I'm so battling a case of the blahs today. Blah diddy blah, blah, blah!
There is absolutely no reason for it. OK, so I might have some excuses but they're not really big enough to be important. I'm not going to remember them a week from now, let alone when I'm 50. Isn't it funny how our problems seem so big right now that we can't help but worry for eight hours straight and wring our hands but if someone asked us, five years from now, what we were so worried about on June 7, 2012, we wouldn't be able to recall if our life depended on it?
Good grief, I'm ridiculous sometimes. I waste so much time trying to think myself into a solution when I don't have any control over a situation. So I'm having a bad day. I'll get over it. Boy, it was a whole lot easier to admit my bad days when I wasn't a Christian. It's like before I was expected to be a screw up but now, I'm supposed to have my act together. Keep that halo un-tarnished!
I'm feeling a little rejected right now. I'm also feeling sorry for myself because having two kids with special needs makes being a parent that much more complicated. It's easy to get sucked into the "why-me" syndrome and lose all sense of perspective. I have healthy, happy kids and in the grand scheme of things, I am beyond blessed. Still, right now, at this moment, it's hard. I'm putting one foot in front of the other and I'm being brave. This is what that looks like yet I'm afraid to show it. If you asked me how I am doing, I would probably show you all of my teeth and say, "wonderful."
That's because at times like this, us Christians have the propensity to put on a happy face and in our best Tony the Tiger voices, say, "I'm GREAT!" We're gonna fake it till we make it.
We know (or should know) that God is going to pull us through it and this is just temporary so there's no point in making a big deal out of it. And we can't let anyone seeing us struggle. Because we think that wouldn't make God proud.
Must. Focus. On. The. Good! There are probably mothers who watched their babies die of starvation today and I'm sitting here replaying the ugly events of a PPT? What kind of a selfish heathen am I?
We aren't supposed to struggle as Christians, right? We're supposed to have it together, be perfect. But what example do we set when we white-knuckle our way through challenges or try to fake that we're fine. We ultimately show people that we're liars. Perfection isn't inspiring, it's downright science fiction. Anne Lamott said, "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life."
She was referring to writing but it's true in life as well. Perfectionism oppresses not only oursleves, but others. It's a sort of spiritual and emotional slavery.
In a blog a few years back, Jon Acuff wrote this:
"Sometimes, we Christians, worry that if we admit things are not going well in our lives you will assume that our God is not good. You will see our struggles as a reflection of who our Lord is. So instead of being honest, we will drop the Christian “F” word, which of course is, “fine."'
It's true that I often feel the pressure to be "fine" all of the time. Most of the time I probably am, but admittedly I have good days and bad days. And then there are the days I wish I could completely erase and do over. My faith doesn't give me a perfect life, it gives me a sense of hope and the knowledge that I'm not alone in this mess.
When I feel hurt or lonely or afraid or angry, I don't have to rely on my broken, sick self. I can sit down and say, "God...this sucks. Take it from me and help me get back on track." And he does. If I let him.
Have you ever overdrawn your bank account? I've totally done this. My husband and I once made a faux pas where we double paid our monthly car payment. I mailed the check, he called in a payment. We didn't realize this until we went to buy groceries a few days later and our debit card wouldn't work! Which is not embarassing at all, let me tell ya. To stand in the check out line with $150 worth of groceries and your card won't work is a humbling experience.
The cashier never hands you a discreet piece of paper that says, "card didn't work, do you have another one?" No. It seems like she grabs her microphone and over the loud speaker, you hear the resounding words, "YOUR CARD WAS DENIED!!!!!" Everyone stares at you and you want to disappear.
It's a sinking, hopeless, scary kind of feeling when you realize you need to figure out how to get out of the mess. My husband wasn't due to get paid for another 10 days which meant that we were going to hemorrhage in overdraft fees and I was wracked with worry. It was awful and I never wanted to go through that again so I set up a savings account that is linked to our checking.
This way, if we ever get into that situation again, the bank will automatically cover the negative balance with what we have in savings.
God does the same thing for me when I have a bad day. He helps me every single time I go into the emotional negative. Sure, I feel really craptastic right now but what I lack in positivity, he makes up for in grace. The mark of my being a Christian is not that I'm perfect, always have it together or don't have problems. The difference is that I'm not alone in any of it.
I have this huge savings account of spiritual wealth and when I overdraw from my lack of planning or through my own error, God always fills in the gaps, steps in and relieves me. God makes an awesome savings account and he never runs dry.
So I'm done trying to be perfect. Go ahead, watch me struggle. See me fall. And then watch my father pick me up, dust me off and redeem me.