Between Lemons and Lemonade

1968B*Image Credit Pascal Campion

I’m overwhelmed. Not a bit busy.

 

Right now I am 23 years old and its almost like I’m not. When I look at my friends, it’s like I’m not. Yes, I am blessed, two jobs, two dogs and a family that loves me. There are lists upon lists of blessings, I know that. But I feel like I’m running late, at the back of the pack.

Last spring I graduated with a degree in political science. For four years I burned with a passion for public policy. Four years of sweating through exams and of making the Deans List, a semester interning at the department of justice in DC, a job at a major law firm and another across the world in Pristina, Kosovo.

I was on a path. I felt on top. I was moving strong and steady, dues were being paid, I was earning my keep, I thought I knew what I wanted.

At some point overseas I felt the passion slow and dim though. The work wasn’t what I thought it’d be (despite countless hours of denial) and those idealistic expectations were disappearing in the dirty grimy reality that was.

 

And I come back to best friends happily married and talking about kids one day. I return to every single one of them that has a salary. That have benefits. That have something on their resume that is grown-up-work, not by-the-hour. They seem to have it all figured out, just how I felt in the not too distant past. I can’t tell if the post-grad life is letting me down or just my little inner critic.

 

But I have no idea what I want to do anymore. It’s terrifying me.

 

I started writing this blog in late August. I never really wrote anything before and after a few taps of the keys, I started spilling a lot of things that were too hard to say out loud. A lot of feelings and a lot of opinions. Some angry and some not. Years ago when I started making my plans for how my life would look I never thought I would consider writing to be a part of it. And then suddenly a few weeks ago I did, and I bought some web real estate and away I went. And I poured too much into this. I didn’t know what I was doing, still don’t know what I’m doing.

I broke a little bit tonight as I hit concrete wall of writers block. Nothing new or fresh was flowing. I was tapped out, am tapped out. Or I just feel that way. Anyhow. I realized I was using this blog as a distraction from a lot of other things. I made God an unwilling accessory of sorts.

And then I got really mad at myself.

I was maybe sinning.

Let me be clear so you don’t mistake what I am about to say, everything I’ve written about God has been out of my truthful understanding of him, the little bits that I know. But awhile back, maybe a month, a certain cloudiness hung over every joyful post I wrote about Jesus. It was a lot of squinting and parsing pieces together without actually making the effort of prayer or study. Without actually continuing to go to church. Church still makes me bristle. Evangelicals still make me cringe.

 

But I wrote about God like me and him were in the middle of something. Something grand and spiritual. When I got angry that night, that was a rare moment of a spiritual flame… but for the most part, He has started to feel a lot like a late grandfather that I had fond memories of once. And I hate that.

 

After awhile, this whole thing, it’s gotten a bit of a counterfeit feel. At least to me. I just wish I was no longer anonymous and have this whole damn show over with so that I can be held more accountable by more people. So I can let you see me. So that I can write more from the center of faith or at least, be more truthful. Anonymity has started to feel like a lie.

 

There’s a lot to think about and a lot happening all at once, but the silver lining? Questions of my sexuality are not popping up here and there like weeds or flowers. I guess, once again, I give those questions back to life, back to God, *back to the future*, maybe this will be one of those things that answers on its own, on its own unexpected timing.

 

For now, going to rest a bit. Or write a ton. Either way, I don’t want use this blog to distract me from the other things. Other things are equally important, pressing and difficult, but important.

 

How’s that for vulnerability?

 

Love,

 

RR

  • That feeling of distance from God can be scary, but I believe that good things can be on the other side of it. I’m in the process of coming out of one of those seasons, one that was concomitant with a battle against severe depression. A lot of things were shifting in my life, and it was hard to deal with anyway, but then suddenly it was like God had turned left when I turned right and I couldn’t find Him again. It was awful. The good news is that on the other side of that, I feel like I’ve learned a lot more about who God is and who I am as a Christian. I think I needed that distance so I would have space from my old understanding of those things. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been there, and I’m praying for you. I enjoy your writing, and I believe that God’s purposes are accomplished even in the winter seasons of our lives. Don’t lose hope.

    • registeredrunaway

      Your story sounds an awful lot like mine. I too suffered from severe depression, the worst of it I haven’t shared completely here. I’ve seen those turn arounds before, the ones where it feels like God leaves, but he’s always there. To me, it’s a refining process that we all have to go through in bits and pieces or in large sweeping movements. Giving everything up to a God that can ask for anything, and then realizing he was bestowing so much grace and love upon us. It’s humility and it’s love, and I have to remember that even when I’m in thick of it. Thank you!

  • JClyde

    I feel like this a lot. I know that I want to be more and do more and be the kind of Christian that people see and change their minds about Christians, but sometimes I wonder if I care to be around some of these people. I can definitely relate. I wish there was a way to find real people that helped me recharge my spiritual battery but they are hard to find.

    • registeredrunaway

      Thank you for hitting the nail on the head, finding folks that can help recharge my spiritual battery. It is so difficult to when you feel like they are so far ahead. So, at least for me, I start projecting the put together image, even though I am not at all put together. I need some more broken pilgrims around me. Reminds me of a Brennan Manning quote, “In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”

  • Survivor Girl007

    Precious RR, I feel you! Looks like a couple of others have come alongside and said pretty much the same thing. erinrebecca mentioned “the winter seasons of our lives.” LOVE that. JClyde said something about how hard it is to find real folks who charge our “spiritual battery.” LOVE that, too. I’m tired of looking at people and assuming that they are somehow no longer in process – assuming that they’ve arrived, whatever that means! Winter seasons; downtime; red-shirt situations; desert wanderings – whatever you want to call them, they are somehow essential to moving us on in faith. I’m getting to be an old lady – ha! – so I’ve had quite a few of those seasons where I thought I was headed one direction but was soon left standing at a crossroads. Then neither choice was appealing, because I was filled with fear. Man, I’ve made some stinky moves! But God redeemed them all. And you’ve so many years ahead of you to make your own stinky moves. 🙂 I’m convinced that He will redeem yours, too – especially if you continue to write in the process. Please continue to write. You have a gift. Just keep doing that, at least, okay?

    Mmmmmwwaaaaaa! (that’s a kiss on the cheek!)

    • registeredrunaway

      SG momma! I think I have said five or six times now to my mom how much that comment to me. Even though I’ve been down this road several times before, even though I know others go down the same one, it still registers in my mind that I am somehow alone here. That while the faithful forge on through all seasons, I am somehow too weak or to “unchristian” to pull myself out of the mud. Yours, along with everyone elses, reminds me that I am not alone in the sluggish moments. You got my email and saw how much your words meant to me, but I’ll say it again. Your message brought tears! Thank you.

      • Survivor Girl007

        Not alone. Not for a second. Nope, nope, and nope! 🙂

  • Hi RR,

    The question of anonymity is a tough one. You had/have your reasons for going about your blogging life this way. I think that I would have a difficult time blogging anonymously, but that can’t make any difference to you. Questioning if the method you’ve chosen still fits is natural, just as we question all of our decisions. Hopefully, you’ll find the sweet spot that removes the cloudiness.

    Blogging can be a distraction, but it’s also an outlet. If you never write another blog post, the things that are important for you to express will find another way to get out. If you feel that there’s nothing new to say today, forget it and check back tomorrow. That’s the schedule I follow. I write each day, but end up posting very little of what I’ve written. None of your posts that I’ve read have seemed counterfeit to me, and I’m not easily fooled. On the contrary, the authenticity of your writing has been apparent to me from the start.

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