I haven’t been blogging because I don’t want to complain to you about my life. And, truthfully, I’ve never felt so unoriginal. I may have been impressive and worthy of applause by blogging with my heart on my sleeve back when I first started this, or when we were all tender and in high school and my parents confronted me about my Xanga posts. The internet has evolved so much since then, and I’m actually sick and tired of everyone’s authenticity. People are too much sometimes! Even Internet People (you know, the ones we haven’t met in real life) who seem to have the lives I want to live can whine about the most ridiculous and small things for the sake of being “real.” We millennials are scared to gloss over the bad stuff. Even if the worst thing that’s happened to me is only a 5/10 in your experience, you can’t invalidate my pain, man! Now we’re all a bunch of whiners.
So here I am, being one of those people. Just to set the tone: what you’ll read below will sound sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek at times.
In all my privilege of being safe and secure in Jesus, in all my knowledge of His Word and experience of His love, I decided to take a spiritual walkabout almost a year and a half ago, hold my hand up to God in a very “no” fashion, and pretend I didn’t think He was good anymore. “Prove to me,” I said to God at one time, “that the good you promised for me doesn’t end up being bad for somebody else.” I wanted His love to be equally spread out. (As if it has to be spread. As if there isn’t enough to wash all the feet of all the people in all the world.) I wanted Him to give me what I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember: a life filled with purpose and meaning, centered on serving Him and others. I don’t think I have that right now, because I have a job in a secular field, because I don’t have the energy or the time I think I need to serve, because I’m paying off student debt, because I can’t get over my selfish habits, because most of the time I fail to do basic human things every day, like make food for myself and put my laundry away.
Since the day Brett and I added up our student debt and realized it would be a long, long time before we could ever be missionaries, I have been holding a grudge against God. What could I possibly do with my life that would please God more than to go be a missionary overseas? To help the poor and needy, and tell people that Jesus loves them? Obviously, nothing (I thought/think). And yet God won’t (hasn’t) made a way for me to go and do this thing that I want to do for Him. So I’ve held it against Him for four years.
I know that so far it sounds like me wanting to go be a missionary is all about me. And don’t get me wrong – it is. Because it’s like the greatest thing you could do as a Christian, and what point is it to be a Christian if you’re not the greatest? But I would go to all those poor people and be like, humble about it, you know? I wouldn’t go out there with tracts, or thump them on the head with Bibles. I wouldn’t learn apologetics to use as a defense of the Gospel. Nono. Who needs to do all that work when it’s all about Love!
“All you need is love.” – The
Obviously I am ready to go be a missionary and God is the only thing holding me back, and He has no idea what He’s doing.
…I’m being silly. Writing this out is making me see my circular and egotistical thinking more than ever. But holding a grudge against God and telling him that he’s not a good guy… that’s not silly.
Junior year of high school was the first time I had a twinge of doubt about God. I remember sitting in Philosophy Club (lol), patiently explaining – straight from my homeschool science text book – how when the flood happened in Genesis, the “firmament” that separated the heavens from the earth could have literally been broken to allow this downpour of rain that no one had ever seen before. (Yes, I believed that I had nothing more to learn back then, too.) And my friend and founder of the club made a joke about the Big Guy in the Sky “parting” the firmament with his hands and peeking over the clouds to see what damage he’d done. Within the same half hour that friend asked me, “So if God is good, why did he kill all the Egyptian babies?”
I had never thought about that before. I realize now that this is quite a common argument about the tyrannous, bloodthirsty, OT God, but it was all new to me. I did what any steadfast teenage Christian Girl would do, and asked my mom about it. She gave an answer that sounded passable, and the next day I brought it to my friend.
“In the Old Testament, God was all about his people, the Israelites. He did everything to protect them and fight for them. Now, we can all be his people, so it’s all good. Plus, those babies went to heaven.” He looked at me adoringly because I had found the answer for him. It was good enough for him that it was good enough for me (he was way more accepting of my Christianity than I was of his athiesm), and that was good enough for me.
Fast forward to June of 2015. I’ve already been mad at God for not giving me what I want for more than three years. It’s not like in those three years I never had any growth in my faith or experience with God, but underlying it all was this frustration about my life plans being put off. Anyway, June 2015. The SCOTUS decision about gay marriage had just happened, and that same night Brett and I went to a Walk the Moon concert. I was feeling like a very cool, pro-gay marriage Christian. So enlightened above so many of my Facebook friends. So deserving to go carry Jesus’ message of love throughout the world. People, of course, are posting all sorts of things on social media, and what do I do that I swore off doing as a New Year’s resolution in 2015? I engage. The conversation, as best I remember it:
YWM (young white male): You can’t be gay and be a Christian
Me: Oh yes you totally can!
YWM: No you can’t, and also the Bible is dumb
Me: Jesus’ love is for everyone, also read the Bible
YWM: Read the whole thing, girlfran. Also, God is a jerk
Me: …Not in my experience
YWM: Yeah, but what about the Egyptian babies? Etc., etc.
Me: You are lost. Peace out, byeeee *dies inside*
This was the moment when I, an upright and outstanding virgin-till-marriage, dry-till-21, AWANA-graduate, missionary-wanna-be, decided to give doubt a try.
And I will leave you there for now. Peace out, byeeeee