Is God Real?

I have completely neglected you, My Little Darlings. I’m about to start college back up this upcoming week and in true booknerd fashion, I have been binge reading because I know I wont have as much time when school starts. Today I thought I was gonna go with an “easy” entry. I am due for another book review and I was on The Maze Runner Series, but my mind went “screw it, I’m gonna talk about what’s on really rolling around in my head.” For the past six months I have been in a religious crisis and I feel like I am on the brink of losing my mind. So, I’ve gotta get out some of this pent up energy about the subject.

I grew up in a Christian home, but my family weren’t “active believers”. We went to church some Sundays, but that was the extent of it. Once upon a time my mom was very active in her church community, but this was before I even came into the picture. I have my own horror stories about my childhood, as most people do and frankly, it’s not worth getting into right now. This isn’t about my testimony. So, fast forward to high school and I actually start believing in God and Jesus. I start praying and reading my bible. Getting to know this God. I went to a church that was massively screwed up and I managed to, not only escape but not become angry with God in the process. I was very aware that people make their own decisions and God isn’t to blame for their bad choices. By this time I felt like I had started to get to know his heart and I knew that what they were doing and how they were treating people wasn’t a reflection of it.

For a while I floated around until I settled in Kansas City. I found a good, stable church with plenty of flaws, as all churches have. I was “on top of the world” and loving it. I felt sure of myself and sure of my faith. The saying, “ignorance is bliss” comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t believe in God or Jesus, but after my best friend started questioning what she believed and whether or not God really did exist, all these questions and doubts started surfacing. Then I went through a massive heart break and it was like I was one, big, gaping wound. All this sent me into a spiral that I haven’t really been able to fully recover from as of yet.

The insane thing is that I still really love God and Jesus. Call me a sheep or a mindless robot, but my life is better when He is involved and I don’t want it any other way. However, I can’t ignore the questions and doubts. It’s not in me to sweep them under the rug and act like they don’t exist, even though it scares the ever-loving crap out of me. I’m choosing to look at this in a positive light. This is an opportunity to make my beliefs my own. To have ownership over what it is that I claim to believe. Especially because this is what I have built my life on.

This has probably been the hardest and most torturous thing I have ever gone through. There are times I honestly wish I could go back to when I was sure and solid; but I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason, so I don’t think all that’s been stirred up is purely coincidental. If it were than what would be the f*$king point? What would be the point of any of it? I might as well stop breathing.

It boils down to this, I’ve meet some crappy Christians and I know great ones. Yes, there are “rules”, but I see the point. The logic behind certain things He wants us to refrain from, for our own good. I have tested it. I have seen and met the consequences. There are a lot of opinions out there. I still have to filter through the BS, the doctrines that were created in the gray areas. Things that people want to stand on as absolute truth and make them nooses around people’s necks. There are definite grey areas and then there are things that are purely black and white. Not everything I understand and it definitely does take a level of faith to keep going and keep believing. What I want is peace and assurity in my own heart. I want to live simply; and I to whittle it down to these two profound principles, Love God and Love People.

The End.

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The Romantic and The Real World

It’s cold here in Kansas City. Last night was the perfect weather for a bonfire, s’mores and flirting with a random looking at you through the flickering flames. I, however, am a native Floridian and it was a little too chilly for me to stand outside next to a fire barely giving me enough warmth to keep my fingers from going numb. Instead, I decided to curl up on my couch, wearing my elf-like knitted booties, wrapped in my green fleece blanket, with my dinner and a movie. My pick, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The Kiera Knightley version, not the torturous 5 hour BBC Colin Firth version. As a Janeite, I am aware that the one I choose is not accurate to the novel. There is a lot about Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy that is romanticized. However, it does cause heavy sighs, tummy flutters and floaty swoons; and what more can a girl ask for?

Half way through the movie one of my roommates came home and decided to plop down on the couch and watch the movie with me. I loved it because we both have seen this numerous times and so we spent the remaining time giving commentary on all the scenes as they were unfolding. All was right in the world until the last scene of the movie. Of course, it’s the scene with the most feels. The culmination of the journey, the point in which the characters and the audience find resolution. I spent this sweet moment laughing and consoling my roommate as she writhed in agony over this fictional scene that she desperately wanted to happen to her in real life. I kid you not, at one point she was upside down, sliding head first off the couch. She was half hope, half agony (Let the reader understand).

At one point, she was reasoning with herself out loud about these swoon worthy moments. Her argument is that she knew that she couldn’t base all her romantic ideals on movies like the one we were watching. That life has a lot more going on than one feet sweeping moment after the other. However, she wanted to believe that there were times, though rare, where things like this could happen. Moments when a guy, who is genuinely in love would spew an epic monologue that could make any girl weak in the knees, complete with grand gestures and confessions of undying devotion. All I could do was smile and nod.

