Lost Together

Let me tell you, I thought I would be alone forever.  Not negatively, but alone nevertheless.  Not until I met my fiancee did I realize how high the walls in my fortress had been built.  Maybe it wasn’t even when I met him that I realized it, but six months later when we got engaged.  I mean, I love him.  I know there are facets to him that I have not yet uncovered, facets that he himself doesn’t even realize.  But unfortunately, to get to the core, parts must be cut away.  And while I go through these cuts myself, I can only stand by and watch him experience his own.  It’s a painful experience, and confusing to say the least, but when moments of revelation come, even in that few moments, all the pain is worth it.  I just hope that he gets used to the ongoing surgery that must occur for him to become his true self, known to some as the “higher self”.

I have done years of self-analysis, read numerous books on becoming self aware.  I have written pages and pages on my own personality, struggles, and revelations.  So I can always look back and remember; looking back as the higher self, and know that I overcame.  But how do I relate to somebody who has never done exercises like this?  I know it’s not my job to fix him or lick his wounds, but standing helpless as he suffers is unacceptable.  Of course I pray for him, but without actually experiencing what he is going through, I can never really know.

I suppose Jim Morrison was speaking even over his own head when he said: “When the doors of perception are cleansed, we will see the world as it truly is – infinite.”  It is these doors of perception, however, that keep us locked within ourselves, isolated.  True empathy is not possible, unless we can somehow master the Vulcan mind-meld, or develop the fictional Chew-Z made popular by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.  But what is this, “the two shall become one flesh”, made famous by God Himself?  What does that really mean?  From what I know of God’s character, He did not simply mean sex, or bearing a child that fuses two lines of genes.  No, my limited number of visions on this subject reveal that there is something more behind this.  An actual fusing of the physical attributes of the body.  The mind is surely part of this.

Just yesterday, as we both lay on the floor chatting, I felt for a moment as if a door was being unlocked in his mind and I walked into a different room…one I had never seen before.  This fusion of minds, however, did not last long, and soon our humanity caught up with us and our weaknesses broke the connection.  And I’m still mourning the loss of that connection.  It will return, but the agony of lacking a revelation I felt for a moment is unbearable in the meantime.

Why these short spurts of electricity, then long periods of drought?  I understand that we have to develop perseverance to achieve the high calling God has put upon us, but really?  It’s exhausting.  To fight off evil at every turn can cause one to be tempted to give up fighting altogether.  Well, I must say, that must be some high ass calling for us to be trudging through all this shit.

 

Praise the Lord.

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Fear is the root of all evil.

Fear is the root of all evil.  I have found that behind every facade of pride, every tear of self-pity, every “justifiable excuse” is fueled by fear.  Anger, lust, rage, murder, drug use, alcoholism…fear fear fear fear.  DEPRESSION!  The fear of getting your hopes up.  Ha.  I lived that one for an entire decade.  Longer even.  And even now as I think of it, fear grips me even now!  A daughter of the Living God.  Really?  Wasn’t it my Lord that promised He would never leave or forsake me?  Absolutely.

…the fear of the dreaded “relationship”.  The fear of making the wrong decision and then being “stuck” in a miserable marriage in which I will potentially hate myself for “settling” and then blame him for it.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  Then why don’t I just break up with him?  Oh yes, fear of him falling away.  Fear of … ouch.  Fear of him being just fine without me.  God forbid I should allow myself to be knocked off the pedestal he’s made for me.  I know it would hurt him, yes.  And that is a legitimate fear, surely.  But if he truly is in God’s hands, he’ll be…just fine.  And so will I.  I keep putting it off, and I don’t want to resent him in the end.  It seems that just when I’ve made up my mind, I realize it’s a “bad time to make a rash decision” and lower my standards just a little more.  On the other hand, my standards certainly could be far too high in order to double as walls surrounding the broken city of Liz.

I don’t get it.  Won’t somebody just make it stop?  I keep changing my mind…and yet I get angry that it’s taking so much of my time and energy, and it serves as a pretty effective distraction from the rest of my life: university, friends, duty…

Falling in love, getting married, and popping out a few kids is not my picture of happiness.  There’s got to be more.  Cuz this “falling in love” garbage is retarded.  Straight up.  It never lasts.  It’s a facade just like the rest.  Was I even ever in love with him, or just the many personalities of him I made up?  The crazy gun-toting drug dealer, very Romantic-era hero.  The rough and tumble saviour of the lost world…with a testimony stronger than steel.  Really, Liz??!!  He’s just a man.  Flawed as ever, not especially bright, doesn’t understand me in the least, immature, loud and rowdy and childish.  Then why was I drawn to him at all?  The attention I get from him?  What I once loved, I now despise.  Crap.

