Today I sit here relaxing and writing a blog on a day when I used to be parked in a pew at church with a smile pasted on my face. There was some genuine joy in me then, but in so many ways I was going through the motions. That whole scene masked a lot of pain. We ALL have it. Some people cope in ways considered "worldly", others cope by burying themselves in religion. I don't want to cope, I want to LIVE!
What a strange thing, life is.
For the most part I'm glad to be on the outside. There are days when I still feel torn. I'm a social person, so I miss the social aspect of the churchy life. I have a conscience, so the e-mails I have received from those "concerned about my salvation" since leaving the church do prick at me.
However, I am deeply spiritual and do not miss being dictated to as to how I should think, live, believe and worship. If the social aspect is the major draw and not the spiritual, then something is wrong in the big picture of religion. I think many people cling to religion because they like feeling they are "right" while everyone else is "wrong".
Hey- I DO care and that's what makes life so tough for me right now. I take time to consider things because I DO want to be the best I can be. I believe in God. Not so sure He believes in me. If He really is as powerful and caring as people say, surely He would've found a way to reach me by now? Not asking for something profound, but there is only silence. My faith hangs by a thread.
Staying busy numbs me. When I have down-time, I have to face the fact that I'm not exactly happy or fulfilled in my personal life. Make the most of it..... make the most of it.... push through and hold on to hope..... be honorable to my word. Keep telling myself to be thankful, that it could always be worse. But it could be better too and that's the torment of the unknown....
Being in your 30's is a lot like being a teenager again. You have lived long enough to have gained some wisdom, but still have many unanswered questions. At this point, I find myself asking "Is this it? Is THIS all there is to life, to love and success? To push through one hard time after another, to invest yourself in one dream, one relationship or career after another only to watch it come crashing down?"
Life is a process.... a journey.... but we're all seeking a destination. Many think they have already arrived- okay, more power to them! lol
And of course, I wonder if I am the only one who ever feels this way. Perhaps I'm losing out? Maybe life is incredibly good and I simply lack the ability to see that?? What is this ache, this hunger inside? It's been there all along and I have tried to mask it in so many ways. Proof to me that time does NOT heal all wounds. I am beyond cliches.
Perhaps it is the little girl in me who wanted so desperately to have parental love, support and security, but received so little. I don't know how to love halfway, but I have been loved that way. Not sure what to make of it. Could I recognize true love if I had/have it? Only time will tell...
When people say they care about you, but words or actions say differently, it is downright confusing. In the church, they call each other "brother" and "sister", but many have NO idea what being a family means. Overbearing criticism, trying to dictate or control someone else's life, shunning and gossiping about them is NOT love people, so you can take that WWJD bumper sticker off your car now. (I honestly think everyone does the best they can in life.) But to me, claiming to be Christ's follower is making a VERY big claim and ya better be able to back it up.
Growing up is tough. There are people who give both positive and negative predictions about your future when you are young. I was told I was bright, talented and promising by many, but just as many called me "white trash". Which is it? Should I even care??
If you allow other people to define you, there's the possibility that you will not like what you have become. So I've stepped out in an attempt to define myself. It's the scariest thing I've ever done, but in order to maintain my sense of being REAL it's a necessary step.
I realize that my choices, my attempts to find the answers may hurt or disappoint other people. This is NOT my intent. Everyone has the right to believe and live as they see fit. This has been true all along and I have been accepting of other people and their paths. Just didn't realize that freedom applied to MY life as well. I see it now...
We all affect each other- no matter what we do. I want my footsteps in life to leave as little damage as possible.