I have had this discussion or debate with myself numerous times. The results are usually based on whatever is happening in my life at the moment. That says a lot. A truth is supposed to be resolute, not subjective; so I am probably the last person who should be giving advice about this. On one hand I figure that if these stories can be conjured up that there has to be some point of reference, some example to help it along. Yes, there is fluff added and we only see an ounce of the whole journey, but still, somewhere in the world, at certain points ridiculously romantic things must happen. These are the very things that inspire the stories that fill the pages of our books and the movie screens at our local theater. As soon as this thought crosses my mind, it goes into devil’s advocate mode. It could just be that people write or create the moments they want to see happen, the things that don’t really exist. Both ideas take a certain amount of faith to believe.

Then there is the other hand. The one that holds the real life experience. In my life I can number on one hand instances you might deem movie worthy moments, and that’s stretching it. So, what do I say to my roommate who is teetering between heaven and hell, looking for something or someone to push her toward the “right side”? My response is to say nothing really. How can I sway her to any side, when I’m not sure which one I’m even on? Maybe the point is that there is no side, but a balance. That we shouldn’t be the pendulum sweeping back and forth and never steadying; but rather, we need to find the middle and settle there.

The thing that struck me most was that she is a true picture of every woman I know. There are so many women who have no idea what to do with the desire they have burning inside them. The desire that goes unfulfilled as they endure disappointment after disappointment. The desire that causes them to make decisions based solely on their need to see that well inside them touched. Ninety-nine percent of the time these decisions are irrational and unwise, with heartbreaking consequences. That does little to deter them from carrying out this behavior time and time again, all because of this consuming thorn in their side called hope. It’s the thing that will keep them holding on, against all odds and in the face of impossible circumstances. Even if it’s false and barely hanging on by a thread. Why? because the thought that something so extraordinary could happen to them is like a drug; and the alternative is too depressing to consider.

Is this insanity? The same behavior over and over expecting a different outcome. Is it a noble pursuit that will bear good fruit for your suffering? What do I say to these woman in their emotional swirls? What do I say to them in their bitter rants? Where is the balance? the line. Is there even a line? The universal thorn in women’s side. The curse going back to the Garden of Eden, “Your desire will be for your husband.” I’m pulling out all the stops here. Whatever the case may be, it’s time we either lay it to rest or start seeing some results.

Red-headed Step Child Syndrome

The other day I was on an ALL MALE shift at work. This is a rarity. Woman outnumber men on my job 3 to 1. This was the first time I got a taste of what they must go through on a nearly daily basis; and let me tell you, it was bitter. First off, suddenly I was invisible and my voice shrunk down to the size of pea. This is a difficult task considering that almost everyone who meets me describes me in one word, Intimidating. I was trying to train a new employee, but my instruction was overshadowed by the need to discuss video games or tv shows. My b%&ch switch almost got triggered, but I refrained with this little thing called self-control. This isn’t even my point of contention.

Inevitably the conversation turned to girls and crushes. An area I was included in as “one of the guys”. I have no qualms about this usually. In fact, I like getting the inside scoop and helping to make those “love connections”. What can I say? It’s the Emma Woodhouse in me. However, this time it hit me differently. Two of the three guys on the shift had an attraction to the same girl, and it was so not who I thought. This never happens!!! We, as human beings, are as predictable as the stereotypes we form, but I never saw this coming. What’s more, is I never saw my reaction coming. I was jealous.

I consider myself a fairly attractive person. I am intelligent, funny and personable. My one fall back has always been the color of my skin (which I love) and the intimidation factor. These are my go to reasons of why I am still single or why so and so is not interested in me. This girl that was being crushed on is me in a white body. Our personalities are nearly identical in all their stubborn, strong-willed, sarcastic glory. In addition, she is not the typical classical beauty. In fact, she is a tomboy to the max, curvy and pale. She has all the “short-comings” of a normal woman. Acne, bad hair days, unwanted pudge, etc… My jaw dropped and I was overjoyed to find that there are males in the world that weren’t so predictable and superficial. Don’t misunderstand, this girl is beautiful; but since she isn’t pin-up beautiful a lot of guys would turn her down. Treatment a lot of women endure in our culture of impossible beauty standards.

The issue isn’t that they liked her, despite obvious incompatibility and her total lack of interest. The issue is that suddenly one of my main “go-to” reasons for why a guy may not be interested in me was suddenly ripped right from under me. This was a blatant contradiction to what I’ve always told myself and now I feel robbed and pissed. I’m pissed at the guys for never seeing me that way, though I have no interest in either of them, so it’s completely irrational. I’m pissed that my bubble was burst and now I only have one excuse that was already barely hanging on by a thread.

You would think I would be overjoyed to find guys that are not dissuaded by strong woman, even if they are intimidating. Goodness, I thought I would be. All it did was make me feel like their must be something fundamentally wrong with me since I am constantly being overlooked or passed up. Now, I know this isn’t true and I tell myself this all the time. I actually like who I am and how I look (most days); but damn if the thought didn’t cross my mind and practically depress me for the rest of the day.

So what now? I had my moment of gloom and then I moved on. There really isn’t anything that can be done about it and remaining upset is a waste of energy and time. Life goes on and you go on with it, end of story. I’m not sure what the lesson was here. Maybe there was no lesson, but my eyes have certainly been opened; and maybe in time I will learn to stop looking at my strong personality as a negative and start viewing it as a positive. After all, it ain’t going anywhere.