stupidly once asked for more faith. It’s been harder ever since. I made the same error with patience. I’m a slow learner.)
    I was trying to explain to Eldest Son why we can do wrong things. He’s pretty convinced it’s not fair that he has free will and can get in trouble. To me, it seems like it kind of connects–We’re permitted to do wrong things, so are others, and that can so screw us over. I’m absolutely convinced that NOT everything is for good, for my good, for our good. God lets bad stuff happen–if He didn’t we wouldn’t have free will. I’m not clear on what’s so great about this free will stuff, well, what’s so great about all those other people having free will, I mean. I like it just fine for me. Does that make sense?
    How do you teach your children to be faithful Christians when you’re struggling yourself? Any ideas?

  • BoysMom

    And Heidi, I’ll pray for you, and I’ll hope that today someone’s listening.