Keepin' It Real.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Ask my teammates from last year and they'll tell you one quality I have: a desire for things to be real, honest, authentic, and organic/natural. Since I'm melancholic-sanguine (don't ask), this means I have a need to know that people are real people and they aren't just cheery all the time. It also means I have a need for people to know I'm complicated and my life isn't always easy.

I'm frustrated with my life right now.

I wasn't sure I wanted to blog about this, because being melancholic-sanguine, I can tend to be rather mopey, but out of a need for "realness" I am going to.

I am frustrated by my life. I am frustrated by my living situation, by my job, by my lack of friends. And I am frustrated by my God.

When I was making the decision to follow Jesus, I don't think anyone told me how much it can sometimes suck. Probably I'm not supposed to say that, but realness here. I guess it is obvious and should be inferred, I mean, Jesus wound up crucified, so a disciple can't expect much better. I can look at the martyrs and think, "Wow that is crazy." And in the next second I think, "That could never be me." And it probably won't. I probably won't be fed to lions or burned alive or crucified upside down for following Jesus.

Instead, I'll face a frustrating reality: promises of God just don't always seem genuine, and I'm not nearly as good of a disciple as I ought to be or wish I were. Sometimes the words I read in Scripture feel fake or too good to be true.

But that doesn't mean they're not true.

I wish I could talk to the saints and really hear about their lives. In many cases I see great loss and yet great beauty. I want to hear about the challenges and difficulties and know that I'm not alone.

Did St. Therese have moments when she just hated everything? Was St. Margaret so frustrated at God's favor in others' lives and the apparent lack thereof in her own? Did St. Mary Magdalene get frustrated with the people who tried to love her?

Did the saints have moments when they went to prayer and had nothing nice to say?

I think I would make a good Israelite, in the way that I am grumbling in the desert. I can hear them in myself, "I don't want to be here."
"You said you would follow Me."
"I didn't know it would be like this."

I know these are the times that purify. I know these are the times that strengthen. I know these are the times where I'm supposed to be able to show my love for the Giver and not just the gifts.

If I learned one thing as a missionary it was that my faith is very emotional and not always rational. And these are times where I'm reminded that God is God no matter how I feel and no matter what I want. And if I could change Him, He wouldn't be God anymore.

But it always takes time for my heart to soften. And that's okay. I will keep trying to be open and honest. I will keep showing up even when I have nothing nice to say.

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