#1peter 3:13-17 #contending for the faith! #bible #God #Christ #Christian #Christianity #Lord #Jesus #bibleverse #scripture #truth #TheWord #biblequote #blessing #encouragement #Grace #Love #Mercy #Holy #setapart
I love this! #bible #God #Christ #Christian #Christianity #Lord #Jesus #bibleverse #scripture #truth #TheWord #biblequote #blessing #encouragement #Grace #Love #Mercy #Holy #setapart
It was ridiculously hot these past few days… I got badly sun-burned on Thursday and had little bit of sun-poisoning (I swear I didn’t make that up). Since then I hadn’t quite felt like myself… I chalked it up to heat exhaustion, over worked, and excitement for the events I had planned… Yet looking back it was something off in me that had been stirred awhile ago.
In the past months since school ended I had abruptly pulled away from my “peers” I put this in quotations not to denounce them but to call them friends at this moment would be stretching. I found myself not necessarily isolated but definitely lonelier than I had been in awhile (and still feel). I tried to engage a bit more but work drains me and the few days I do have off I run myself down by cramming events into the time span. All the while I had pulled out of my serving capacity quite a bit, I still hang with my core students but I feel dramatically unconnected with the other students I mentor. My whole life was/is church, to have that dynamic change because I was overwhelmed was crazy. In the meantime I have been spending vast amounts of time with my parents, they have been my best friends in these past few months… The camaraderie has been quite enjoyable and different than I have had with my parents!
Anyways all my feelings sort of came to a head today. I stayed up much to late last night to read a book, I was quite engulfed until I conceded to sleep. As today progressed, I wasn’t unhappy, I was sort of just “meh”. I had a bridal shower to go to, I decided I wasn’t going to stay long because the idea of being with my “peers” for an extended amount of time made me cringe (mostly because I harbor feelings of resentment toward them… I’ll come back to this later). As I arrived late I socialized but one could tell I was oddly aloof, obviously disconnected. Finally, thanks to the nagging of my mother I had an excuse to go home early. The drive home was one of introspection. I felt hollow, was it because I feared I would never one day have my own bridal shower? Was it because I so obviously wasn’t fitting in? What had I done so wrong to not be accepted, other than my self-sabotaging… The heat was intense and my mother had prepared our home so I could vacuum, in the summer heat I worked hard and I embraced the sweat and the strain… It felt, purifying… Then I got ready for church…
Me and my dad have always been close and the drive to church was no different, musings on how I had felt so awkward at the bridal shower and how I made a significant effort to leave early. My complaints on how many of my “peers” told me I needed more fellowship yet no effort on their part to extend that invitation or my want to interact… I vented that I was tired of being blamed for not being accepted because it was always my fault instead of their obvious contentment without me. As we entered the church I felt like a fake, a hypocrite, pretending to smile though I felt numb. I’m sure others could tell but how could they/why should they pry? As worship began I left to use the restroom… I ran into the head pastor.
I said hello and we had a cordial exchange, we used to be so close! It was weird how the responsibility of leading a church had us grow apart from one another… I had always said if I didn’t have a great dad I’d have this pastor be that dad replacement… He looked at me and I hesitated and said, “Can I ask you a question?” He obliged more than willingly and tears came to my eyes unexpectedly… It was then that I asked why was I so different and what was I doing wrong that I didn’t fit in, I wanted to in so many ways but in so many others I enjoyed the rebellion and the kicking back. I was so ashamed with my rush of emotion and immediately apologized for my tears. With soft eyes he said that some people are just more far along in their Christian walks than others, that they don’t find the silliness in things others do because they have grown and matured. I told him that I felt as if I was the immature one, that I was failing. He paused and chuckled, he said he was sure that wasn’t the case… He assured me that the nights message would be a blessing to me and, it was…
The most poignant thing that stuck out tonight was this: the shame I feel because the expectations others put on me is not my fault. I don’t have to live to others standards, because to live a righteous life is to obey God, whatever God does is righteous.
As church let out a nice older lady asked me if I was okay, she blocked my exit… I was trying to escape the sanctuary that was soon to be filled with my “peers” and I wanted nothing more than to avoid the interactions. She looked me in the eye and said you’re sad, and I smiled weakly, I let her know that I felt tired and emotionally drained because I was going through a trial I had never felt before. She encouraged me, she told me that it was for my bettering and she knew all about the valleys of this life, I thanked her for the exhortation. Then me and my dad drove home, as we talked I let him know about my encounter with or pastor, and how I felt… My dad reminded me of the expectations and shame I don’t need to meet and feel… He said I am an old-soul and sometimes it can be a burden but it’s also a blessing.
As sit here now; knowing I’m blessed. Feeling a bit foolish for doubting The Lord’s love and looking for atonement in the wrong places. As I muse I feel content… Something I haven’t felt in weeks…