Dear reader, can I be honest with
you? Life is cruel. I am not saying others haven’t had their fair share of
hardship. In fact, I know quite a few people who are struggling right now. People,
like me, who wonder if there really is a calm—a long one—after the storm.
Truth is, suffering is a part of life. Part of my story involves
a lifetime of sorrow, even as a Christian. In fact, when I became a Christian
the sadness that plagued my life did not go away nor did my chaotic life. The
reality? Nothing changed—I mean really changed— for a long time. Oh sure, I
stopped doing those wretched secular things. You know, the obvious sin’s that
set apart Christians and non-Christians. I exchanged all my secular activities for
church activities. I read and prayed daily. I was zealous for change. I knew I
was a hot mess. I am just not sure God knew.
Yet, no matter what I did, something was missing. Instead,
my life experience’s contradicted the ‘promised’ life I heard preached. Ted Dekker
calls it a “crisis of experience.” I agree. In fact, a series
of tragedies in my life brought me to my AHA-moment. You know, that moment when everything finally
makes sense. Honestly, I find it a bit peculiar that a moment of incredible
hurt opened my eyes and not some awesome magical moment, like we see in the
movies. Nonetheless, it was the necessary twist needed in the plotline of my
“I’m tired of the chaos,” she said.
“Me too,” I mumbled.
“I guess God is taking us different directions,” she said.
The phone call ended. We haven’t spoken since, and that was two-years ago.
I was adrift, alone,
without any tether to my true identity. I was lost, starving for intimacy,
desperate to be valued, swallowed by a sea of lonely hearts, thinking that
perhaps I was the only one who was lost. Ted Dekker
The problem was she was right. My life, for as long as
I can remember, has been a series of crisis. My marriage was chaos. I was
chaotic. My children followed suit.
However, she was also wrong. My whole life I believed
that there was something inherently wrong with me. In truth, there was a lot wrong
with me. The problem was I wasn’t the only one and nobody told me.
I became a Christian because I wanted to be ‘normal,’
somebody other than me. If I could just get the Christian thing down, then
maybe my life would be normal’ or so I believed. Unfortunately, so many people
think this way, and they find themselves standing in a crisis of belief. Then
we begin to think maybe God isn’t really
for me or maybe we are too far gone
to be saved or maybe we are just not worth it-to God or others. We become disillusioned with Christianity, people, even
ourselves; thus, the second reason for
my silence this past year.
I have been trying to find normal.
The beautiful thing about aha-moments is something
good usually follows. I took a course on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
to understand my husband, myself, and others. I learned that living with PTSD
is learning to find a “new normal” in life.
What never occurred to me, and what I failed to learn
from the messages being preached is none
of us are normal. There is no such thing. We are all sinners in need of
Grace. Yes, Christians may be saints, but “a saint is just a sinner who [falls]
down.”In reality, Christians
fail every single day. We fail to live the full un-adulterated gospel, no
matter how hard we try. Our humanity gets in the way. Hence, the reason we need
a Savior. His grace and mercy covers us.
As long as I kept searching for normal, I could never
accept who I am faults and all. Nor could I receive, in all His fullness, God’s
deep love for me. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I finally know that’s
okay too! I don’t need to. I just need to let go and Just Be Me.
I promise to lighten up just a bit, to share the joys
of my life, and not just the struggles and burdens. There is purpose in life’s
madness. I’m still a tad bit chaotic, sometimes flat-out crazy in a fun-off-the-wall-sorta-way,
but I am also intense, deep, and slightly introverted. I tend to stand on the
outside and look in, and for the first time in my life I am okay with that.
There is a whole lot of awesomeness in this life. More
so when you find others who you can relate to. It is my deepest prayer that
those who feel like I did and still do, at times, will find a friend in me.
Together we can navigate the ups-and-downs of life and become the best version
Dekker, Ted. Waking Up: How I Found My Faith By
Losing It - The Forgotten Way. Outlaw Studios, 2015.
 McClurkin, Donnie. "We Fall Down." Live
in London and More. 2000. Electronic.
Labels: finding normal, grace, Just Turn The Page, PTSD