I’m a Christian. I have the power of God living in me. I love to tell other people to remember that the Bible teaches “the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in you who believe”. (Romans 6:10-11)
I completely believe that. I know it is true. I have seen it work in other people’s lives dozens of times and in my own life 100’s of times.
Only, I’m moving. I’m selling my house and moving from Coventry, RI to Coventry Ct. (You have to live in RI to understand how different these to worlds are.) I’m working my butt off trying to get everything done. I’m trying to maintain a great attitude about it all. If you ask me how it’s going, I will laugh and make a joke about how it’s a stressful blessing.
In my personal head space, I’ve got a personal dialog going on that keeps reassuring me that everything is going GREAT!
Only there’s this thing called reality and this other thing called society. It seems when I’m out among people, I’m not very good at pretending I have it all together.
Take this scene from yesterday:
I went to a cookout at my pastor, Tanner’s, house. A bunch of us were meeting to organize a day where we go out into the community and serve as many people as possible. I’m working on a committee to give out basic needs to people. Tanner came up with the idea for my committee because he heard that some people were so desperate to have their basic needs met that they were actually stealing toilet paper.
So, here I am at this meeting, a writer who is passionate about showing compassion to the needy. It’s kind of my life mantra: if you know Jesus, you know that he loves those in need. Tanner points to me, asks me to introduce myself and tell about why I am on my committee. I wanted to give an eloquent speech on the Biblical commands to serve the needy. Only this happened instead…
My mind went blank.
“uhhh….my name is Cindy…” (cool. I got that part right! ) “and…I’m super passionate about people having toilet paper. That’s all I know to say!” (I probably shouldn’t discuss how important I think it is for people to be able to make a wiping mitt right? No. Don’t say that. You already sounded like Forest Gump with your, “that’s all I have to say about that.” Everyone is looking at you sympathetically…stop talking! But I really want to say something about caring for those in need…I’m never going to get that area under my oven completely clean. I wonder if the grass I planted is going to grow. Oh, dear God, I’m moving away from all of these people. How can I leave? I’m going to cry. Oh, dear Lord, everyone is still looking at me. I’m still talking. What did I just say?)
And similar hot mess scenarios have been played out for different audiences over the past few weeks. My friend Abby, on viewing one of my almost break downs, laughed and suggested that I try to think about one thing at a time. I just added “learn to focus on one thing” to my mental to-do list!
Which brings me to what I hate about writing a Christian blog.
I really don’t want to write what I’m not currently living out. (Actually, if I could make money and get a huge following, I’d probably do it.)
The truth is, I can’t seem to just write stuff. I actually feel compelled to be truthful which stinks because I have to deal with all my mess and I’d much rather deal with everyone else’s messes!!!
Most of the time, I think no one will really know whether I’m being real or not, but right now, everyone around me knows I’m a hot mess. Since last Tuesday, I have been trying to write a post about prayer. Specifically, about the importance of seeking to know God through prayer instead of only seeking more stuff through prayer.
The problem is: I haven’t really been seeking God in prayer. In my relationship with God, I’m kind of a jerk. I’m extremely busy right now. My to-do list is growing faster than my done-did list.
So, in my spiritually bratty nature, my prayer life started shifting from seeking to know God to just listing out demands for the day. “Help me get all of this stuff done. I’m totally doing it for you. Therefore, you really owe me, don’t you think?”
I even got a little sassy, because I was trying to write this amazing post about seeking God through prayer.
I honestly sat down, just now, and said to God, “I’m trying to write this post so that people will know you better. Don’t you want that? Why don’t you help me get the words out? Grrrrrrr…I’m so frustrated!!!”
Then I heard, in that small voice inside me, that’s hard to explain, the little whisper that said, “Why don’t you pray like you are trying to tell others to do?”
Which brings me to the biggest thing I hate:
The truth is, I don’t want to deal with all of my emotions. I want to just move and block out all of the sadness and hard parts.
But that’s not life and that’s not what God wants for me or anyone. He wants me to spend time with him and actually deal with reality. And sometimes, that’s why I avoid him…
I hate being frazzled. I hate trying to write when the words don’t flow. I hate embarrassing myself in front of people. I hate not being with-it all the time (or ever?). I hate struggling with things that shouldn’t be problems. I hate admitting I’m wrong. I hate realizing that I need to grow and change. I hate being weak and needing other people. I hate it when I don’t follow my own advice…
But amazingly, when God, somehow, makes me deal with these things, I love how he frees me.
I am a really strange mix of a hippie, Calypso, Southern Belle, Madea- wannabe, Christian with the attitude of a Rhode Islander! I’m fascinated with people’s stories, I love to laugh at life with people and I’m genuinely trying to follow Jesus’ teachings. Strangely, my search for truth often has me at odds with American Christians who believe themselves to be the guardians of this truth. I was kicked out of Sunday School as a child for asking too many questions. I learned to repress them but my questions never went away. Thankfully as an adult, I feel completely free to pursue answers. Turns out, God is pretty big and not nearly as upset with my questions as his followers tend to be!