Monday, August 16, 2010

Every Other Day it Seems...


I have had a cycle this past week of feeling pretty good every other day. The days between I've been an emotional wreck. PMS? Possibly? Early Menopause? Maybe. Too much stress, definitely. But tears and I are not and have not been friends. I've avoided them at all costs.

So yesterday was a crying day. Maybe today won't be. No tears so far any way. I am grappling with an issue that I intend to process on my "Scripture as I See It" blog so as to not annoy folks who aren't here for anything spiritual or for a sermon. But here is my struggle in a nutshell. I started to read The Ragamuffin Gospel on my Ipad with Bart and it is making me realize some things.


One of the things that I realized lately is that I have never had any trouble being a woman of faith. I have extraordinary faith that God is and that He cares and that He is involved in our lives-- that He can work miracles, that ALL things are possible. I have never doubted that He loves me and that he is interested in me and that he can answer my prayers. I have had prayers answered that most people would never be foolish enough to pray.

I also have not had trouble being a woman of obedience. I have, as the rich young ruler said, "obeyed the commandments since I was a child." I have followed all the rules -- never had a drink, never smoked, never danced, was a virgin at 32.... i did all that stuff and I did it right. I have tried to do everything God asked of me. I have sought His will, I have followed His instructions, I have done so much as to sell everything I owned and go to Mexico for two years, leaving behind all my friends and family to be a missionary. I have step by step been led and followed God's leadership.

But I am realizing that I am not a woman of grace. I don't think I fully understand God's grace... which hurts me ... but the hardest thing is I really do not offer grace to others in the way I should. I am internally full of rules and dos and don'ts. I am criticial, judgmental and downright mean (in my thoughts, not necessarily my actions) to those who don't match up I do not extend grace to others ... and maybe it is because I don't think they deserve it. And that means I really don't understand grace.

One of the hardest things about being me is that I like quick solutions to everything. So battling with an issue is not fun for me. And you just can't really give yourself a deadline on stuff like this. The way my personality works I want to tell myself, "OK, you have til Thursday to understand this whole grace thing." SIgh.

So coupled with the stress (and the joys) of plenty of people here, plenty of work to do, and a trip to prepare for, I am wrestling with understanding a theological concept that brilliant men and women have been pondering and debating for centuries and I want to have that taken care of quickly.

It's no wonder I'm in tears.

And do you think it is a bad thing if your doctor laughs out loud when you ask her if she has any recommendations for managing sress?

5 comments:

FerJeniB said...

C - I don't think it's right for a doctor to laugh, but I would understand if my doc who I have had a long relationship with did. I once had another doctor give me a running commentary on my lady parts during an exam. I forgave her, she was new and hadn't done a lot of exams. Secondly, this may go against your nature, but I recommend 15-20 minutes of deep, focused breathing with eyes closed for relaxation and rejuvenation. I also have to FORCE my shoulders away from my ears during these times. I learned it in yoga and I can do it while I am waiting for the kids or watching practice or sitting at my desk. Third, no words of wisdom on grace as I struggle with that daily. I can be one cold, mean lady without even trying. - Hugs to You - J

GB's Mom said...

I think "Good Girls" have more trouble understanding God's grace and extending to others. We were brought up "knowing" for sure what God wants us to do and that knowing is so much a part of who we are that it is very difficult to believe it is an advantage others never had.

Bryna said...

I hear you loud and clear. Grace is something I don't have much of in my life, that's for sure. And it certainly is different than faith or obedience. As a Jew I have different language and concepts but there are still some similarities. Acceptance of G-d's will is harder for me than just doing the things I know I am obligated to do.

Janera said...

". . . maybe it is because I don't think they deserve it. And that means I really don't understand grace."

Wow. This is such a "bingo" statement! I'm humbled and inspired by this post.

Advocate Mom said...

I don't have a problem extending grace, but I have a serious obedience problem. Authority? Not so much...