it's been a while since i've posted my deeper thoughts

I've been doing a lot of fighting within my soul. I've been wrestling with my ideals. I've been resentful lately of past aches and disappointments. I have an ongoing aversion to the church, but I can't seem to disconnect my heart from it. And I don't want to disconnect my heart from it, I want to resolve my frustrations!
This is nothing new for me, it is the skin that I wear, it is my naked humanity these days.

I posted a quote yesterday that said "If there were such a thing as a perfect church, they certainly wouldn't want me there." Isn't this the truth?! I am so far away from perfection that I can't even see mediocrity in myself right now. How can I be so critical when I'm flailing my own arms in imbalance?

I missed church this past Sunday. I overslept. I had made a commitment to help out before service and I failed. Sometimes I sit through service and I never even hear one word that is spoken. Instead I spend my time journaling. Sometimes I go to church and I just sit out in the lobby and drink coffee and talk to people. I'm not always very reliable in my commitments, and I don't always make church stuff a priority. I have not done a very good job in cultivating relationships there either. I have definitely failed in being a friend to many of the people there. I don't always take time to make new guests feel welcome. I wish I was better at that.

Here I have spat out just a few of my failures. These are not traits and attitudes of which I am proud. In fact, I think I am so disappointed in myself that I feel like I have to make up some sort of excuse to soothe my guilt.
I carry this weight of self deprecation so much that it's all I can see at times. And you know what? I LOVE my church! I love it so much. It is my best family, my best group of friends here in Milwaukee. My eyes fill with tears sometimes when I think about it.
And you know what else? They love me too. Even though I am SO FAR away from the good and reliable family member, they still want me there, they still miss me, they still think I have something to offer. I don't know what it is that I offer; I don't know how that is possible.
But they really love me.

I have been thinking upon this for the past few days. Do you know that my guilt works so hard at trying to convince everyone else that I'm worthless? So what if I fail?! I am the only one who is expecting perfection of myself.
I'm so caught up in this struggle to be perfect that I can't even allow other people love me or accept me. I show up to church sometimes and it's like my guilt is just begging to be rejected. "Reject me please!!! I just can't sit with this imperfection, I'm so sorry that I can't live up to your needs and expectations..." That's what my guilt feels like as it is screaming. It's so foolish of me. I have a family that loves me, a family that can see beauty in me, and a family that can help me become a better person. Why can't I just accept myself and hold the hands of the people who care?

I am so tired of feeling guilty. I am so tired of fighting. I want to be a better person.

I know that some people from Mercy Hill read my blog. You have to know that your kindness and love has been an unbelievable source of hope for me. I am so amazed that I get to be a part of such a fantastic family even though I don't deserve it.


silly, selfish, and searching... said...

after all these years of not seeing your face, this is a reminder of why we're still friends.......keep wrestling. you've come so far! i still remember sitting on a bench in the alps and feeling like we were going to be swallowed alive.....it's one of those few moments in life when you feel so human and love every second of it.

Carmi said...

The fact that you are surrounded by such a strong community - and you recognize and appreciate the support it provides - utterly convinces me that you have all the tools you need to navigate this period of uncertainty.

You're in my thoughts as you proceed with this journey.

Good to see your words online again!