Thursday, March 28, 2013

Faith and Angst

and why I need my Crutches.

I've spent the last week flopping around in a torrent of emotion. I know, weird, right?  I think my eyes even got watery at one point last Tuesday.  It's really boiled down to a matter of where my heart and my head have been, colliding. Or maybe it is just hormones as usual, but as I slog through some unfamiliar feelings cluttering my judgement, I hold fast to this, Christ is in me. He is the only thing holy about Lisa Frey. The rest of me is a sanctified mess. Sometimes it's like I'm on the edge of  a cliff and the only thing between me and certain free-fall is this chain of commitment to God and Family tethered around my neck. I'm either gonna hang myself with it or it's going to save my life.

Now, I'm all about introspection and self-improvement but I snarked at author, Donald Miller's, challenge to his subscribers the other day to confess their three biggest faults on Facebook. Being the proud person I am, I'm pretty sure my first thought, Hell no!, was audible.  Although, I have noticed some sketchy things materialize in myself lately that, I suppose, have been dormant for years. The challenge gnawed at me. I tossed and turned all night and decided, why not? You want people to know the authentic Lisa, right? Yeah, okay, well here are four...

Like I said, I'm prideful.

I hate being embarrassed.  My fear of it is physically crippling and I will avoid humiliation at all costs, even if that means missing opportunities or feeling regret over never attempting something.  I mean, I can laugh at myself with the rest of you... right? Is it not entertaining enough that I fall down and spill stuff, daily? I know my absence of rhythm and coordination are hilarious. I've even learned to own my pigeon toes. But what I lack in physical grace, I make up for in self dignity. I think I was born with some blue DNA though, because I crave respect more than a desire to be liked and I've developed this all-sufficient attitude that inhibits me from submitting to anyone or thing.  I'm not going  to burden anybody with my complaints or needs. I keep my walls high and expectations of people low to avoid disappointment.  And sometimes, *gasp* I might only do the right thing because I just don't want to have to apologize later.

I want what I want.

And I'm not even talking about material things. Sometimes I feel more obligated to my commitments than a desire to be committed. There are days I get claustrophobic by my own life-choices despite that I have everything a girl could ask for, I still find myself daydreaming  over what I can't have, even envious over those who seem content with much less. Discontentment. Or is it, restlessness?  I've been 29 years old for a decade now, maybe it's the onset of mid-life crisis... I'm seriously considering a career change or taking up some adrenaline infused hobby... Anyway, I've made my bed, but there are nights I just don't wanna lay in it. Yeah, yeah, Somebody call the whaaambulance.

I'm rebellious.

Imagine that, a stubborn red-head, how cliche of me. Once in a while, I'll do something bad on purpose because, I just do.  I have this image of the kind of person I try to be--moral, wise, stoic, genuine--but truth be told,  I don't want to be married to that kind of identity because there are days my wheels fall off and I need a little room to be something else.  I also don't want to be predictable, predictable people can be manipulated people. Besides all that, I highly, highly, HIGHLY value my autonomy; so my knee-jerk reaction is to resist conforming on any level that threatens it-- whether it's church, family, friends or entity who project their expectations on me.

I'm Human.

Those who think Christians are all religious zealots might be surprised that we're much more like the average Joe, flawed with good intentions. Chances are they're probably friends with a few of us and we've just been to chicken to 'come out' with our whole conversion experience.  The thing is, we bleed from the same thorns as everyone else; pride, greed, rage, lust, jealousy, laziness, gluttony... Unlike Jesus, we aren't God-incarnate and we don't always succeed in mirroring His perfect image of what love, honesty, peace, and kindness look like. I think our motives are genuine but sometimes it's hard to obey God or we just get distracted. I'm constantly aiming to make decisions that won't hurt me or others while fighting the nature to put myself first.  I can easily see how that makes me look like hypocrite when I get it wrong.  

For someone who refuses to be under anyone's thumb, I think it's ironic I embrace Christianity to fulfill my spiritual needs. Then again, it makes perfect sense the rebel in me would choose a path much less followed by the rest of the world.  Honestly though, I choose Jesus because his ways are so uncomplicated.  I like being able to go right to the Source without a bunch of religious fluff. Jesus made the whole religion-bit obsolete by reducing all the "rules and rituals" into two simple laws of relationship. Love God and love others like yourself.  Easy, eh?  I like easy, but relationships take effort and when I get bored or things get rough, selfish Lisa takes over and starts making googly eyes at other stuff and that doesn't make me very popular with people.  So, it's a relief to know God loves me in spite of myself, He understands my whole corrupted wiring and He's faithful when I am not. As for persuading others to Him, I'm not the most glowing example, I have a hard enough time keeping my own friends.  But at the very least,  when I misbehave or wander off, I want others to know it is Him who gently nudges me to circle back to Him, keeping me from jumping off that proverbial cliff. That's where I am this week, circling.


Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

Unknown said...

So needed this right now...almost a year after you wrote it. I love you Lisa! As different as we are, this blog expresses my very similar failings - Not doing something wrong because I don't want to apologize for it! Hello!

Unknown said...

So needed this right now...almost a year after you wrote it. I love you Lisa! As different as we are, this blog expresses my very similar failings - Not doing something wrong because I don't want to apologize for it! Hello!