Recent Thoughts

I was going, rather let me saying I was thinking about going to church today. I didn’t prepare anything, but I set an alarm to wake me up. I was going to go to a church other than my own. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long while but I still haven’t. The alarm went off this morning. I think I snoozed it first. When it went off again I turned it off and went back to sleep. I didn’t go to church today.

I’ve been feeling like going to church for a while now. It’s like a little nudge telling me to go, or to read the Bible. And I accept the nudge and think Okay I’ll do it, but then I don’t. And I know it’s God, or my church family would tell me it’s God, that is speaking to me, and I wonder at how powerful the mind can be.

I still can’t work on the Sabbath. I got my work schedule for the semester and had to ask for it to be changed because the sun is going to start setting earlier when it gets down to November, and I can’t be working when the sun goes down on a Friday. Why not? I’ve not been going to church, I’ve not been reading the Bible, though I have been talking to God somewhat, I’ve not really been praying. Why can’t I work on Sabbaths? Why can’t I go out on the Sabbath? Why can’t I do my homework on the Sabbath? I haven’t been keeping the Sabbath for such a long time now, but there are still some things that I cannot do. Though my faith (not sure if I ever really had any) has wavered, my conscience is still as strong as before. In my walk away from God, I feel like I can’t go too far ahead in case I make it so that I can never go back.

Yesterday in the bus on my way home from work I was thinking how very firm I was when I had just found my religion. I stuck to the truth I knew. I had good reasons for all the things I did. Well I have reasons for what I’m doing now. Shouldn’t I stand on those? I didn’t just get up and walk out of church for nothing, and I didn’t just leave because of one thing I didn’t like either. Things had been accumulating for a good period of time. I had wanted to leave for over a year before I actually did.

But now I’m wondering if the things that caused me to leave aren’t too small. But obviously not since I left because of them. Or am I too fickle? I mean there are things that I do still believe are true? But that’s my problem though. There are only some things that I can believe in and stand on as true. I can’t accept everything. If I can’t accept everything then I can’t live my life based on it. I can’t place my life on something that isn’t foolproof. That’s it. It’s not whole. It’s not 100% solid. That’s why I left. It didn’t all come together and make sense. And I was not content to sit with my church brethren and ignore all the things that were wrong, while trying to teach other people to do the same.

One of Those Moments

I’m having one of those moments where I feel like crap and I don’t know why and I want to cry but no tears are coming. I wish there was someone I could blame all of this on and I wish I could get rid of this feeling. I wish I didn’t need God or anything related to Him. He’s the main reason for my distress right now. He proved to be untrustworthy and is making me feel guilty and tormented for not believing Him. I wasn’t happy following Him, though I may have been doing it the wrong way. But I didn’t know that. Now that I’m trying to walk on my own He’s making me feel miserable. He’s God isn’t He? It’s His responsibility to preserve His character. It was His responsibility to protect the beings He created. Why is everything always on us? Why is it always our fault? I can’t love someone like that. Why am I being held personally responsible for the wrongdoings of someone else? Why am I being made to pay for that? That is wrong no matter how you look at it. You don’t get away with that just because You’re God. If I have to die because of this then so be it. You’ll still have Your angels telling You You’re just and holy. Good for You and good for them.

“You’re Wrong Bitch” – Messages from the Bible

Ecclesiastes is a nice book. I listened to it several times once and then went around saying “all is vanity!” I thought that was funny. I thought it was true. Everything will soon die or degenerate in some way, and there is nothing we can do about that.

I was working in the stacks (where the books in the library are) the other day and two girls were sitting at a small table. They were right behind me and they were speaking softly, but I could hear everything they were saying. My interest peaked when I heard one girl say that she doesn’t think she’s going to start thinking about God until something bad happens to her. The other girl joined in on the “something bad” part. I thought that was interesting. A lot of people think like that. A lot of people are like that.

The first girl mentioned a picture a friend posted on a social site. A verse from Ecclesiastes was in it. The one that says we should praise the Lord in our youth and not wait until we’re old and have no more pleasure in life. I remembered that verse. The elders in the church used it a lot to talk to the young people. The first girl kept talking. She said she was thinking of living her life the way she wanted to because it was hers and she was young. But then that verse was like, “you’re wrong bitch”. The second girl laughed, “I don’t think that’s what the Bible said.”

 

I never got around to loving God. It was just what I was used to; following orders to avoid punishment, being obedient, listening. It’s how I was raised. Obey your elders. Obey your parents. Obey your teachers. It all came from God. I always heard about Him, how He was the only one to be feared, how He should be feared more than man. He should be feared.

When I was in primary school, children used to say things like God is going to sin you when someone did something wrong. That was our way of saying you just committed a sin, and God is going to punish you for it. Somehow we all knew that. God was going to punish us if we did something wrong.

I don’t think that’s why I started looking for Him. I wasn’t scared, or thinking about being punished for any wrong I had done. I was just lonely and lost. But it turned into that; being scared of getting Him angry, inviting His wrath upon myself. Being scared of not being able to go to heaven. That was the ultimate goal; heaven. We all needed to get here, because this earth was not our home, not in its current state. Jesus needed to come and make it new again so that we could live on it. In the meantime, we had to do all we could so that we could be with Him when that happened. We needed to stay on His side. We needed to do what He said. We needed to love Him. If we did what He said, that meant we love Him.

