I'm writing this because I feel if more Christians shared their struggles, we could better learn how to be like Jesus.
This past Sunday I didn't go to church.
"Big woop-dee-doo" you say.
You see, normally, I'm excited to go to church. I love my church. Its something I look forward to.
But this weekend I was feeling broken. Moody, more than anything.
I was feeling angry and I wasn't exactly sure why.
And I had an inner conflict, a struggle, that I felt like I wanted to deal with by myself.
And I also didn't want anyone to tell me what to do.
Tell me, is that why YOU didn't go to church? You were afraid of someone telling you what to do?
You were terrified of the typical church words: "You should ___"?
I'm tired of that.
I've been a Christian for a long time, been involved in a lot of Christiany things, and I've said a lot of Christiany things. But suddenly, I'm tired of it.
And I think thats because what people define as "Christiany" these days is actually just "churchy".
And that has just turned me off.
I've tried to be theological. I've tried to be what people think is a "solid Christian lady" but at the end of the day-- thats not who I am.
I am flawed beyond belief. I am filthy. I struggle with things that I feel like I've been struggling with for far too long, and yet no matter how hard I struggle back, it never seems to subside.
I see people who I love dearly struggle.
Some are people who, like me, have put on the "perfect" face for all of our other Christian friends and family. And they feel that if they shared their struggles, that would cause others to think less of them as Christian individuals.
Why are we this way? I can't help but think of Casting Crown's "Stained-glass Masquerade" and how I used to think so highly of that song years and years ago. But I realize it didn't quite make sense to me then because I wasn't going through the enduring struggles that I am now.
Now, I understand.
I listened to this weekend's sermon just a bit ago, titled "The Same Struggle."
I immediately regretted not going to church. Because it was exactly what I needed to hear Sunday. But Sunday, I didn't want to hear anything.
I didn't even want to hear the voice of God.
I only wanted to hear myself.
You wanna know what my struggle is?
Its the same as yours.
A lack of surrender.
It might be a different situation than yours, but its still the same struggle.
I have many areas of my life that I want to change. Areas that when I look in the mirror sometimes, I just want to break the glass.
Tell me, do YOU ever feel like that?
I know we're all hurting in some way.
Plans falling apart, people dying, relationships crumbling, financial terrors, regrets of past mistakes...
But its all the same. We're all struggling because we were born into a struggle and when we accepted Jesus, we agreed to struggle like He did.
He's struggling with us and for us and all He wants us to do is SURRENDER.
I have a hard time doing that.
Something my pastor said in the sermon rubbed me the wrong way.
"It doesn't matter what opposes me when I already know the outcome."
No!!! I wanted to shout.
I don't know the outcome!!! It DOES matter what opposes me! I feel like I can't win against this struggle!!!
But then he said, "The fact that you're still struggling is a sign that you're gonna make it."
I am? But why is it so hard right now to get through this?
I just wanna be done with school, I wanna get my life started, I wanna do this, do that.. Maybe my struggle will be over when these things end?
I know they won't.
I know all I can do is surrender. Not MY will, but HIS be done.
You see, the outcome pastor was talking about was not the outcome that I'm thinking about.
I see a future in this world- everything I want to be, everything I want to do...
But he was talking about a future out of this world- everything I WILL be in the presence of God.
Sometimes its hard to get my head out of the earth.
I want you to know that I'm there with you.
You don't have to cover everything up to look perfect, because guess what?
None of us are. We've all screwed up big time. We're all messes.
Why can't we all just be messes together?
I really encourage you to watch/listen to this weekend's message from Elevation Church.
God is working.
Are you tired of feeling like you have to be perfect and just want to open up about what you're struggling with? Me too.
Open up with me. Lets listen to each other and support each other, like I know Jesus wants us to do.