Posted in Christian Life & Theology, Stuff No One Talks About

Living in Tension

Disclaimer: This post is going to be all over the place.

Living in tension is a weird place to be. I’ve been thinking about and evaluating my friendships a lot over the past month, but especially this week. A few days ago, I had a falling out with an old college friend over Facebook Messenger. I’ll spare you the details but he decided to terminate our friendship which, if I’m being honest, was a good thing, as we had grown apart and were only engaging in surface-level small talk. Still, when it happened, it stung a little.

Morning Wake-Up Call

I woke up the next morning thinking about it, the cauldron of friendship, once bubbling, that, now, has nothing but mold at the bottom, too hardened over the years to scrape off. Stuck. Stagnant. Silent.

It made me think about my relationship with Yeshua and how, for a while now, I haven’t been as good of a friend as I could be to Him. Case in point, I’ve been isolating myself by ignoring God and trying to bear everything on my own strength. I’ve treated God like a genie and in that, without even realizing it, I slipped into the mindset that says “If I do the good Christian things I know to do then God will reward me with good things. If I don’t do those things—regardless of my motives—then He won’t bless me.” The inverse of that is this: If bad things happen, if I plummet in my health or job, then I must not have faith or God isn’t blessing me and He is displeased with me in some way. Navigating through this tension is hard. I’m questioning myself: Are my motives for doing or not doing something coming from a place of genuine love and adoration for Yeshua or fear of punishment or guilt from the keen awareness of past/current sin patterns? How much of this is because of my sinful nature rearing its ugly head, Satan messing with me, Yahweh testing me, or an automatic trauma reaction that I need to learn how to replace with a healthy medium?

The Pain of Living in Tension

Living in tension is not for the faint of heart nor for those with a weak will.

With the cultural rise of doing everything we can to be comfortable and avoid pain at all costs, in addition to acting as if we are gods and control everything, including the culture that consistently lies to and ensnares us, it’s almost too easy to believe the masses and think that Yahweh is not good or kind or cares. This life is a daily act of balancing on a tightrope with starving lions growling beneath you, waiting for footslips or tired limbs to just collaspe in the tension of following Christ (not just being a believer) and giving in to agnosticism or worse, cultural Christianity. God is still behind and before me, holding me up in His arms and guiding me forward so I don’t fall to my death but it is not easy. Some days, I want to give up. Most days, the pangs of loneliness are too much. The “freedom” my college best friend has in her Christian-deconverted, newfound-Wiccan rituals seems enticing, not because of the specific pagan beliefs but because she’s found a pseudo-home to rest from her religious trauma that doesn’t require sacrifice or obedience to anyone but herself. Rereading that last sentence makes me super aware of my selfishness and sinful nature.

As I said in my post, If I Were to Leave Christianity, This Would Be Why, my main reason for leaving the safe haven of my God would be because of my own selfishness and desire to be God. My heart is saddened by this realization. I pray God have mercy on my soul. At the same time, I want to be honest with you, dear readers. God is worthy of praise and adoration and absolute surrender. Not because He has a giant ego that must be satisfied 24/7, but because He loves you and me. Who else would willingly die for you? I mean, your parents love you and they would die for you but they’re not God. They can’t take away the sting and shame of sin. They’re not omnipresent. They can’t hold you when you’re up with anxiety at 3a.m. Only Yahweh can. And even in knowing that, and believing it with complete confidence, my heart still wants to wander sometimes. The tension continues. May God have mercy on us all and shower us with His lovingkindness as we navigate through it.

Posted in Christian Life & Theology, Stuff No One Talks About

Musings of a Wanderer

I don’t think I’ve ever really explained my site title or domain. So, I want to take some time to do that.

When I started this blog, back in February 2017, it was during a time where I was doubting God and questioning/abhorring Christianity. I know, what a terrible thing for me, a Christian, to say, but it’s true. I was wandering, drifting out into an unfamiliar wildness comprised of a vast marketplace of ideas and ideologies. It was a lot, too much for me at times.

Looking back, I’m not sure what exactly I was looking for. Maybe an explanation for all the injustices in my life or maybe I wanted an excuse to leave my Maker so I could pretend to be Him. I wanted truth. I wanted to belong to something bigger than myself. I wanted love, eternally. I wanted the stories my mother told me in childhood to be true. I wanted to know God for myself, not through the lens of familial relationships or church pastors.

