When you come into my blog, you will find a real person. You will not find a perfect Barbie doll or prophet or sage. You’ll find a teenage girl, who really struggles to keep her crap in order and loses important things like sanity, keys and her left shoe on a frighteningly regular basis.
I’m not sure why, but these little truths are sometimes confusing for people. As an openly Christian blogger who doesn’t write solely religious material, I can end up in a weird position. People don’t really know what to make of me. (FYI, I don’t know what to make of me either. Maybe we can compare notes.)
Occasionally you’ll see references to my faith on here, but I must shamefully admit that there’s not much. A handful of funny church stories and a few posts here and there for Easter (actually, I think I may have even deleted that) and such. You don’t see the ups and downs of my relationship with Christ or my favorite Bible verses.
You hear a lot more about my struggles. You see the dark days – I open up my grief, my bad habits, my fears, my stupidity, my anger, my jealousy – and I let you drift through those snippets. I let you peer through a lot of disaster. Sometimes, the words are raw and tear-stained. Other times, they’re shrouded by sarcasm and bitter laughter. Either way, they tell a story that isn’t all too pretty. They follow a girl who’s had some messy stuff happen to her, but prefers to leave a good bit of it unsaid. She’s clearly a minor disaster, but she’s making it through, so I guess that’s all that can be expected. What you don’t always see is how I make it through. You don’t see the nights I spend curled up in prayer, begging for the God I love to mend my broken heart once again. You don’t see the highlighted sections of my Bible, blurred where tears have fallen over the years.
Sometimes, you see a lot of joy. You listen to me proclaim the discovery of my spirit animal and shout to high Heaven that I adore my friends and life experiences. You watch me dance through streets and tilt my head back in the rain, because I love the feeling of it pouring over me. Things get a bit corny and immature at times, but that’s part of the whole humanity thing. Yet, again, there’s so much more you don’t get to read about. You don’t hear about the God who gives me this much joy by loving me and freeing me from my past. You don’t hear about the nights I’ve just sat there, thinking how badly things could have gone and how much I owe to Him.
I open a lot up to you guys and accept your judgment for it, with the hope that you know what you’re signing up for when you subscribe. There’s a whole lot of humanity on these pages, but I can assure you there’s even more behind the scenes – for one thing, far more mistakes are being made than I will ever want to share with you. I’m a terribly imperfect creature, but that’s okay. I’m trying.
But sometimes people don’t understand that my imperfections don’t make me any less Christian. Sometimes, people get really, really confused. They think Christians are perfect and Holy, or they’re not really Christians. They think that, in order to be religious, you must not make mistakes- at least not moral ones. They think God loves perfect people and condemns all sinners to Hell. But, friends, that’s not love. Love is unconditional. It doesn’t abandon you when you make your first mistake. Love never leaves and will wait for us to deal with our issues and return its embrace for as long as we need it to. Sometimes, we wait so long that we forget it’s still holding us in its arms, but it never lets go. “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Love is Christlike. God is love. He would never give up on us, because we sometimes like to swear or forget to pray before eating breakfast. Jesus’ family tree included prostitutes, thieves and murderers, so I think I’m doing pretty okay. There’s nothing any of us can do that will surprise Him. (Sometimes I think I tick Him off a bit, but I never surprise Him – and He always forgives me!) Friends, I don’t care what religion you are or where you stand on evolution or homosexuality or whatever the hell else you associate with Catholic concerns. I do want to tell you one thing, however, and I want you to listen to it very carefully.
Are you ready?
Okay. Here it goes:
God is still with us. Even if we’re not perfect.
No matter what is happening, He’s still there. When I’m sad or afraid or angry, He’s there to comfort me. When I’m thrilled beyond belief, He’s there to happy dance beside me. He doesn’t expect perfection, because He created us and understands humanity and all its stupid ways. It’s because of our imperfections, not in spite of them, that we’re often called to do His work. No matter who you are or what you believe in, that’s fine. That’s totally up to you and I’m really not into judging people’s choices. I do think, however, that we all have to do our very best to treat one another honestly. Let me start. I’m honestly telling you that I often suck at life, but God has never given up on me. I’m honestly trying desperately to explain that Christians look like everyone else. They aren’t perfect. They don’t always know their scripture very well or discuss philosophy in their free time or work at Hobby Lobby. They don’t always wear crosses or sing hymns or have ten years experience as altar boys. They’re trying to make life work, just like everybody else. The (honest) Christians out there are really, really trying to love unconditionally, surrender themselves to Him and share the awesome with everyone, and that’s all He asks of us. If it’s good enough for Jesus, I think it’s good enough for the rest of us, too, right? Let’s try our very best to expect more than cookie cutter personalities, and try to forgive one another when we don’t meet expectations, okay?
Thanks, friends; I appreciate it.
“Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Abraham was old,… and Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED!”
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. … He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me.”