It all hit in a surreal effect just now.
I am alone.
All my life I did what I was told, I watched and learned what I should do based on what people around me said to do, and even so based on the consequences others reaped after doing bad things and having to pay the cost.
As a little girl I saw my parents, namely my dad, point out the bad things in myself and my siblings. I behaved primarily as to escape punishment, but also I tried to do what was right for the sake of doing what was right and good, because, well that was what one should strive to do. It was black and white back then, “you reap what you sow.” Thus sow good things and you will reap good things. I wasn’t so much into reaping the good, as to not gaining the bad. I don’t prescribe to like pain in any way shape or form. I don’t like to get hurt, to hurt others, to see others get hurt emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually. I’m just wired to see the benefits of doing good and gaining good. it just makes sense to me.
Growing up in the church I know has had a huge impression on me and that worldview/behavior.
I was promised that community and love was found in the church, that only true fulfillment was God-centered and everything that was “God-centered” was only found in the church. I was promised that Friends, the best of which one can have, will be found in the church, a sense of belonging will be found in the church, a safe community would be found in the church, happiness is in the church, peace and joy and love, all in the church. In order to gain those things, all of which a soul needs (love, companionship, acceptance, friendship, belonging (by no means a complete list)) will be found in the church and how one becomes “in the church” was by service performed in the church.
And so i served.
I served in children’s ministry, I served in “corporate worship” I served in youth ministry, I served in college ministry, I served in women’s ministry, in the elderly ministry and dare I say, even in the men’s ministry. I served in the missions ministries, I served in food banks and homeless shelters, at high school and in college. I served so much I was offered several jobs “in the church” I even got a job helping in a Pastor’s house because I was so involved with the church.
I don’t regret any of the service. I just wish I hadn’t had the expectation of gaining anything from it.
Again, my heart wasn’t in it to gain per se, I just always had the worldview that this was the process, you served and then God will bless you for that service with what you need. I would serve even if I didn’t need anything at the moment. I loved serving. I loved giving. I still do, just not “in the church” like I used to.
Low and behold, I reflect on my times growing up “in the church” and I see what was “reaped” in a measurable aspect. Friends, I don’t know where they are. Community, I never felt as part of community, but more just a servant to the community. When I voiced my needs, they were quickly hushed and swept under the rug “that’s not how church is ran” “that’s not how we do church” “what you’re looking for isn’t in the model of church that we are forming” “you know, God doesn’t explain the structure of the church in detail in the Bible, so we’re doing the best that we know how.” Never once did they truly consider that maybe, as a servant to the church, I might have some more valuable input on what is lacking, and more so what is needed to reach my demographic. I was told to go to the women’s ministry which to this day is segregated by “forever tables” I was told to serve in other capacities, I was told to join a “community group” which, if you weren’t already part of a clique, then you were shuffled off to an “open” community group where a bunch of odd balls were trying to fit into the mold that the church was forming… but let’s face it… that didn’t work either.
At 22, I was burnt out. I gave and gave, I served, I loved God’s people, and then there wasn’t much love left for me. I reached out and was denied or redirected. And I was just over it.
By 23, I was all but gone out the door, barely hanging on to the places of service that I was committed to, just waiting to shake off the last bit of my ties, and then something happened. I suddenly found myself “in the world” and in this worldly setting, I met friends who actually cared about me, not for what I could do for them, but just cared about me because we were together. I met women who were strong and independent and voiced what they needed and got what they needed. I had friends who called in just to check in and see what I was doing. I found a place to fit in. It was easy, not forced. And the best part was I didn’t have to do anything, I didn’t have to serve. It wasn’t so much as I was greeted with opened arms, I was never outrightly rejected by the church, I just never fit. And here with these girls, I just fit. Then, even curiousor, I met a man. This guy saw me, and when I came around he gave me attention. Not like all the other guys I had been warned about, he was sweet and respectful. But I was scared. He wasn’t “in the church” he was “of the world”, but all the other guys who were “in” they never saw me nor did they treat me with any respect. This guy, he saw me, he respected me, and he opened my eyes to a whole new world. A world of freedom and expression, where i could be me without having to give and sow and serve. I didn’t have to do anything but just be.
Then I was gone.
Everything I knew and expected had left me empty. I was doing all the “good” that I was raised to do, but the friends were fake and false, one dated my crush behind my back and blatantly lied to my face when I asked about it, and only when they broke up did she and him, separately, come to me for condolence. One friend yelled at me through the phone “if you’re really my friend, if you really love me you’ll do this for me” in regards to lying to her parents and helping her cover her tracks of deceit and sinfulness. The guys who claimed to be “in the church” showered with me flattery, some sang me songs and whispered sweet things and then said “if you love God, you’ll go on a date with me” “if you love God, you’ll stay with me” “if you love God, you’ll make out with me” “I told you that you were beautiful, why won’t you just come over, a little kissing won’t hurt, if we make out it won’t be bad”. My mind was overwhelmed. Here are these “church guys” acting the part but in secret doing terrible things to me, and there was this guy “of the world” who did nothing but respect me and esteem me.
