Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Thoughts on Christianity

I've had some thoughts brewing around in my heart that I want to share. I was blog hopping the other night, and came on a blog where some gals were discussing the religion we share. I was blown away by their anger. Talks that had inspired and challenged me, left them crying and swearing. I kept reading and reading, baffled at first, but then I began to understand. Behind the anger, was incredible hurt. These women were so injured, because they felt like they didn't fit into the 'mold' that was expected of them. I thought a lot about this 'perfect woman' mold, she even has a name. We know how many children she's supposed to have, all the things she's good at, and all the complicated details she's supposed to juggle.
I've thought a lot about Jesus Christ, and what he taught. He compared us to all the many parts of the body, each different, but essential. It's absurd to think that the being who created the almost infinite variety of flowers, and made us each so different, would expect us all to cram into the same mold. He doesn't. His church doesn't. We do that to each other. We come up with that all on our own.
I've asked myself: how do I feel when someone from church makes a decision I feel is wrong? How do I feel when I see someone with a talent I don't have? What do I think of someone that has way more money than I do, or way less? I'm ashamed to admit, that I withheld friendship from an amazing person for several years because she was so pretty, I felt plain next to her. Christian? I don't think so.
I was in the grocery store yesterday, and it was packed. One poor woman in a scooter was blocked, and was agitated enough to swear at the people in her way. I was filled with unholy glee because she goes to my church. I mentioned this to the woman wedged in the aisle beside me who replied "I guess that's why we have church, isn't it?" Ouch.
I've thought about how really and terrifyingly fragile we are. We're all brothers and sisters, and there's quite a bit of sibling rivalry. We desperately want to know that we're good enough, that we're loved. It's a sad reality of human nature that we can perceive someone else's weakness as somehow increasing our chances. The other side of the coin, is to assume that everyone else is enough; that we're the only one lacking. We can think that other people's strengths somehow negate ours. We assume that we're the only ones who depend on a friendly smile, a compliment on our haircut, or a squeeze on the arm as we pass in the hall.
I tell myself, that I shouldn't need other people's approval to know that I'm okay. I should just care how God sees me, and how does he see us?
We're his babies. We're as cute to him as our babies are to us, except he doesn't have to wipe our bums. We're still just babies. We make mistakes, just like our little ones do. It's cute when my baby tries a new word and doesn't get it right; when he comes running to me, arms outstretched, and biffs it at my feet. Our Father has compassion for us, and we're endlessly precious and cute to him. I'm convinced of that. And we're also- right now- in all our warty imperfection, ENOUGH.
This Christmas season, I'm going to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ by doing my best to become more like him. I'm going to try to remember each day that I'm precious, and you're precious; that there's room enough in heaven for all of us. Instead of seeking other's approval, I'm going to give it. Instead of seeking out the gals who are like me, I'm going to look for who needs a friend, or a smile. I'm going to remember that all those people who've had a harder life than me, that may not look like they have it all together, they're enough too. I'm going to spend more time loving others, instead of working so hard to dot every i and cross every t. That's real Christianity.


Abby said...

Nice, I KNEW I liked you! I've been pretty open this year with my church group - letting all the warty imperfections hang out. Things have been so far off the charts in the "not what I was hoping for" realm (with regards to my marriage), I've barely made it through. The Lord has kept me afloat, and has done it mainly through people who were willing to care - like you are wanting to do. One of the reasons I've been willing to share with the people at church what is happening "privately" is BECAUSE I want them to know that you can have horrible things happen in your life, and still be totally dedicated to the Lord. In fact, I've felt His love for me personally more than ever! I want them to know, and understand. I want anyone that has to go through this to know that they can come to me and cry. Thankfully, for me - I have not been judged. I have been taken in like a chick under the wing of so many good women. It has been miraculous to me.
Here's to you. Good Woman! Go forth and comfort! Go love everyone out there that you can get an eye on. You just hit the jackpot! What you have written about IS the treasure at the end of the Lord's rainbow - painfully cheesy, I know but it couldn't be more true! You guarantee yourself a happy life by keeping your heart focused where it is right now.
I'll leave you with a scripture this Christmas Eve. Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Which makes me think. Maybe we could start a blog community with sole purpose of uplifting, and binding up the broken hearted, helping women get out of the "mold" and into the happy, good life that they want. Interested?

Allison said...

That was beautiful, Missy...I love your talent with words and how my heart just sing, "yes, yes, yes...that's how I feel!" Thanks for putting into words what others of us are not to gifted at doing.

I have felt an interesting love for women since just after my mission. I KNOW, like you, that we ARE enough. I look at women of all circumstances and feel compassion and awe at what they are doing in their own sphere of life to do their best. But sadly I often withhold that "enoughness" from myself...demanding perfection in my own life and mercilessly condemning my every flaw. Since I'm not gentle enough with myself, I crave those compliments and little nods of approval from my husband and friends.

I love your musings about God's love for us...his babies. It's true, He loves us...warty imperfections and all. And what's more, He gave us the warty imperfections to allow us the opportunity to grow from them and see ourselves change into what He knows we already are inside. Seeing change in ourselves is a joyous experience that He tenderly allows us to have by giving us those weaknesses.

My goal is to remember these truths more often and find greater joy in knowing that I am who I am and that's enough.

Abby said...

Okay, you've really inspired me. Here's the new blog.
I have put your link on the sidebar. I would love for you to be a contributor and post to the blog anytime you have something to say. I need to have your email address to send you add you to the owner list. You can email me from my site. Also, I'd love to have you send the link to any one you know that you think could use a community like this. Hope you don't think I'm crazy.

The Bloxham Bunch said...

Thank you for that blog. I know I have had the same feelings as you at times. I have finally decided I am the best me I can be (or try to be at times) I don't run as fast as some, but I run my fastest, I'm not as skinny as some, but I'm trying to get to my best. I think that is all we can do. Thank you though-Your blog made me think and gave me a few good tears. Love ya lady!

Lee said...

What a great blog to read on Christmas Eve. We are all trying. And all in so many different places. I think often we forget that. I appreciate your thoughts. You are just awesome!

Anonymous said...

I feel so fortunate to have you as a friend-you are an amazing woman and set such a great example for others-especially how we see ourselves. You and I have spoken about this very thing so many times as I have struggled to fit "the mold" I think one of the greatest answers to my prayers is when I was told; this is the part of the vineyard the Lord wants me to serve in-this is where I can do the most good. This piece of earth that is so unlike many of the other places around me, is right where I need to be, for me and my family. Each of us has our own little fertile spot designed just for us-we decide if we want to nuture it and make it grow-and allow the fruits of our labors to bless others. And may I just say the "fruits of your labors" blow me away-you are truly blessing others. You are one in a million. Love ya-N