|Wednesday, Oct. 02, 2002 || The journey continues|
I have been doing a lot of thinking since posting yesterday. Both of my sisters left notes in my guestbook, attesting to the sad fact that they too have contemplated ending their lives. I asked Rob, “Why us; why the three of us?"
He said, “Nicole, I don’t think it is so much that you all are unique to having those feelings. I think everyone has had those feelings at some point in time, they just don’t know how to admit it.”
I think he has a point.
That day that I contemplated taking my own life, a small part of my reasoning was based in my belief in an eternal home in heaven. I had the thought, “Heaven’s got to be better than all this!” By the same token, the very admission that I could even think of doing this to my family seemed a testament to my glaring failure as a Christian.
Let me define that term. There are some “Christian” faiths that would contend that if a person takes their life, they just bought themselves a one way ticket to the hot place. I do not believe this. I believe that true Christianity is actually a relationship with Jesus Christ. It begins at a time in someone’s life when they freely admit that they can not reach God of their own volition, they confess, not only all the junk in their life, but that Jesus is Lord and that His sacrifice was enough. It is an act of surrender and humility. The immediate result is complete forgiveness, free access to the very God of the universe, and the promise of an eternal home. If it could be lost, it could not be called eternal life.
But that step, that moment in time, is just the beginning. The Christian life at that point becomes a journey. It is more than just an insurance policy; true Christianity is a lifestyle. It is a process.
When I became a Christian, I bought into the false belief that everything would automatically be rosy. No more worries. No more fears. A lot of Christians buy into this. Many a pastor has been heard preaching such from the pulpit.
Many have also proclaimed that if you have any problems in your life, there must be sin. You must be doing something wrong. And yes, sometimes it is because of our poor choices, our willfulness or disregard for His ways, that we will have consequences to deal with. Guilt motivation, however, has been the prodding stick to promote activity in ministry and service in the name of God. A check list is composed. As long as you can check each box, you are okay. If you can’t, you certainly don’t admit it. God is a judge, looking on in disappointment. The farther you fall, the more you need Him, the harder you run.
I was once in a church like that. If you listened to the wrong kind of music, you were led by the lust of the flesh. If you wore pants or shorts, you were immoral and loose. Plastic smiles, disguised behind piety, pertrified of exposure. It is a sad, destructive existence heaped in spiritual abuse and bondage.
It has been a long time since I broke from such chains. But as with any wounds, healing takes time. And as is often the case with fears, it is much easier to deny they exist than to grieve, than to admit that you have been hurt or that you have failed.
I used to think that admitting that I had feelings of hopelessness and despair was equivalent to saying that I didn’t really believe in God. How could I be a “good” Christian and feel this way?
What I am learning is that it is in that very place that God is reaching out to us in the most amazing way. That it is in grief and brokenness that we can surrender our will, our doubts, our insecurities. It has been in this place that He is teaching me that He is enough.
Does that make the process of healing easy? Not a bit. Some days it is all I can do to get up and face my life, face who I perceive myself to be. So much of what I am is wrapped up in whether or not I “perform” as I should.
But God is not looking for performance. He just wants me. Nicole. Just as I am. Surrendered to Him so that He can help me change, help me grow.
And He loves me. It doesn’t matter if I “deserve” it or not. He just does. That’s what good daddies do. They love you anyway.
Now I can hear Him speak my name, and He always says the same thing.
Just a reminder - Friday, Aug. 10, 2007
Rockin' Girl Blogger - Wednesday, Jul. 18, 2007
A good end - Friday, Jun. 01, 2007
Moving on? Yes and no. - Monday, May. 07, 2007