Sometimes I just want to move far away from Baywood in may.  Just forget about him.  Leave him behind and move somewhere exciting.  Scary.  Ha!  And the fear monster returns.  And so what can I conclude from this much needed rant?  No matter which decision I make, as firm as I may appear to be, no matter how brave I am today, fear is right there beside me.

Courage is not without fear.  Courage is being afraid but doing it anyway.

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You rock. Really.

"You rock! Really."

I was watching a sermon tonight, and it was regarding the disciples’ fixation on who would be the greatest.  Who would be closest to Jesus and thusly most important.  I must admit that I’ve thought about this regarding myself as well.

Last year in university, I worried when the mug in my still-life looked like a ham.  I worried when I looked around at all the other students’ work and I thought, “Why am I even here?”  Or the other side of the coin, desperate to be better than somebody else, “At least my drawing is better then hers.”  Yes, we are taught to look at art critically.  But I think I let it go too far when a struggle I was experiencing with a painting was allowed to affect my self worth.  Or another example: I worry that since I’m not preaching in a church or prophesying over people who frankly need to hear good things, I am worthless to God.  It’s ridiculous.

What is this fixation with worrying?  I spent ten years of my life slicing my wrists, writing “practice” suicide notes, failing at school because I just didn’t see the point of it all…I think worrying and negative thoughts in general became more of a habit than I am sometimes willing to remember, or admit.  Just like the act of smoking (as opposed to the nicotine itself) can be addictive, there is no doubt in my mind that thought patterns, destructive as they may be, are as much or even more addictive – because they are not viewed as such.  Behavioural patterns, as long as they do not include murder or sexual immorality, are justified by the field of psychiatry every day.  Take ADHD for example.  Let’s put your kid on a narcotic substance because they won’t pay attention in class.   REALLY?!  You’re feeling down.  You need a prescription for Zoloft!  Never mind eating right and exercising and having healthy relationships, and especially don’t mind the “God delusion”-you don’t need to have a “belief structure” in place.  You weren’t designed specifically for the purpose of communing with the Creator of the universe!  NO!  You need pills and you’ll be okay if you are just on the right dosage.  These examples seem alittle extreme?  Well, they’re not.  They’re everyday happenings.

So, my anxiety problem from last year?  Gone, right?  Should be.  But it’s taking the Lord many attempts at convincing me that I am perfect already.  Now there is something I can chew on.  The day before class started, I took my bike down to the ravine for a ride.  However, anxiety pulled me over and I just sat on a bench, waiting for God to say something brilliant.  Next thing I know, an aboriginal guy around my age comes walking along beside the trail with his shoes off and sits down.  We start talking, and when I mention my anxiety, this homeless fellow starts telling me that if I focus too much on the big things, the little things lose their value, and that I should just enjoy the ride basically.  Well that began the punch in the stomach that I’ve been needing for quite a while now.

So, it’s coming along.  I’ve caught myself at my station in the studio, stressing because the fabric folds in my still-life look more like an abstraction than anything else.  And I’ve burst into laughter.  Does it really matter?! I ask myself rhetorically.  Then I walk over to the chalkboard which is very conveniently right next to my station and I write an encouraging statement on it, so that any of my classmates who may be having some horrible thought about themselves can walk by and absorb some positive energy.  I have elected myself morale officer of second year fine art.  Why?  Because I had a bad day.  And Jesus said “NO” to that.

Praise God!  What a fabulous God we have.  No wonder I’m all about Him.  He’s got my heart, and I’m okay with that.

 

 

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I don’t want to go to school today! I want to stay home and bake cookies with yoooouuu!!

Day two and I’m a mess.  Go figure.  I’ve never been good with change.  Truth is, working for Kids of Promise was a nice safe environment for me, and suddenly I’m back in the big bad world where I don’t know anything (there’s the rub when one goes to school, I guess).  I totally feel like I’m 6 years old again and everything is so big and I..well I am a tiny person but my mom can’t take me out of school and bake cookies with me.  Instead, I have to face this alone.  Yes I know, one is never alone with the Lord, but it’s not him who has to learn all of this.  He made the world, for crying out loud!  I can’t even paint an apple.
While feeling small, however, I am also faced with dealing with myself.  Which makes me feel huge, like the universe is spinning around my head…frankly it’s too much of me.  I hate that.  All that I have right now is school and my empty apartment, and a lot of fear.
Fear of what?  Oh, of not being the best.  Screwing up.  Not being able to handle it.  The basic art school jitters I guess.  Same thing I had last year if I remember correctly.  I really thought it’d be different this year.
The last couple of weeks haven’t helped either.  I’ve been isolating myself away from the church.  Why?  Sick of the same-old, I guess.  Well, I imagine now that the big bad world has invaded my throne room so to speak, I’ll come humbly back, knees and face on the ground.  And you know?  I don’t mind.  I always seek the familiar and safe when I am catapulted into the deep dark unknown.  It makes sense.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want more.  More of God.  More more more.  I want to know him better and deeper and I want his embrace to be enough.  I never understood the contradicting message preached in churches: one week it’s “The Lord is enough!” and the next week it’s “Reach out to each other!  We can’t do this alone!”  Huh?  I guess that’s why I got sick of going to church.  Maybe I’m an extremist.  Not to label myself or anything.

