I know that everyone is ready to lay around in despair over the election results tomorrow, so I should try to write something upbeat and positive. Unfortunately, that just isn’t how my life works. Upbeat and positive are two things that my life rarely is. I was abandoned by my father before I was born so I was raised by a single mother who worked all the time, I was sexually abused as a small child and I am an only child so I spent most of my childhood alone. I wasn’t exactly set up for a life of upbeat and positive. Not that I don’t have a good life, or didn’t have good times in my life, but I am just not the ambassador of optimism. Things generally suck in my life more than they don’t suck. My life is like Seattle, rainy and dreary yet beautiful where some other people’s lives are like Southern California with beaches, yoga and sunshine. I wouldn’t know what to do with all that Zen.
The reason that I am telling ya’ll this isn’t to depress you or make you feel better about your life, but it’s because I can’t hold it in anymore. I write. It is what I do. I have to let things out an onto a page in words for them to make sense and for me to figure out what I need to do next. I’ve tried writing as if I am a barrel of sunshine and Zen but that only makes me gloomier and so here I am, being me. I don’t ever have to give the “I am just going to be real for a minute” disclaimer because good or bad, I am just always real.
I am having a serious faith crisis. It is not that I do not believe God exists but I am starting to wonder if He is so busy with other people’s real problems that He isn’t noticing that everything in my life is on fire. A really big fire.
Let me just stop here and warn anyone who is tempted to tell me how amazing it is to suffer for the Lord or how He is making me a saint to not say those things or anything that remotely resembles them. If you do, I will find you and punch you in the face and tell you how God wants you to suffer a black eye to make you a saint.
Like I said, my life has always been hard. I have struggled with one thing after another. A lot of my struggles I put on myself for sure, but some of them I had no control over. I had no control over my father leaving, I had no control over my mom moving in with a pedophile who would abuse me, I had no control over the clothes I wore or the fact that I didn’t speak English when I started school so I was the target of other kids’ teasing and I was not capable of handling all that on my own without a loving and supportive mother or siblings. So maybe it is weakness on my part that expects for God to help me now so that my life can be a little bit easier than it has been for the last forty years.
I read this quote the other day about how if you make yourself available to God incredible things will happen. You know what I got by making myself available to God? A job waiting tables, I reputation of being who knows what based on who you’re talking to, my kids have all lost their minds, my house is in foreclosure, my car is about to die even though I just put a new motor and starter in it ($3,000 worth of work, $3,000 I don’t have), my classes are way too hard for me, my husband is tired and I am pretty sure that God is legit justified in smiting us all so I’m cynical on top of everything else. I also no longer feel God’s presence in my life. At all. Not even when I know His Grace is pouring down on me. I feel nothing.
The other night my granddaughter choked on a lollipop. I asked everyone that I knew to pray. I had to ask for other people to pray because I couldn’t. All I could do was think that God might let her die because He lets children die all the time. She is fine but I can’t shake the feeling that maybe it was just pure luck because how can I say that God answered the prayers for her while plenty of parents are praying for their children and don’t have those prayers answered because those children die? I prayed for my uncle non-stop and he died with a look in his eye that said he did not want to die. The hospice nurse kept telling us to tell him that it was ok to go, but it was totally not ok. Not at all.
Yesterday I was at work and my co-workers were talking about a table full of church ladies. They said that Christians don’t believe in tipping but they will pray for you. Everyone had a good laugh as I stood in the middle of them all mocking my faith. One part of me was angry because if I were to say that Muslims don’t tip or black people don’t tip or Asians don’t tip or gay people don’t tip or any other group of people don’t tip, I would be called a bigot or racist, but it was totally cool to mock my faith in front of me. Not only cool but egged on and encouraged. Then my anger shifted from my coworkers to Christians who sit on their computers all day long being assholes in public and give us all a bad name. Then my anger shifted to God. Why the fuck am I even working in this place while other people are able to make a living off talking about God or any number of other things that don’t require them to wait tables? Why me? Because I said that I wanted to evangelize? Well, I take that shit back. Or is it because I don’t hide my hardships? I don’t have the ability to pretend like following God makes “incredible things happen”.
Maybe all those people who I think have it easy really do have problems like I do but have the sense to keep it to themselves instead of laying it all out for the world to see. I don’t have that gift….
My life is hard, my life has always been hard and I am pretty sure that it is always going to be hard no matter what I do. I really don’t know how to match that up with a God who is supposed to love me so much and take care of me. Maybe it is what I need to give up control and just trust God. Stop fighting and just do what He asks of me, even when it is difficult. Mother Teresa did it even with fifty years of spiritual dryness. I am only at six months, maybe a year.
Please pray for me. **
**I do not want any advice. No novenas, no retreats, no “read this book”, none of it. None. That isn’t code for “find me on the internet and send me a private message. God is NOT telling you to give me a message. No, just no.