grace and grit

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overall, i am a very fickle person.  i admit it wholly.  my confidence in god’s provision has more to do with my current status than any absolute truth that he is faithful.  call it generational sin, call it postmodernism, call it a faith that was born in the pacific northwest, in the city, in an individualistic western culture.

at least i am aware of this even when things are going well.  i’m so hesitant to go “praise god” because i know that i was probably doubting his existence five minutes earlier when things didn’t go my way.  i’m not naturally trusting, it’s a trait i’m working on as we speak.

i’ve lived a bit of a gritty, earthy existence.  if we were to have coffee a few times, you probably wouldn’t really know.  i’m gutsy and ballsy on one hand, but not quick to divulge the stories of my soul.  i’ve lived life in a glass house in more ways than one and i’m slow to unravel my life’s threads to anyone.  but life has taught me to a bit skittish toward any absolutes, because things change behind closed doors.  usually the louder someone proclaims something as an absolute, the more likely it is that that very thing creeps under their doors at night, paging ted haggard.  faith-filled families do not always escape the grit you’d hope grace would erase.

i’ve become fairly proud of my tenacity, resiliency, and toughness.  marilyn meberg called me her bright-eyed baby, but there’s really more to me than just bright-eyes.  i know she knows that, but still the affirmation makes me pur like a cat.  i’m proud that my eyes still appear bright, when i’ve seen a lot of things in life.  the fact that there is any spunk left in me is a testament that jesus christ still reigns.

on the other hand, claiming my own strength can be a pitfall.  i don’t often know where god’s sovereignty begins and free-will ends.  i wrote this in my journal the other day:

god it feels like i don’t know if you want me to or have a major opinion on me doing this movie, or any aspect of my day-to-day-life.  all i can ask for today is that you care for my heart throughout and not let me get too discouraged.

maybe it’s my methodist/wesleyan/holiness upbringing, but i don’t know if god controls the outcome of day-to-day events.  it’s so easy to blame him for a sour audition, getting or not getting a part, or a relational issue.  so i have resorted to asking him to merely watch over my heart, no matter where life leads.  maybe that’s bad theology.  but if i were to ask him to control day-to-day life, there would be a lot of childhood pain he would be held accountable for.  things i believe were the results of human sin.  it’s too painful to imagine god sitting there watching all that, so i’d rather just thank him for holding me intact.

father god.  mother god.  both bring their issues.

32% of americans believe in moral absolutes, quoted a pastor of a church i have been to off and on this year… it’s a baptist/”non-denomenational” church.  call me crazy but since when did a baptist church become non-denominational for the sake of being cute and trendy?  i wanna know what i’m paying for and this frustrates me to no end!

this pastor is a believer of moral absolutes.  i guess on one hand i am too, things like the ten commandments are pretty good absolutes.  god exists and god is love.  statements of faith are excellent.  but in this case, he was talking about the difference between faith being knowledge vs. experience (referencing barna) and the tug between rationalism and romanticism.  i got a little tired from the exhortation, the battle seemed a little heavy. 

he did ask a good question–
which is more beneficial to my christian life?  self denial or pursuing happiness?

call it old fashioned conviction, but this hit me hard.  as an early-20’s, college graduate, free-spirited city girl–somehow pursuing self seemed okay as long as there was morality thrown in there, as long as i wasn’t hurting anyone.  i’ve always felt i had to take care of my emotional needs, even as a baby girl, so it confuses me to now think about turning over the reigns to someone who i wanted to step in long ago. 

i don’t want to be selfish, but i’m awfully nervous about this whole you’re the boss thing.  anyone else?

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