January 14, 2013

No More Lucky-Charm-Cheer-Up-Old-Chap-Mini-Sermons Please!

I'm writing this today for cathartic reasons. To put it out there.

I honestly don't think I can stand the cliches anymore that we Christian like to propagate. Truth be told I don't need another person to tell me everything will be alright, or that God's got some great plan, or that there's always "light at the end of every tunnel." Words such as these offer so little in comfort, assurance, or hope. If anything they just agitates me… and in some small ways give rise to me isolating myself from them... or slapping them across the face, followed by stuffing a cupcake in their mouth (to keep them quite and to make up for the slap). Because right now that's all they are: words.

In the Jewish culture they understand lamenting and mourning better than we do. It's like they're better at being in-tune with emotional wellness or something. We tend to stick band-aids on each other or preach from our pulpits that emotions must be controlled… that we're only allowed to have particular ones. Heck, some women's ministries have gone so far as to demonize emotions (because not to be sexist or anything, but women usually are the ones targeted here). This was not so for the Israelites. They mourned. They lamented. They entered into one another's pain. They worked through it. They cried with one another. David in the Psalms screamed gut wrenching prayers, Naomi grew incredibly bitter, Joseph found himself in crappy situations for a good part of his life, and Hannah was so grieved that the priest thought she was a drunk (let that sink in for a second). But nowhere do I see God passing some kind of judgement on any of them, nor does He give them "feel good," flowery words. The Israelites didn't hold conferences or write books about emotional control for the congregations.

So here's the truth:

I'm not okay. I'm going through a storm…  and I hate admitting to it. I don't know what to do with all this 95% of the time. I cry a lot because of that (although most people wouldn't know since I'm a seasoned actress at pretending I'm fine... I could probably win a golden globe or something). I have many days when I'm angry or apathetic towards God. There I said it. That doesn't mean I've lost my faith or that I'm a horrible Christian either. I try to be hopeful, but the reality is I could come up at the end of the year with more prayers answered with "no," more frustrations, more pain. Hope and expectancy are hard battles, and to say I'm weary isn't scratching the surface. Seeing other's prayers and lives blessed only seems to be intensified greatly. Like when I see them there's an added magnified glass to my sight.

No, don't need words. I need fellow mourners. I need others to be okay with me not being okay, and give me grace for this season. I need time to lament… and who said that would be accomplished in some small amount of time? I need prayers (and I'm horrible at asking for them without feeling guilty). If I were to say the opposite of any of this I'd be a liar.

Christ sustains us through lamenting. Why would we not do that for a fellow brother or sister in Christ? All I'm saying here is if there's someone else in your life who's in that dark/stormy season, maybe He's calling you to be the one to lament and mourn with them, because if they're anything like me, that's what they need, not another lucky-charm-cheer-up-old-chap-mini-sermon.

13 comments :

  1. I needed this...I really did.
    In the book of Lamentations--a book where the title is quite appropriate--before chapter 3 gets to "Time for every season" or even, "His compassion's fail not..." there are words normally skimmed over. Words of lament, of pain, of real, raw, angry, confused, transparent talk with God.

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    1. Curse Blogger...what I meant to add under all of that above, was..."Just like this post." Praying for ya, & can relate to a time not so very long ago.

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  2. those dark and stormy seasons are the pits. and being in the midst of one right now, i understand a little of how you feel. and i'll be praying for you.

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    1. Praying for you too! I know it's been rough for you as well.

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  3. Thank you for your honesty Natalie! I will definitely keep you in my prayers! I hope you keep writing and honestly sharing what is going on in your life.

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  4. #preach
    Girl, you are awesome. Your transparency is amazing. Thank you for...well...keeping it real. Praying for you xxx

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  5. I read this laying in bed last night. you posted it around midnight my time and I tried twice (obviously in vain) to publish a comment from my phone. I LOVE this post.

    I'm a huge advocate for actually feeling your emotions....Why do Christians get so caught up in keeping it together?

    Lots of love and continued prayer headed your way..and big THANK YOU for being you. You're a blessing to me more than I can say x

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    1. Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement Lauren =)

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  6. You are so right about Christians wanting always to fix things ... but even the gospel is clear about the proper response to suffering -- God doesn't just zap humanity back to perfection -- He enters into pain and brokenness and loneliness. Praying for you dear.

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    1. Thanks for your prayers and encouraging words Eimile =)

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