After wrestling intellectually with my childhood faith, via my academically and apologetics-minded professor-friends, and emotionally with the local Christians around me who loved me with persistence and steadfastness despite my inability to accept or rest in it, God thought to call me back to Him using a fire pit. How creative.

That’s not surprising to me though. What is surprising is that the truth didn’t punch me hard in the chest. I didn’t slam headfirst into it. It came slow and tentative, like a turtle moving down a sidewalk. For 8 months, I sat and wrestled and tore my Bible apart; I wandered into the truth (see what I did there?).

The word wander means “to move about without a fixed course, aim, or goal”. Ironically, the word also means “to go astray (as from a course)”. I fulfilled both of those definitions in my sojourn from and to the truth. That being said, I still find myself wandering.

For several months, I haven’t been able to open my Bible because I perceive the ancient script to be mere words on pages. I should not admit that as a professing Christian, but if I am not honest, then what good will come of this? I want to rip my Bible apart (again), though the motive for this is unknown to me. I’m not angry at God. If anything, I’m numb or heartbroken, I can’t say which. Maybe both. I don’t know what this means, but it’s a little scary. I want to have that close relationship with God I envy of others, but something is in the way. For my fellow believers who read this blog, I ask your prayers for clarity and healing. Until then, I’ll keep wandering the gates of Heaven til my Savior saves me from this affliction.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

Lessons while Watching the Sunrise

Dear Lovelies,

I did something different this morning. Instead of spending countless minutes on my phone at the first sign of consciousness, I went outside to my backyard and watched the sunrise.

The first verse of Psalms 8 says “Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!” That verse, and the rest of the Psalm, is augmented when one is outside watching the sun slowly peak over the horizon where the clouds are scattered about in glorious revelation of a marvelous Creator.

As I was leaving to go back into the house, I saw a small flower poking up out of the ground (I wish I had taken a picture). It made me ruminate on the difference and similarities between nature and humans. The flowers of the field don’t mind if you stare at them, whereas humans get uncomfortable if gazed at for too long. Both have intrinsic value, but humans sometimes forget their worth.

The sun doesn’t need to declare “Here I am! I am worthy of adoration!” Yet, we who are mortal, scream that with our questionable actions and wonder where Love has gone when we experience disappointment, betrayal, feelings of exclusion, or any other pain. I promise, He hasn’t gone anywhere. You are worth so much to Him.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

Can Anything Separate Us from God’s Love?

Dear Lovelies,

So, the verse of the day on my Bible app was Romans 8:39. I went a couple verses up for context. In Romans 8:38, Paul writes, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height or depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God.”

Life is mentioned as a thing that can’t separate us from His love. Life. This finite existence where good and bad experiences are had, where there is, at times, deep sorrow and trauma, pain and mean people. Yet, there are also riches, wealth, sex, arrogance and greed, which lets us know that both tragedy and success could tempt us away from our Master. Thus, we must remember to diligently and consciously hold onto Him, lest we run in the arms of distraction or become so engrossed in our pain and suffering that we turn away from Him, only to later accuse Him of forsaking us.

Not even life could separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ, our Saviour. I think that’s pretty cool.

Posted in Stuff No One Talks About

The Frustrations of an Analytical Christian: When Worship Becomes An Intellectual Disipline

Dear Lovelies,

Tonight is frustrating for me. I’m sitting at my desk with Elevation Worship’s “Resurrecting King” blaring in my ears through my headphones and I can’t be present, can’t enjoy it, can’t lose myself in a private, passionate display of love and adoration to the One who loved me when I rejected him. No, tonight my brain wants to focus on how exactly the Holy Spirit will raise me “from the ashes of defeat” and what that means on an intellectual level, and a bunch of other questions. (Huge sigh).

I wish I could say this is the first time that this has happened, but it’s not. People have, for the majority of my life, praised me for being an intelligent person, but they don’t understand what pain that burden carries. I doubt and second-guess everything. And I mean, everything. It’s exhausting. How am I to have a personal relationship and be close to Him if I can’t even stop being analytical in the midst of worship? I remember how, in my younger years, blind faith ruled me and I didn’t have to think about why I held the beliefs I did, or if what I was seeing and hearing in church was biblical or not (as far as worship methods were concerned). As I’ve gotten older, my understanding has grown (I hope) and certain beliefs I once held are no more. I wish I could just worship without all the extraneous noise from my overthinking, analytical, always wondering brain.  Maybe one day. Maybe.