Monday, January 28, 2013

Nowhere But Up

I just finished reading Nowhere But Up by Pattie Mallette, who just happens to be Justin Bieber's mom. I'm a little too old to be obsessed to the point of fainting and crying hysterically when he's mentioned, but the kid's got talent...REAL talent.

I had the amazing opportunity to meet Pattie when I went to the Women of Faith conference in Orlando last year. I also got a free, autographed book, that was free...I love free! After she spoke, I was interested in her book, but had already spent WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY over my limit and couldn't afford anything else. I never really thought of it before now, but God blessed me...not only with a free book and a chance to meet someone famous (which most of the world knows since I bragged about it on facebook as well as to everyone I know...more than once), but with truths I needed to hear and things I need to face. And as yucky and un-fun as that sounds, I know I won't truly feel better until I do. Which is why I feel that my blog is the best place to be...well...real.

I think the one thing I was always afraid of is being honest with God...laying it all out there. I don't know why...He knows it all already. Not like it's a big surprise to him. As Pattie was talking about her struggles and how she came to find God, I noticed a lot of similarities between her and I. With a few differences sprinkled in for good measure.

To start, I was raised a Catholic...went to Catholic school, church on Sunday, sang in the choir (God help us all!). I'm not exactly sure what my parents believed and I can't ask them (but, man, what I would give to be able to), but I believed in God...and a little too much in sin. Everything I did 'wrong' was a sin, and I was going to hell...not kneeling when I pray, coughing during church, resting my butt on the pew behind me when kneeling at church. After actually typing all that out, I can now see where my being so anal stemmed from. To me, religion was legalistic...not a relationship...not love.

I went on this way pretty much through the end of high school, and in college, I realized that I didn't have to go to church every week, so I didn't. In grad school, I started to really question and figure out who God is...and whether I wanted him in my life.

That was a very abbreviated testimony because the important stuff (relating to the book) comes more recently, but I wanted to give a short background. Anyway, when I got saved in 2002 (sometimes I wonder whether I really am), there was no big hoopla...no ta-da...I wasn't "on fire" (I don't think I've ever been). In fact, I think I enjoyed the attention I received from friends more than anything. But one thing was different: God was back on my radar. I learned that He was more than just some hot-shot in the sky (hopefully I won't be struck down while writing this), but He actually wanted to know about me, cared about me. Here's where the honesty kicks in. I'm not sure I believe that. I mean really believe it...not just know it in my head. I believe that it's true for others...

The one thing I want more than anything is to be married (well, okay...have one date -- yes, embarrassing tidbit -- I've never been out on a date...never been kissed). The way I write it off in my mind is that God is so busy giving others picture-perfect lives, there's nothing left for me. Then guilt sets in:

You're not a true Christian

...not praying hard enough, not reading the Bible like you should, still listening to secular music, have no faith...

God doesn't want this for you...if He did, you wouldn't be disabled. You'd be more attractive. You wouldn't be a loser in her mid-thirties who sits around all day writing about teenagers who have the chances you will never have

I promise you, this is not a pity party...in fact the LAST thing I want is for someone to feel sorry for me. We all have our crosses to bear and I'm so not excluded from that. So please, don't feel sorry for me. And the first "Awww...you poor thing. You are beautiful. God loves you. I'll pray for you" I hear will be knocked through the window.

No, I don't want pity...I just want to be able to say how I feel sometimes. I feel like God isn't listening, He doesn't care, I'm not doing enough to reach Him, He's upset because I don't read my Bible everyday, He's mad that I don't trust Him, mad because I don't know if I truly love Him, mad that I haven't won any souls over...the list can go on and on. And usually does in my head.

One thing Pattie said when she was talking about her move from Canada to Atlanta at the start of Justin's career is that she missed home so much at times, it physically hurt...that's me. I'm a lot...A LOT...better than I was at this time last year, but I still get teary and wistful...it doesn't seem fair that I had to be completely uprooted and give up all my friends while he gets to stay there, nice and comfy and not have to change a damn thing!

It's been a year and this still hasn't gone away! I'm depressed, anxious, moody and tired of dealing with these feelings. Some days, I feel like I should have just stayed in "that" part of the hospital and some days, I really want to go back there. It's these times when I feel like God is off giving someone I went to high school with another baby to make their already perfect family even more beautiful.

Even I'll admit, that now it really sounds like I want pity, but I really don't. And in my head, I know that this is all satan and I shouldn't be led by my feelings anyway, but you know what? I don't want to hear it! I want to be mad and pissy...not because I have a right to or deserve it (I don't deserve diddly squat at this point) but because I am mad. I am pissy.

Though my words suggest otherwise, I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to everyone

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