It was all there; stacked up as evidence. I didn’t listen to secular music, didn’t wear make-up or jewellery. I dressed modestly; owned a couple of long skirts and dresses. I spoke well; didn’t swear, very polite. Friendly. Always did what was asked of me. Never absent from church on a Sabbath.
I’m even a leader in the church. I think I am the youngest one. The head of a ministry.
I have a beautiful voice and I use it for God. The songs that I’ve written are so touching.
Such a lovely girl. And she loves the Lord.
And boy can she preach! I heard her preach a sermon…
An elder even called me holy. I hated that the most.
I got mad at David one time for calling himself holy. There I was reading the Psalms and this man decides he is going to call himself holy with all his dirty laundry hanging for everyone to see. And this is the man God said was after His own heart? What the…what the heck God? Who are You if this guy is after Your own heart? He just called himself holy. What an utter lack of humility. How dare he? I would never do that, not under any circumstances. I would never be so bold as to call myself holy. Sorry but I can’t read this anymore. Straight to the elder with this one. Can’t believe this.
But I guess it was okay for David to do that. He wasn’t being boastful but actually humble; acknowledging his calling from God or something like that. I forget what the elder said.
Okay then David was fine, but what about me? Was I holy? Was I ever going to be holy? I heard a preacher on the radio one time say that holy people don’t believe it when others call them holy. I didn’t believe it when I was called holy. I actually wished it hadn’t happened. It was the farthest thing from the truth. My countenance showed my dislike at being described by that word and the elder just smiled at me in a grandfatherly way. I didn’t think there was anything to smile about at all.
Still, there was the evidence. All that stuff I did that made others think I was this wonderful young lady “on fire for the Lord” or whatever. I did it on purpose too. I was under the very strong impression that I needed to do all those things. No movie theatres. No movies period – unless they were Christian of course, and Netflix was very helpful in providing those. No flashy clothes – no keeping up with any kind of trend. Didn’t like them anyway. I found everything worldly repulsive. I hated living with non-Christians and having to eat something different when unclean meat was being served. I hated being around it all. I hated everything. Actual persons too. That part was wrong. I wasn’t supposed to hate people. I was a murderer according to Jesus. My actual little sister, I love her, but most times I just don’t know. I look at her a lot and ask questions in my head. I used to ask God why He gave her to me. Apparently it’s because I’m strong and I was the one most suitable for the job of taking care of her. Thanks a lot elder. Thanks God. Really.
What do I do about all this evidence though? It all pointed to something that wasn’t true, that didn’t exist. I wasn’t entirely sure that I loved God, that I didn’t just repeat it enough times to get myself to think that I did. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how people could speak so confidently about going to heaven. “We have this hope.” What hope? We could be doing all this stuff and still end up in hell. You never know what’s going on in God’s head.
I was scared everyday. I sinned no matter what. It was so exhausting. I wake up and I have to pray. I’m not even fully awake yet and I have to start talking to God in my head still full of fog. But I have to, because that’s the way you should start your day and it really does affect how you feel throughout the day. But what if I forget? Oh God I forgot. Oh God I’m so sorry. Forgive me please. And then I’m mad at myself for forgetting. And when I get upset I don’t just let it go. It’s worse if I forget to read the Bible or the devotional because where in the day am I going to find any time to read it?? Ugh. And if I don’t find any time at all in the day, I’ve gone a whole day without reading the Bible and I have to force myself to read it before I go to sleep when all I want to do is just sleep. But I have to, so I know I read it at least once for the day. That’s all I need, because you are supposed to read it every day.
Then there’s worrying about how I look to people, and I have to pay attention to that because I’m a Christian and I should look like one. Without me explicitly saying it, everyone around me should be able to tell that I’m a Christian. They should see the glory of Jesus coming off of me (I think). How do I do that?
Oh and don’t complain. A Christian shouldn’t complain. Believe that God is taking care of everything. Everything is where it should be. You are where you are because God placed you there. You are to learn something. God is molding you and fashioning you. Be a light for him. You are blessed.
Oh my gosh I’m tired.
I never got that rest everyone keeps talking about. And I did go to Jesus. I ran after him like a Jamaican after a world record. I ran and caught Him and held on tight. Well I must have held the wrong part of His garment or something. Or maybe I missed Him entirely. I was weary and heavy-laden. I went to Jesus. I was still weary and heavy-laden. And not a soul understood. Not one. I was doing everything I was supposed to, everything they told me to. And they weren’t lying either. It was right there in the Bible. They showed it to me, and I read it and understood. They weren’t lying. It was what I was supposed to do. If you love me keep my commandments. So I kept the commandments. All of them. As much as I could. It was evidence. It was proof. I did all of it. And every single time I messed up I asked for forgiveness. Every single time. So much so that I got sick of it. But I had to. I needed my slate clean. There was to be no sin written beside my name in whatever book it was written in. I needed everything to be gone so that I could go to heaven. It was either that or burn, and burning didn’t sound all that great.
But what was all that evidence for? What did it prove?
It proved absolutely nothing. So I let it go. And I let myself fall.
I’m listening to secular music right now. I went to the movies the other day (though I didn’t really watch the movie). I’m back to watching Korean dramas, and now I even listen to Korean music too. I bought two pairs of slippers that aren’t really…I don’t know. They’re not bad, but I probably wouldn’t have bought them before. They’re more than necessary. I scolded my sister once for buying slippers like them, and look, now I’ve gone and bought two pairs. Though I haven’t done anything regarding make-up and jewellery, I really want to. Well not really, but I want to. I think about it a lot. It’s not as repulsive to me as it was before. People aren’t either. I’m more sorry for them now. Instead of looking at them as awful, disobedient people who should do better, and obey, I see them as people. Regular people. People who aren’t perfect. But at least they don’t try to cover it up like I did. And that is what I was trying to do – be perfect. Because Jesus said so. Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Not like I ever could, but I tried anyway because Jesus said I needed to. Well great Jesus. Telling me to do something we both know I can never do. But I have to at least try, and try hard, because You said so.
And that’s what my Christian life was like. I did what I was supposed to do. That way I could escape God’s wrath. Oh was I afraid of that wrath.
In the beginning of my fall, and several times since then, I thought I’m going to start over. I’d have to. It wasn’t like I stopped believing in God. I didn’t believe in the scientific creation story at all. It had to be God. And the devil does exist. So…I left it to Him really. I thought in my head that He was going to do something. That eventually I’d end up with Him again. Somehow – I don’t know how – some things would happen that would lead me right back to Him. He is my first husband after all. And I don’t like divorce. He doesn’t either. I guess we’re just separated right now.
But I did it wrong the first time. Somehow I have to start over, all over. And I have to get it right. I’m not really looking forward to it, but I do want it to happen. You know, before it’s too late.