For the first time in my comparatively short career as a permablogger here at Rational Faiths I am writing a post for me. It isn’t that I am not of course interested in the things I normally write, but I do try to keep the readers in my mind when deciding what to write about (whether I accomplish that goal and anyone ever actually cares what I write about remains to be seen).
Today, on this post, I want to write what _I_ need to read. If you find it is something you needed as well, that is wonderful; if it is not I hope that you will grant me the patience I need to flesh out my own experiences and lick my own wounds in this space. This will also be an unedited stream of consciousness because these are thoughts that are cluttering up my brain and my heart so I need to get them out.
I am a private individual, so I am not going to delve into a great deal of detail here, but rather skim the surface. The basic premise which has driven the narrative of my life story is that I am an evil person. Whether this was given to me, or I was born with it I cannot say but it merely is.
I am an ardent believer in God, and Jesus Christ, and the whole shebang but applying grace to myself and my own life has always been hard. I have seen and done things that would make people’s hair curl and I feel these disappointments deeply. In the normal course of things when I start to wander down this pathway I pick up my faithful old copy of Believing Christ. That book changed my life, and changes my life every time I read it yet getting the lessons to sink in permanently and change the aforementioned narrative seems to be a no-go.
I can’t shut my brain off. It is always processing and thinking and chugging away. I am a planner with zero patience and I don’t handle change well. I am disorganized in my organization. What does all this have to do with anything? What does it have to do with my life narrative?
It has everything to do with everything! Faith doesn’t exist in a vacuum, nor does The Gospel itself. They are experiences that are colored by the other experiences of our lives. I was feeling broken because The Gospel has never made me happy the way people talk about that it should/does. I felt like the only explanation for the level of belief I have while not experiencing that joy high was because I was Satan (or a minion thereof more accurately). Satan knows that God is there—they just aren’t on the same side. It wasn’t until actually opening up and discussing this that it hit me that my _other_ non Gospel-related experiences all but guarantee that I am incapable of the type of happiness people are describing. It isn’t within my skill set. There are a lot of things that I am good at, but having faith in myself and “being happy” (whatever that means) is not one of them.
When I processed that the experience of my faith was not going to be the same as my neighbor’s it was a full-on revelation. Honestly, I started writing this post as a case study in sad-sackism. I was woe-is-me-ing all over the place, but now I have a completely different outlook. The blessings that have rained on my head, completely undeserved, over the past week have wrought a change in me. I am properly chastised and sufficiently humbled. We all have a part in the Body of Christ; the finger and the toe don’t have the same experience. This diversity makes us grand; it makes Divine Children a force to be reckoned with. If we can weather these storms amongst and within ourselves salvation is ours to be had.