Adventure in Finding Balance

Where’s the line? At what point am I destroying myself to “be forgiving?” Am I actually being forgiving or am I just letting shitty things keep happening to me just to look like a better person?

As it turns out, I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. I want to be able to forgive people, but the fact is people continue to be pretty awful. Even if I play by the rules. Even if I try to be honest, and try not to attack. Even if I only talk about the way things make me feel, which I hate to do, by the way. It turns out that doesn’t matter. It makes me an easier target. I’m that sap who tries to make things better. I’m the idiot who just let’s people destroy her.

And what’s worse is I’m trying to be gracious and forgiving. I am trying, but I’m awful at it. And the world around me is telling me that I’m not supposed to continue forgiving people. But that’s not true. Because I do the same things to God, and I keep getting forgiven. So why shouldn’t I try? I should. I shouldn’t try. I should do it. But I’m the worst at it. I’m just the worst. And I don’t know how to maintain even civil relationships with the people who perpetuate the problems of me being treated or feeling like shit and the grace and forgiveness of Christ. Part of that I’m sure is compounded by the fact that I let it affect me so much, instead of pursuing Christ in it. That I’m pursuing being forgiving and gracious instead of pursuing Christ.

I don’t have a concrete conclusion to my thoughts. I only know I’m weary of pouring into people who only tear me apart. And yet, I seem okay doing the same thing to God.

He kicked me in the face one day pretty hard with the whole “Love your enemy, and pray for those who persecute you.” And now I just have no idea what to do.

I have more thoughts, but they’re about to get prideful. Let’s just leave it there. I’m the worst.


Adventure in Contentedness

I want to be better at being content. I’m so very good at making my circumstances my life. Letting them rule my decisions.

Two weeks ago, after a tedious day of tests and driving around to hospitals, it was determined I had mild appendicitis. By 10:30 that night I was getting ready to go into surgery to have that little rascal removed. I woke up from surgery in a haze of post-surgery drugs and pain. On my first, wobbly adventure to the bathroom I threw up blood. On me. It was one of my classier moments in life. I spent the Friday after surgery agonizing in the hospital. Pain and dizziness plaguing my life. Also the occasional puke on my blanket, like an ill-trained dog. When I finally saw a doctor late Friday night I was given the option to go home. I was still in a great deal of pain, so I opted to stay another night. I went home and spent a week in bed.

On Wednesday I returned to the doctor’s office for a follow-up appointment where I learned that I did not have appendicitis at all. He also mentioned that he didn’t know what was causing my dizziness and nausea, which were the key symptoms of my appendicitis. His advice was to wait for something else to happen. I heard “Wait for something worse to happen.” He also suggested that last year when I had my unborn twin removed from my ovary that they, in fact, did remove my ovary. He said that they checked the right one for cysts to ensure that wasn’t causing the pain, and then the left one, but it wasn’t there. Those were his words.

It all sort of put me in a panic. That I’m just perpetually sick. That I was lied to last year about the status of my reproductive organs. It’s all made me a bit of a mess.

Today I really started thinking about it, and how it is affecting my thought processes. And so my body is rejecting me, does that mean I can’t be at peace? That’s just bad faith. I’m single, so I can’t be content in my marriage to God? That’s just ungratefulness. I’m so selfish, and I have everything I could ever need. I could be content, if I could just stop thinking like someone living with no hope. Paul was in prison, and only really expressed disparity, but once. My circumstances are a poor excuse to be ungrateful. Sure, we all fall short of God’s glory, but we too easily use that as an excuse to not try.

In middle school I was on a praise team for children’s church at Blackhawk. We sang a very corny song, well, lots of them. And one of them crept into my head yesterday. As if God was prodding me with this dopey song as an obvious reminder to suck it up and remember how damn faithful he is all of the time. I’m blessed beyond reason, and all I can ever do is complain. When did I become such a malcontent? And why do I think that malcontentedness has any place in furthering the Kingdom?

Adventure in Maybe Marriage Isn’t the Answer

I won’t say much. It really speaks for itself. But I’ve included the text for 1 Corinithians 7.
For those desperately clawing for God’s answer to their unmarried woes, for those who want nothing more than to be married, for those who feel left out or freakish for still being single. Take heart, and maybe consider that’s not just your current state. That it isn’t the end of the world, that it could be to your great advantage that you are not married. A life with one less distraction. A life with one more reason to rely on God. I’m not sure why we believe we’re so disadvantaged. We’re not. We have no other commitments except to desperately love and cling to Christ. What a wonderful blessing. What a wonderful blessing. Why are we so desperate to give this up?
From the English standard version.

Principles for Marriage

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again,so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.[a] I wish that all wereas I myself am. Buteach has his own gift from God,one of one kind and one of another.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control,they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does,she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), andthe husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you[b] to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife,whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Live as You Are Called

17 Only let each person lead the life[c] that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. 18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19  For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. 20  Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21 Were you a bondservant[d] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23  You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants[e] of men. 24 So, brothers,[f]in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

The Unmarried and the Widowed

25 Now concerning[g] the betrothed,[h] I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 I think that in view of the present[i] distress it is good for a person to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman[j] marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29 This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. Forthe present form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33 But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit,not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[k] if his[l] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38 So then he who marries his betrotheddoes well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39  A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yetin my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I thinkthat I too have the Spirit of God.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.