In the meantime, I’ll reminisce about falling asleep in the back seat of the van while my parents drive home and being carried up to bed and tucked in and being safe safe safe.

Except that it’s Jesus carrying me; there is only one set of footprints.

 

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I wah wah wah wah wonder…

It’s that time of year again.  September.  Holy crap.  2011.  Holy crap.  I’m 29.  Holy crap.  No, this is not a midlife crisis.  I’m just saying.  I don’t feel like I’m 29.  I mean, I read novels and watch movies about characters who are 29, and it just doesn’t seem like I’m there.  I think all those blackout years of my heavy drinking days may have thrown off my odometer.  The good news is I’ll be tossing my grad cap in the air right around my 30th birthday.  Pretty cool.  It will also be a time of several of God’s other promises fulfilled…if in fact my calculations are correct. haha.

Which leads me to the real reason I feel I had to write tonight…the matter of the proverbial heart.  I can’t believe it’s been over 4 years since I’ve been in love with anyone other than the Lord.  I mean, He totally stepped in and rescued me from a shattered porcelain heart…that’s how we met, really.  But falling in love as a Christian, with an unsanctified, singly human MAN…what is THAT?  I’ve been accused of many things, most often of having a massively high wall secured in place so I never feel that kind of heartache again…20 lbs. lost in two weeks?  Sure, that’s by far the most broken I’ve ever been.  But, I’ve dealt with it, haven’t I?

My opinion?  I’m just not ready.  I mean, God did give me a specific-ish time frame in which my heart would be properly prepared.  I’ve been waiting for a decent chunk of time, but the human in me (d’oh!) cries out from time to time: “WTF!” (what has text messaging done to me?!  Oh the humanity!…so to speak.)

I’ve met some really nice guys in the past 4 years; some who, I must admit, I would have “bagged” in my past life rather quickly.  But I dunno…either my list of requirements is too long, I really do have security, or conversely, INsecurity issues, or (God forbid) God is right.  And I should just shut up and be patient..just like the Bible and Holy Spirit instruct me to do.  But then, there would be no blog post, no human wondering, no pondering… no complaining hahahaha (I’m sure there are one or two posts in here somewhere about THAT).

Some may disagree, but I believe that somehow expressing that little annoying human voice appeases it, or at least reminds you that you’re human, which at times can be irritating, but at others completely fulfilling, and completely OKAY.  Like feeling the breeze on your face on a summer day, or smelling the first buds of summer, or laughing til your stomach hurts.

I dunno…I guess when I have been engulfed in seeking the Holy Spirit for a time, I want it so bad that I forget.  Forget that it’s not the end of the world if I don’t reach sanctification like, yesterday.  From time to time though, maybe reading the news too much and seeing the horrid destruction brought on by and to our own kind that I just get annoyed with being what I am.  What you are.  A hairy, smelly, dirty human being.  Arnold Schwarzenegger’s truth spoken in Terminator 2 (which I watched again last night) reminded me of this dislike for what we’ve become since Eden…referring to humans he said “it’s in your nature to destroy yourselves.”  And days before that it was The Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  I just wanted to … I don’t know, vomit the contents of my heart onto humankind all over the world.

On that note, perhaps I should begin the process of shutting down the inner mechanisions of my mind in the hope of having another night filled with sleep…perchance to dream…

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What I love about God…today.

You know…God isn’t religious.  If he was, he wouldn’t have sent Jesus.  I think that the whole ritual of the old Jewish ways (the old testament) was all about absurdity.  I think that everything points to the fact that without my beloved Jesus, we can’t do it. 
Religion doesn’t help anyone.  Jesus is the one who saves.  Jesus
is the one who makes life make sense.  Even when it doesn’t.