I chose him.
I left them.
I cut them off. I was done. I was tired. I was broken down and sad. I loved them. They were all I knew. But I saw then that I wasn’t ever one of them, I was just there, serving.
I grew with my worldly friends, I fell in love with my worldly man. I married that man, and I remain good friends with those girls. I admire that one woman.
I heart hurts and is heavy when I think of my past in the church. I’m sad. I felt used. I wanted to be used, but I expected to be replenished. I sowed and sowed, I served and served. And then I found a better place.
I still have guilt and remorse for times past.
I still feel like maybe I should have tried harder, that maybe I didn’t do something good enough. That maybe the fault was in me.
Then I recall to look ahead, to move forward, to live in my world, not in theirs.
Well… here I am again… trying this hole blog thing out.
I have four blogs, none of which I use on the regular. It’s my pithy cry for help because I don’t feel like I can go to anyone in my life with my issues and hear what I need to hear. How can you ask someone for advice when you know you come from differing points of view and basically they just don’t understand?
I love my family and the few people I call friends. BUT we all are so different, many times when it comes to relational aspects their advice is mute. Also, it’s tough when they all know my husband so well, I don’t want them to think ill of him, but he’s not perfect and I need advice and help on how to cope and deal with stuff.
Currently, my closest friends are years younger than me and don’t have serious relationships/have never been in a serious relationship. My mom and dad are separated, my mom is uber religious and usually just says to “pray about it”… we can see how that helped get you to where you are now… I do believe in the power of prayer and that it is a very helpful and healthy aspect of life, BUT you can’t rely solely on the power of prayer… life requires you to do some of the work too… my sister, she’s great, but she tends to internalize things and relate them back to her… right now she’s in the midst of getting marries (aka planning her wedding), she’s already had to deal with all of the drama of my parents separating, I hate to burden her with my marital issues. While I know she’ll lend a listening ear, it’s hard for her to set back and see it through my eyes, we just agree on different methods.
There’s a string of other girls in my life, but they are all unqualified in my perspective… the few married friends I do have are a) super religious, b) not close with anymore and c) come from such different points of view it wouldn’t be helpful.
I used to be “uber/super religious” but I’m not anymore. I don’t succumb to the traditional husband leads the wife, wife submits to the will of the husband, man works, wife stays home, etc mentality.
My personal beliefs are that the bible is full of principals that need to be interpreted into the context of today. To understand the principles you need to study and dissect the context of which it was written, biblical interpretation, you need to understand the culture, the historical aspects, language translations, and so much more. Once you gain that understanding then you need to see how the principles apply to today’s standards.
I don’t think you can live word or word or pick and chose what isn’t a principle and what is one. Maybe you can get away with that in amish culture, but how is the man supposed to be the head of the household when many women in the middle class are the ones bringing home the bacon? How are women supposed to be the submissive wives when they have to be out in the world working just to help support the family?
All this to say, I don’t feel like there is someone I can go to who understands where I am at and can relate because they have gone through a similar situation.
There’s only one person in the entire world who I look up to, but I don’t really know her that well. I wish I could have pursued her more and built a friendship or something further, but to me she wasn’t obtainable. AK… I will always want to be your friend, your disciple, but I feel too inferior to even ask.
The entire reason for this blog post is because I’m struggling with my husband. He doesn’t really know it… but it’s an internal battle I’ve had since day one.
I love this man, he is so great to me. He is kind and loving. He cares so deeply for me. BUT there are some major character flaws that keep surfacing and he keeps not dealing with it.
I know I am not perfect, but when something comes to my attention that I need to change, I make every effort to grow and change and become a better person. He just doesn’t deal with it.
There are countless examples of him not dealing with issues and how that backfires on us. I’m scared to even talk to him about this stuff again because he’s pretty good at turning it around and not receiving my input. I don’t want to change who he is as a fundamental human being. I just want him to change how he reacts to things or deals with things.
His decisions to ignor some pretty basic every day to day items makes me seriously consider what it would be like to raise a family with him… and I seriously doubt that we could do it together.
How it works now is I handle all the major decisions, I take care of our finances, our living arrangements, our cars, groceries, big picture items, he takes care of his day to day needs. And somewhere in the mix I also need to take care of myself, but it’s usually last on the long list of things and most of the time I’m just too tired to deal with everything. Not to mention keeping up with our friends and our families. He doesn’t really do any of that. I guess to him it’s not that important… but to me, it’s so important. I know we can’t go through life alone… but he seems to think he can. I’ve slowly started to not give his friends and family as much attention because I have so many other people to have to keep up with. And it’s not some burden that is unmanageable, I love my friend and family and I want to keep up with them. I want to keep up with his friends and family too… it’s so important to me. And it’s not to him. Or maybe it is, but he doesn’t know how. I know he usually chalks it up to him being lazy and him having to get over himself. He’s almost thirty! he needs to get this shit on lock down!
