Stream of Unconscious

Often I wake in the middle of the night with thoughts and visions that must be written. A lot of it may seem like mere rambling, but I am a born writer; I need to see what happens to my words once they stare back at me from the pages of my computer screen. Since I am ususally more than half-asleep when this happens, I jokingly entitled the original document: "Stream of Unconscious." Now that I am finally starting to publish in a blog (as so many people have suggested I should do!), I thought the title remained appropriate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Potentially Brutal Honesty

Hey there.

I wrote this a few days ago, and although I am a little less cynical than I was when I first wrote it, I'm going to go ahead and post it because it illustrates some of the life changes I've been experiencing lately.


Sept. 11

I have a lot of catching up to do, it seems. The good news is, my life is totally different from what I was living last I wrote (in August). Much has changed for the better. I finally moved to Chattanooga, and I really enjoy the area I'm living in. I've also gotten re-involved in the church I've been wandering in and out of for about five years now, and that has changed a lot of things for me.

The singles group at this church is amazing. I still don't know exactly what I believe about God, and I still have a lot of doubts about his “love” because of some of the things that have happened to me, but I'm definitely reconsidering some of my previous doubts. And, though I never thought I'd say it, I'm really enjoying being in church again. Maybe I had to step away for awhile so that I could better appreciate this time of reunion.

But I don't want to lose myself in all of this, because I've done it before and I'm hesitant to go down that road again. I had what I believed to be “faith” in college, that now I'm pretty sure was just denial. Sometimes Christians have that tendency to dislocate themselves from reality, and start saying strange and uncomforting things like: “All the awful things that happened to you passed through the hands of a loving God,” or even resort to speaking a different language: “The seeds have been planted, brothers and sisters; the harvest is ripe.”

What the crap are we really trying to say here? I know the English language is limited, but let's try to use what's left of it well, shall we?

I really don't want to become one of those people with glossy eyes that acts like life has never been difficult, or that somehow life's tragedies are unimportant because of religion. I don't want to smile when I'm dying inside or fake belief in something I have no knowledge about. I don't want to stop living in this world just because I believe there's another out there. I don't think we were ever intended to do that.

Perhaps I'm speaking blasphemy. But while I'm on the subject, I may as well get it all out there. I still don't entirely get the worship aspect of all of this. Someone suggested to me that maybe I just worship differently than a lot of folks, and I think this must be true. I watch a sunset, or go hiking, or feel the sunshine on my skin, and my heart responds in what I believe to be worship. But cheesy Christianized songs and the threat of being called upon to pray out loud has never done it for me. I can sit down and write for hours on end, or drink in the varied sensations of a cup of coffee, or sleep until lunchtime and stay snuggled up in the covers for another hour after I'm awake, longing to know my Creator intimately, but I feel awkward and self-conscious if I'm raising my hands or trying to sing something I don't feel.

I wonder if there's something wrong with me, or if I should just accept my uniqueness and worship in the way that comes naturally?

I don't mean to sound bitter. I've been disappointed so many times before, and the truth is, I'm just afraid. I'm afraid of waking up and finding it's not real, of being rejected by those I hope to create relationship with, of always being an outcast because I never find a way to connect, or to “worship” and receive that mysterious gladness the way everyone else does. Sometimes I just don't “get” the God stuff, and that scares me. Maybe it just takes time.

But I'm ready for something. I'm ready for change. I'm ready for my life to have meaning, for my emotions to be rooted in something real, to move towards the hope of a future I could be excited about. I'm ready to leave the blackness of despair behind, to find healing from my past and move forward to hope, and maybe even – dare I ask for it - happiness. Maybe I could even find a way to accept and believe in myself... that could change everything.

Christians believe they have the answers to all of my questions, so I'm willing to give it another try. What do I lose if they're wrong? Only a life I had been growing to hate. But maybe all that is almost over. Maybe a new day is truly dawning. Maybe I made it through to the other side, and maybe change is finally here.

All I know is, these people love me and each other in a way I've never witnessed before. And I want to be part of what they have.

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