You know, if I don’t feel like going to church, or can’t stand the sound of Christian music, I tell Him.  And we don’t go to church.  And we don’t listen to Christian music.  I think
he’s happy that I tell Him about it.  I think that’s what counts.  Don’t get me wrong, after missing one or two services I miss it.  But if it makes me miserable, I just don’t go.  It doesn’t mean I miss out on studying the Word.  It just means I’m
free of that chain.  God doesn’t want me to hate church.  God doesn’t want me to
hate the music that glorifies Him.  And if I forced myself to go all the time or listen to it all the time, I WOULD hate it.

You know what I love about Him?  We can sit and watch Pretty Woman, or You’ve Got Mail, and I can cry to Him about how much not having that hurts.  And he doesn’t get mad.  And he doesn’t light candles at my pity party.  He just sits with me, and comforts me, and reminds me that He loves me and doesn’t want me to settle for anything less than the PERFECTION he has waiting for me.  Whatever that means…

I tell him my hang-ups (He already knows them anyway); I cry to him when it hurts; I yell at Him when I’m pissed off; I tell him his idea sucks and that He’s crazy if it’s stretching me too much or if I just want to give up.  But I never quit Him.  I couldn’t.  How could I turn my back on the only person who could save me from my self destruction, from my meaningless empty life?  I tried to tell him once, angrily, that I was gonna stop believing in Him.  What do you think he did?  Raised his eyebrows and smirked a little.  That was a couple years ago.

Yes, He has me in waiting right now.  But it’s not in vain.  I’m not just sitting on my ass watching the paint dry.  I’m in there, getting messy and screaming my way through the growing pains.  And it’s a f^*&ing trip.  He’ll never let go.  He knows what I want (better than I do), He knows what I need (and what I don’t), and He always has my back, no matter how mad at Him I am, or no matter how many times I threaten to quit.  I know he’s working on me, and I know he’s doing it quickly and efficiently…so I’m ready in time.

 

Cheers.

I love this point in the movie; they can’t stand each other. Fabulous.

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Who the F#^$ Am I?

I’m having one of those lives where I look in the mirror and wonder, “Who the fuck is this person staring back at me?”  Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit.  Maybe it’s not an entire life worth of wondering…maybe it is.  The point is, the person I knew myself to be before I met Jesus, however self-destructive or static she was, I KNEW HER.  I had done all the self-analytical stuff, had myself pigeon-holed (perhaps not a good thing), but she sure was familiar.  It didn’t HURT to be me.  I didn’t have to wonder, through stage upon stage of fast-forwarding change, blurring by me so quickly that I get … yes, that’s the word…motion sickness.

Funny, I look around me and see no one else exhibiting the flu-like symptoms of change and growth…which makes me wonder if I’m just more emotionally unstable than everybody else or they are emotionally dead or I just worry too damn much.

I realize, of course, that before Jesus, I was kind of a “no-man”, as a scholar once defined a man without a purpose.  I suppose my identity came from the people I knew at my “Cheers”-like hangout, how many people I could whoop at pool, the type of songs I sang at the religiously-attended karaoke…wow.  The more I allow myself to think of my past life the more of a loser I discover in her.

But no-man or not, the rate at which I am experiencing growth scares me.  Excites me as well, yes.  But there is just so much pressure and so much … ahh I have a picture of a nut in a nutcracker or an orange going through a juicer…rather than a caterpillar in a nice, cozy cocoon.  I don’t know whether I do it to myself, or I am just being handed change at just under the level of “head explosion”.  Yes, I am quite familiar with the Biblical verse that explains that God never gives us more than we can handle, but does it have to be so damn close to the breaking point?  At the same time, I realize that when I signed on for this Christianity rollercoaster, I quickly began to despise the “lukewarm” Christian model.  All or none, I say.  So am I hot or cold?  I would have to say that I vary in temperature but NEVER am I lukewarm.  That would make me despise myself, I suppose.  Or not so much my self, but my SELF.

I sure am glad I recalled the freedom of my blogspace – a place where I can throw up on the screen and won’t be marked for grammar or cohesion – especially whilst being educated on criticizing literature at a university level.  Even now I find myself going back to check the fluidity of my sentence structure, but I do miss the freeing feeling of just being able to type “whatever I bloody well feel like typing”.

On the other hand, I sure do enjoy the challenge of pushing my brain and my heart and my motives…I just wish I wasn’t such a spaz.

"This is my brain...on life."

But who would I be if I wasn’t a fireball?  I would look at myself and see a complacent nobody who fell for anything.  Hm.  And so I am at odds with myself.  Good thing God is driving this beat up ol’ truck so’s I can fight with myself in the backseat without destroying my density…hahaha (Back to the Future reference).

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