But that’s not it. I did what He said. But I didn’t love Him. I was just scared. It was all motivated by fear. I lived every day in fear, either of Him, or of having to disagree with people because of my choice to serve Him. I never had the peace or the joy that was promised. I’m not sure if I ever had the hope either. I wanted it. But I don’t think I ever had it. I knew it all in my head. I had all the information. But it never went further than that. Not really.

I remember being frustrated because no matter how much I prayed, or sang, God never took me as His and used me for His purpose. Why couldn’t He use me to do things like other people? And I was greedy too. I was always thankful for small things, but I would forget them easily. I would always want more. Here’s the thing though, I never prayed for big things. I was never that kind of Christian. I don’t think I believed that God would answer. I never liked when our head elder told us to test God. That didn’t make sense, because the Bible told us not to do that. But he told us to put God to the test and ask Him for things and let Him work in our lives. I thought that was too much. I only asked for small things like help on exams or for it not to rain. Or if I got into a jam and I’d start worrying I’d pray at those times; quick breathy, worried prayers, asking God to help the situation and let it not be too bad, to let it work out. He was just…help, that I needed. And a God that I feared. He was big and powerful, and I was supposed to do what He said and not make Him angry. Because if He gets angry, then it’s all over.

I don’t know where I’m going with this but I’ve wanted to say it for a while. I think the type of person I am just worries all the time and…I’ll never have peace. I didn’t have it when I was with God and I don’t have it now. I worry too much, I always want, and I’ve noticed that I’m getting sadder and sadder each time I realize that something isn’t perfect. There is no perfect thing anywhere. And I mean among inanimate objects. Even machines don’t work the way they are supposed to. People have flaws all over. I don’t need to elaborate on that. It’s just everywhere. And I don’t know why I need it so much. I can never be happy if I keep looking for it. I didn’t even find it in God. That was the biggest disappointment of all. I was on a search for a perfect being, and I found imperfections in Him too. The church, the Bible, religion, His people. All flawed. All imperfect. Nothing going to the way it was supposed to. I can’t put my life on something that has flaws, and I’m not interested in hunting down ways to smooth out the obvious flaws that anyone with eyes can see.

I told my pastor once about the things I saw wrong in the Bible. All along I was being told by elders that the Bible never contradicts itself, and that there’s always a verse or passage in there somewhere to explain another one that seems confusing. But that was crap. It did contradict itself. I don’t go around thinking I’m a genius or anything, but I’m not stupid. That was crap. There were contradictions in there. He said that I was going to find a lot of that. I didn’t understand what he was saying. He told me that God was perfect, and had a perfect message for us, but that the messengers were flawed human beings, and because of that there were going to be some errors in the message as it passed from one to the other. But I didn’t understand that either. Why would God allow what He had to say to be twisted, to be misconstrued? That didn’t make sense. He is God. He could have prevented that. Why didn’t He?

This is too much. This is exhausting. So He gave me truth that was misinterpreted, and in that truth commands me to believe the truth that has been altered and that obviously contradicts itself? The truth that is supposed to represent Him. And Christians wonder why there people who don’t trust the Bible. There are reasons for that. They see that something is wrong with it. We are the ones closing our eyes to reason and…oh gosh, blind faith. See I can’t even think about this properly. That always comes up when I think about this. Blindly trusting God. Except He gave me something to look at that I could read and understand and study. Something that needs intelligence. But then I’m supposed to shut that intelligence off and just trust when what’s in front of me doesn’t make sense. I don’t like that. I don’t like that I’m being asked to trust something that doesn’t make logical sense to me. What He should have done was not let me come to America. Then He would have had me for a few more years and maybe by then He could have completely closed my eyes to everything outside of Him.

 

My Stack of Evidence

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?

Nothing.

Zero.

Zilch.

Nada.

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.

War Casualty

Insubordinate.

I will not serve You
For I am beautiful.

Enter Adam
Enter Eve
Enter me.

Adam
You are wrong.

Eve
You are wrong.

Me?
Well what happened?
Where am I?

“Choose.”

“Choose what?”

“A master.”

“Why?”

“Because you must.”

“What if I don’t
Want to?”

“Well you have
Chosen.”

“Chosen what?”

“A master.”

“What? When?”

“Die!”

“Why?!”

Not That Special

There isn’t anything special about me. I’ve never thought so. In school when once we were made to say aloud “I am special”, I didn’t want to at first. I don’t think I believed it. I just went along with it and I ended up smiling because I thought it was a nice idea; to be special. When I was with my mother, she told me I was beautiful. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t think she was lying, but I knew she thought I was beautiful because she gave birth to me. I couldn’t take her word for it. One time, after I washed my hair, I came out of the bathroom with my hair wrapped in a towel. She said I looked like one of those African princess, that I was her beautiful African daughter. I thought she was being silly, that I looked nothing like an African princess, and that I just had a towel on my hair because it was wet. I told her that. She said that I was still beautiful.

I used to pray a lot asking Jesus to come quickly and take the good people with him. It wasn’t fair to them that He was taking so long and making them suffer waiting for him. The church secretary said that the reason Jesus hasn’t come yet was that He was waiting for us to get ready for Him, for me to get ready for Him. I didn’t think that was fair. Why make those who are ready wait just because of me? What’s so special about me that He has to wait for me? Don’t do that. Many people have died already. People are still dying. There are people ready and waiting right now. Why wait for me? Don’t wait for me. Take those who are ready. The other night I told Him again. Don’t wait for me. I’m not that special.

He’s still not here.