This is why I think I need to see a therapist. i want to know how to communicate this stuff to him without it becoming a super huge deal. I don’t want him to feel like I’m attacking him, I don’t want him to feel like I don’t love him.
I am a little disappointed, I’m concerned, I’m sad, and I’m scared at what all of this is going to do with us.
I want to know if I just need to get over some of this stuff, if it’s okay that he doesn’t do these things. Can we get past this stuff and me still care about these things and then accept him for not caring about these things?
Do i need to change my perspective?
But then I remember, that how all this got brought up, he isn’t into the little things. And those little things add up and become much bigger things.
I’m drained now.
All of this because he didn’t register his car…
Tomorrow… or sometime in the future… maybe… I have to tell someone whom I deeply love something not so very loving… And if the tables were turned… I’d be more than devastated… I don’t know how I’m going to get the courage… or if I even should… so I just pray and hope that things will change? Should I wait a bit longer to see if things will be different, or if I keep on closing my eyes to the reality of our situation will I just continue to be miserable and desperate?
How do you tell someone who is happy as is that the situation makes you crazy? Makes you want to not exist?
How do you tell someone that you promised to spend the rest of your life with that you don’t think it’s working out and we’re on two separate directions?
Do you wait? Do you leave?
I don’t know what to do… I’m saddened that I feel this way and wish I could change and stop feeling this way. I’m saddened that it’s come down to this… or at the realization that it’s always been this way, but there were too many distractions to really pay attention to the reality. I’m saddened that I let it get this way. I’m sad I changed and I’m sad I can’t be just as happy in our current predicament.
If I don’t say anything… I might become resentful and bitter. If I do say something… we might end.
He’s never failed me before… but what if this is the breaking point for us?
I’m scared and nervous and I don’t want this conversation… I hate having these conversations… prompted by my insecurity or pride or whatever it is… can I just hold it in and ignore it? Unfortunately no…
How do I become me when you are inclined to stay the same you?
I’ll never want to stop or settle down, there are always new mountains to climb, new valley’s to see and new faces to meet.
I want you there with me… but not from behind or in my shadow, but making your own trails and making your own ways. And then we can share it together… I can’t handle planning your life while I’m trying to pick up the pieces of mine.
I want you to be happy… I don’t want to change you.
And I want to be happy, but I want a change.
I can’t stay stagnant for long. I can’t stay confined and get into a hum-drum way of life. I need new and I need exciting.
I need productivity and creation and I want someone who wants that too… I don’t want to be stuck to a couch all day watching other people live their lives. I want to be out there creating something amazing so that when we are old and gray that we sit back and talk about what we did and not just the era in which we lived.
I love you babies… I hope we can work this all through. I’m sorry I’m so driven and demanding too… but it’s who I am… and I don’t know if I can just sit around anymore… and if that’s really who you are.. then maybe we should rethink what we’ve got. I don’t want to change.. but I don’t want this version of you. This version of us.
Forgive me for maybe breaking a promise.
Welp, I tried my hand at the black bean recipe, but I let them sit in the water for two days and they started sprouting
I got sick and unmotivated and forgot about them sitting on my kitchen counter… good thing I only used half of what I bought, so maybe tomorrow I’ll brave the crock pot again and try my hand and I will be successful!!
Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted, and it’s all due to a terrible sinus cold that I caught from my hubby, and we have no clue where he got that from!
It started out as a two day sinus cold, then I broke out into a two day fever (probably one of the worst I’ve experienced in several years), then it’s just down to congestion and tiny little ear aches, plus inflamed lymph nodes in my neck, and a dry cough, plus I’ve spot a ton of little red bumps on my stomach and under my chest… I am concerned about the red bumps, they’re not sores, kinda like little bites, but they’re not really itchy. I don’t know, you’d think I would have gone to the Doctor already, but sharing the car means he’s gone by 6:30am and not home until after 6pm, and I’ve been so out of it, just laying in bed all day.
Well not today! I finally got the energy to get out of bed and clean up around the apartment. I (finally) tackled the mess of my desk after graduation and got all the trash thrown away and everything else shoved into a pink tub. It’s a terrible existence to be taught never to throw anything away!! My closest it full of tubs full of things that I barely even remember, I actually got around to working on my graduation thank you notes, although they aren’t coming out as well as I hoped, I’m using a heat embossing tool for the first time!
Needless to say, when baby gets home from work we’re going grocery shopping and I’m getting the last couple of ingredients to make that Apple Chutney 🙂 can’t wait!!
Well, the Thomas’ might be under the weather. David woke up late last night coughing up yucky stuff and my sinuses are feeling extra pressure, so either there’s a storm a’ brewing, or we’re getting sick. So goal for today, find a yummy chicken soup recipe and surprise him with a hot meal when he gets off of work.
This week is going to be extra hard because he has to work 12-15 hour days, now he’s under the weather and I’m stuck at home all day.
But at least I have internet now and can figure out some good recipes to try this week!