Christianity

Crying.

I am uncomfortable and a little scared to start this post, which means it’s probably something I definitely have to write.

My mind goes blank when it knows it has to do something it doesn’t want to do, so I figured I’d just start it off by telling the truth about that.

There. The beginning is out of the way now. I started.

I’ve noticed something about people, and while there are a few exceptions to the rule, pretty much the general consensus seems to be that crying equals weakness. And we’d rather be damned than look weak. I’ve been a part of many conversations where a person is sharing something painful, and wants to cry, but can’t. They’ve shut that useful tool down a long time ago. I’ve even had several people tell me that they don’t want to cry because they don’t want pity, or to come across as weak. People just flat out say it.

What’s funny to me is that we are completely blind to the illusion that we are strong to begin with.

Don’t get me wrong, I struggle with this too. And while I am more comfortable with crying in front of others than a lot of people, I still hide it or force myself to swallow it, because I too believe the lie that I’ve got it handled. This comes into play when I’m around Daniel. It is excruciatingly difficult to cry in front of my husband.

Last night I was sitting at the computer, working on an overwhelming amount of Beard Sauce orders after a hectic week of helping my mom and brother move up here, Thanksgiving and Black Friday madness. For some reason I really wanted to listen to Miley’s Wrecking Ball song.

Side note: I know several of you just judged me so hard. But it’s one of the most honest songs I’ve heard in a really long time. For some reason, when celebrities or musicians “act out” or “go crazy”, Christians seem to feel entitled to judge them just as harshly as everyone else does, and it runs rampant on Social Media . Keep in mind that our right to our grace-less opinions died when we decided to pick up our crosses and follow Christ. That’s just as much for me as it is for anyone else, and I apologize for being a judgmental a-hole in the past just to get a laugh.

So, like I said, I was listening to Wrecking Ball, and I just started weeping. The first time I watched the music video, it was also the first time I had heard the song. It made me tear up then, but last night…

I process pain with two things: by listening to music and crying. I’ve been that way my whole life. The song pushes down on the nerve, causing incredible pain and forcing me to feel. Crying is a release of all the emotions and thoughts that have been stuck. When it’s over, I feel light and clear.

It’s a beautiful process, really. But I will subconsciously refuse to listen to music a lot of the time (even though it’s my favorite thing in the world) because I know what it’s going to do to me, and I don’t feel like being “weak.”

It’s not necessarily the content of the song that got me. It’s the fact that a human being is being verbal about how another human being destroyed her.

We destroy each other.

I’ve seen a lot of that lately, more specifically with my family. Evils I didn’t really believe in or understand until now are a part of my life.

Demons whisper lies into our ears, and we believe them. Then we tear each others hearts out, and leave the souls of our victims choking for life.

We wonder why people uses harsh substances to get through the day.

And while I have hope that the lights will be turned back on and souls will be restored, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s a lot of darkness hanging out right now.

We are all weak, every last one of us. Crying is an act of submission. It means that we’d rather do the uncomfortable thing that might help us gain a little bit of freedom. You can be an emotional person (like myself) and cry a lot, and still refuse to submit when it really counts. Even though I cried a lot last night, I didn’t do it in front of Daniel and I didn’t even tell him about it. I hid it, and I want to confess that. He’s the person I should be the most comfortable being weak in front of, but when you grow up not being able to trust anyone that’s supposed to love you, that’s kinda difficult.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. –Romans 8:25-28

I always think about these verses when I am so filled with sorrow and I’m crying so hard that there are no words to be said.

So, I don’t know, that’s what I’ve got today. I have no idea how to end this one as much as I had no idea how to start it.

Why don’t you cry?

 

Bits Into the Mouths of Horses

I’ve noticed something lately that leaves me both terribly burdened and deeply motivated.

As I read the constant stream of Facebook statuses and hear the things that come out of the peoples mouths around me, I’m reminded of an earlier time in my life. A time where I thought I knew Jesus really well, and God needed ME. A time of complete ignorance to my innate crookedness and my black heart. This was only 1-4 years ago, but I’ve been proclaiming “CHRISTIANITY!!!” for the majority of my short life.

During this season of life, I was constantly asserting my opinion into anything and everything that allowed it, and I regret to say that 99.9% of it was not of a redemptive, gospel nature. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think I kinda did. I didn’t care though. “Well it’s the truth, and if people don’t like it, oh well for them.”

How incredibly selfish.

How shamefully inaccurate.

I cringe at the reality that I probably hurt, isolated and destroyed a lot of people. This is the part of our walk with Christ, one of those awakening moments, that does not feel good. Oh, how greatly I need that abounding grace, and how grateful I am that it flows in streams eternal.

And I still do it on occasion! When my worth is in question, when I’ve been wronged, or if I’ve simply woken up on the wrong side of the bed, I can say (or type) something that the devil revels in.

When I originally wanted to write this post, I felt real fiery about it. That was a sign that I needed to wait a week or two. Continue to listen and be quiet, continue to receive grace. If I had written it immediately, then I most definitely would have committed the very offense I hate so much.

The reality is, I’m no better than the worst offender in this area. So, I say this with the utmost humility: if you call yourself a Christian, but your opinion constantly comes before others feelings, identities and salvation (or lack there of), then you are not promoting the gospel and all of the love, hope, justification and redemption that it brings. You simply aren’t. James 3 speaks for itself:

3 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is notthe wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to be right.

With Jesus’ blood comes the death of our right to assert our opinion and judgement.

With Jesus’ blood comes the desire to further the kingdom with a pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere heart.

Is that what your heart looks like? If your not sure, read your Facebook statuses over the last month. Think about everything you’ve said since Monday.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.

Holy Sanctification Process Batman, What the Crap is Happening?

What an insane 24 hours it has been. We all know one of the reasons why, and for the sake of all of our sanity, I won’t talk politics.

Last night my son woke up at around 3:45 in the morning. Typically when this happens, something spiritually fishy is going on, but I was drugged up on NyQuil, so Daniel handled it.

I woke up this morning to my phone being blown up with texts about friends in the hospital. Seizures, brain bleeds, emergency open heart surgery, respiratory infections…. THE WORKS!

How quickly God can put into perspective what is most important.

How quickly God can remind us of WHO is actually in charge.

Today has been physically and emotionally exhausting, but spiritually I feel SO ALIVE. I feel like my church family is suffering together, and suffering well. I haven’t really realized, until today, how much we love each other. It’s incredible and perhaps a snapshot of what heaven will be like (without the pain, tears, and weird hospital socks).

As wounded soldiers who are having to get their broken bones set and bandaged up, we are all leaning on each other for help, and it may be one of the most humbling and amazing times of my life.

If you are of the kind that prays, pray for Church On The Way. Pray for endurance, rest, strength, courage, hope and faith.

God is walking with us through the valleys.