So, there's a lot of stuff going through my head recently, and a lot that I could blog about. Some of these topics include...
1. I am going completely 'poo free! No shampoo. Ever. Interested? Check out the Winnowing Woman (one of my favorite blogs)to see what I'm talking about.
2. In the past month, Maple has... been to the doctor 3 times, seen a specialist, scheduled a surgery, CANCELLED a surgery, and is now completely healthy. Expect more on this topic later...
3. I'm not losing weight. It's as simple as that. I'm not GAINING, but I'm not losing. I'm stuck. Blah.
4. It's Yard Sale Season!
And while all of that stuff would make for some decent reading, I need this post to be about my need to write. There's some stuff I've been learning recently that I need to get off my chest. Some lessons that have been (and continue to be) difficult, but are totally worth sharing. While I could probably write a book about some of this stuff, I'll try to limit this post to a blog-worthy brevity.
My main struggle since returning to the states has been in the simple act of knowing myself. I spent an entire year of my life striving to become just like the people around me, and once that habit is established, it's a hard one to break. As I have continued the effort to become "like" the people around me, I have become more and more miserable with myself.
I'm too loud. I'm too honest. I'm too passionate. My personality is too much for people. My wardrobe is too colorful. My sense of humor is weird. My opinions are alien.
I'm a weirdo, y'all.
Not only that, but I'm a sinful, self-absorbed, painfully blunt weirdo.
When I first started feeling this way, I hid from the Lord. I have tried to think of a better way to present that on a blog. But the full truth of the matter is: I hid from the Lord. I couldn't take any more judgement. I didn't want to hear about any more of my shortcoming. And I certainly didn't want to know how to fix them and thereby confirm that they are, in fact, major problems. It was His fault anyways. He's the one who made me this way. He's the one who spoke to my heart so many years ago: Speak forth in boldness, for the harvest is plentiful while the laborers are few. So what right did He have to condemn who I am?
Because, you know, God's a vengeful, spiteful, holier-than-thou, condemning, cruel God who likes to point out my flaws and give me a 12-step program to fix who I am all on my own.
Except He isn't.
And that's the part I forgot.
...until He reminded me.
You see, there are days when I am too honest, when I should shut my mouth instead of speaking up, when I should be gentle instead of firm, when I should choose peace over being right.
But there are also days when God calls me to speak light to the darkness and truth to the lies.
There are days when my emotions get the best of me. I laugh when I should be angry. I am angry when I should be in tears. And I cry when I should be able to brush things off as no-big-deal. On these days, my emotions are too raw - too much - too apparent, and those emotions make people uncomfortable.
But there are days when I can sit in the gutter and weep with those who are broken, when I can laugh with someone else's joy, and I can stand alongside them in righteous anger when they have been wronged. On those days, my emotions are weapons against bitterness and loneliness .
There are days when my passions are misdirected. There are days I am passionate about coffee, or a TV show, or the temperature of my office at work. There are days when my passions become others's problems.
But there are also days (and I have to believe there will be more day) when my passion causes me to raise up and defend the oppressed, the suffering, and the poor. My passion gives voice to the voiceless. My passion will make a difference in this world. Of this I'm certain.
So I'm resting in the Lord and trusting that He will show me a balance. I pray that my uniqueness will be a blessing and not a curse, that I will appreciate the way he made me and not wish to be like someone else, that someday (even if it's in Heaven) I will see how each and every "weirdo" trait was part of a grand design to better our world and glorify His Kingdom.
And I'm relying on grace... a lot of grace.