Laura’s got my Happiness! Yesterday I took my 13-year-old daughter, Hazelle (whom I’ve nicknamed Happy Hazelle or Happiness) to the airport ~ she’s spending Spring Break in Seattle with Laura. Fun
Okay ~ I’m commenting on my own post about STRONG WOMEN because I’ve thought of something else that I wanted to say on this topic.
The strength that I had which kept me going was my conviction. I did it because I was so thoroughly convinced that this is what the bible taught and what pleased the Lord. I’d have done anything to please God.
The minute that I realized that I no longer believe in God ~ that strength left me and I couldn’t do it any more. I lost my motivation. I sometimes think of it as losing the Holy Spirit ~ I could feel it when I became a Christian and I knew that I had the power of God enabling me to live the life He had called me to ~ but all that is gone now.
And the interesting thing about it is that now I feel like I really am living by sheer faith ~ and I realize that it didn’t take a whole lot of faith back when I had chapter and verse for everything I said, did and believed … back when I had that “Blessed Assurance.”
I remember a preacher joking about how he didn’t have enough faith to be an atheist.
It’s not all that funny now that I’m living it.
Actually, I don’t consider myself to be an “atheist” ~ though if you pinned me down and asked me, “Do you believe in God, or not?” I guess at this point, I’d have to say, “I guess not.” C.S. Lewis said, I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else. That used to be me ~ when Christianity made sense to me ~ everything made sense. But these days ~ I don’t see it … I just don’t.
Back then, I had a VISION which inspired me ~ now, I don’t really know why I keep going.
I am no longer dealing with my abusive ex-husband all day, every day ~ and that was the biggest drain on my energy, I’m no longer running the newspaper, so there’s a big load of work that I don’t have to do these days, and my kids are all in public school now, plus ~ I’ve recovered my health so that I actually have the energy to get out of bed in the mornings. BUT ~ even considering that my load has been lightened considerably, being a mom still takes an awful lot of strength ~ I wasn’t sure if I could do it without all that conviction which used to keep me going ~ but here I am doing it … not perfectly, but I AM doing it.
I’m just trusting, I guess, that there IS meaning and purpose to it all and just ‘cuz I’m not exactly sure of all the details (heck, I’m not sure of anything) ~ that doesn’t prevent me from doing what I know needs to be done in order to be a good mother to my children. It’s just that now, I’m a lot less likely to totally knock myself out in the process ~ I’ve been taking care of me too because I realize it’s either that or wear myself out to the point that I’m really quite useless for everybody.
These days, when I am starting to feel overwhelmed, rather than praying for strength to carry on ~ I am examining whether I really need to be doing everything that I’m doing. If the answer is “yes” then I do it and get through it ~ if “no” then I give myself a break and take it easy.
The other day when I was talking to Mom, I told her: BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF.
That’s what I’m learning and it’s a real relief to have my biggest critic ~ that person who was constantly driving me ~ the one who was never satisfied and always striving ~ that person (ME) is off my back. Whew!
Not too long ago, I was relating all of this to a friend ~ explaining how I used to feel SO convicted that the QF/patriarchal way of living was God’s perfect will for my life.
“You keep talking about CONVICTION,” she told me. “Isn’t that what they do to prisoners ~ CONVICT them, and then lock them up?”