Sunday, October 17, 2010

Confessions from the Land of Everything is Okay

A few years ago, I had a Sunday school teacher who said during a discussion that we needed to not complain or show sadness or be depressed around non-believers because we need them to see we aren't in the same boat with them. The theory was that they want to come over to our boat.

It seriously rubbed me the wrong way. Immediately, I protested. We are in the same boat! They are looking to see how we deal with it, not pretend that all our worldly troubles go away the moment we accept Christ.

So, that's how deep our faith is? That we must fake who we are and what life is like in order to convince others that following Christ is worthwhile. That sounds more like a Pharisee than Christ to me. Though my spirit screamed NO, and knew it was wrong, my flesh has operated that way most of my Christian walk.

The Bible says that we are to confess our sins one to another. It also says the rain falls on the just and the unjust. We aren't promised that we won't mourn, but that we do not mourn like the world.

Yes, sin is deeply intertwined with our illness. It is a result of the Fall. We live in a sinful world and all struggle and our afflicted by sin and with sin. I don't know if what you are dealing with is the result of specific sin you committed, or your ancestors committed or simply so that God may demonstrate His power, or maybe it IS because you are faithful (Anyone remember Job?) or just because the rain falls where it falls.

Regardless, I can share your burdens. I am in the boat with you. I am both an amazing, wonderful daughter of the King and a miserable wretch of a person. Why is it when we are rescued by Christ's love, we don't turn around and bring our fellow boat riders with us? Is it because we are actually trusting in something other than Christ's redeeming love who takes us where we are and how we are and continues to work on us?

My recent blog entry regarding John's Bipolar got a lot of response from dear friends. Apparently, I've not been living transparently enough. James 5:16 (NIV) says, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

God's Word Translation says "those who have God's approval" in place of righteous. What is righteous? Abraham believed God and it was counted as righteousness. Abraham was granted approval by God and certainly wan't perfect. Maybe we'd have more healing if we had more sick people (people who admit they are sick).

Our deepest relationships are with the people who know us best. They are with the people who see us with bed head and bad breath and love us anyway. We Christians are supposed to be brothers and sisters but no one lets their guard down to get comfortable enough to live together. Only Christ can rescue us from these problems in our lives so lets show our Daddy our boo boos and let him make them better and stop worrying about what the one in line near us might think. Did it occur to you they are in need of His help too?

So I'll follow my sister Jenifer's lead.

I am Holly. I am smart and capable and extremely lazy because of it. I don't have to work as hard as others at many things so I sit back, procrastinate. I'm used to doing things right (or so they appear right) so I avoid doing anything that seems hard to me. I don't want you to know I'm not perfect so you only see me do the things I'm good at or confident about. And I judge people who don't do as well as me. It makes me feel better about my shortcomings. (For a little while.)

I have been miraculously delivered from many emotional issues, physical issues and morbid obesity by an answer to prayer in how to change my diet a few years ago. I lost 80 pounds easily, painlessly as long as I obeyed what I knew to be right. I still struggle with desires and an unwillingness to admit that just a little won't hurt me. When I have a little, I have serious obsessive, compulsive eating problems. I dream about food and will result to lying and sneaking to get what I want when I am in that mode. I've been doing a lot of "just a little bits" lately.

I love my children desperately and am thrilled to be blessed with them and desire God to bless me with more. Sometimes when they don't do what I want, I scream at them and threaten them, use my size and authority, in the hopes they will fear me and comply. It never works well (other than the fearing part). :( Not cool, I want you all to think I'm super mom. My kids already know I'm not but they do love me.

I have been gifted with the ability to write well and I'm afraid to commit to doing it more and working on getting published. I have seen God do amazing things in me and the people around me but have been unwilling to devote daily (weekly even?) time to prayer and Bible reading. I am afraid of all the very serious needs of people around me and what I may have to do to help, so I try not to pay attention. Love my happy little bubble.

I have a wonderful husband with his own flaws and have attended lots of marriage conferences and read books. I think we have a great marriage that will last but must admit I haven't given it much attention. So I've allowed some hurts and miscommunications to get in the way and I've turned apathetic toward my dear one and have chosen to spend more time with just about anything than my husband. Because there have never been problems, we've not devoted time to marriage preservation that we should. We've been married for fifteen years and have become nothing much more than roommates lately.

I'll have you know that the answer to our way of eating came after a period of confession about my eating and my inability to do it on my own. So there you have it. There are some of my flaws that I'd really prefer to keep to myself. Please heal the wounds in my life, Dear God. When I admit these flaws it keeps me from ignoring them. Let me know what to let go of and have the courage to work on the parts that I need to work on. Give me righteous brothers and sisters who can both pray for me and hold my hand, keep me accountable while we ride in this boat together. Make me righteous so that I can return the favor.


Anonymous said...

Silent (and not so silent) tears slide down my face as I see my reflection in your words. Things are moving quickly now, it won't be much longer before more of the pieces fall together and God does some of the really neat stuff we're catching glimpses of now.

Better get ready, and your blog seems like a good place for us all to start.

Melanie said...

I love you, Holly! I know you're not perfect because well, who is!? But you are still my hero for so many reasons. Much of what you have written is true about myself. I applaud you for being so honest and forthright and desirous to better yourself in Christ. I appreciate your example and am so grateful to have you as a friend.

Mary said...

Wow. I'm blessed to know you and call you "friend" and "sister".