March 22, 2011

Not At All Together

I am fourteen. Packing for a Red Cross youth camp. My first time away from home.

I'm nervous. Don't know anyone. But I have my sights set on a short-term missions trip to another country. This week-long experience will be good practice.

The week flies by. I have all sorts of fun. Make new friends. Go canoeing. Take part in skits. Meet a cute Indian boy named Raj. Freak out on Do-Si-Do night because I've never {square}danced with a boy and I'm not about to start now.

All week long I maintain my religious identity. Every morning I quietly tiptoe out of my cabin to read my bible on a sunny rock overlooking the forest. I talk to my new friends about God and soon find I am not alone.

Kammi, my counselor, is also a Christian. At the end of the week, she hugs me and tells me what an inspiration I have been to her. Other friends, non-Christians, ask me about my beliefs and I am more than happy to share.

I leave camp feeling very righteous. I have not failed to meet with God. I have upheld what I believe and I have witnessed to those who do not know Jesus. I've even managed to maintain my purity by not dancing.

Everyone likes me. I have it all together.


9:01 pm. Waiting for Caleb to fall asleep. Sitting cross-legged in dirty jeans and the sweatshirt I threw on this morning.

The house is a mess. Except for the laundry, which was my one great accomplishment today. I have a zillion things to do before our trip to California next week. My mind spins.

Must remember to call Caleb's doctor tomorrow about that weird rash/flesh-eating fungus I discovered on his butt last week. It's not going away.

Haven't spent good, quality time with God these last few days. Feel slightly guilty. But more than guilt, I just miss Him.

Trying to forget the emotional breakdown I had on Sunday, complete with tears and hyper-ventilation. I simply couldn't deal with one more thing. Sometimes a good cry is the best medicine.

Loving my son but wondering when he'll go to sleep. Wondering, if he's not autistic, then what is he exactly? Everyone agrees that there are issues. But what's causing them and more importantly, how do we respond, react, discipline, and raise him?

Also wondering if I'm crazy for wanting more kids. I can barely handle the one I have, and yet I find myself once more in the throes of baby fever. Our adoption application waits quietly in its folder, complete and ready to mail, and yet I can't bring myself to do it. Not now. Maybe next month . . .

The illusion that I have it all together breaks down a little more every day. I hate it. I cling to it. I must have everything perfect, or I have failed somehow. What will my friends think? What will my husband think? What will God think?

Then it hits me . . .

Jesus didn't come to rescue those of us who have it together.

He came for those of us who don't.

And I want to be counted among them. Even if it means giving up my expectations.

I don't want people to be impressed with me because they think I have it all together. I want people to see my crazy out-of-control life, and see Jesus working in the midst of it all.

There's nothing like a "perfect" person to dash our hopes and make us feel inferior.

But beauty in the middle of a storm? That gives us courage and infuses us with hope. If God can help my friend weather her hurricane, surely He can help me weather mine.

That is the sort of person I want to be. Not focused on the ideal, but choosing to find beauty in the raw, real, every-day life around me.


Mama Sue said...

Oh, me-me. What inspiration you give when you write. I am also drawn to my knees for you three. Jesus is our light and strength. He is worthy to be clung to. So, you go, girl, cling to Him. He loves you so. I love you. Mom

Sue said...

So glad I stumbled across you blog. I needed to hear this today.

"Jesus didn't come to rescue those of us who have it together.

He came for those of us who don't.

And I want to be counted among them. Even if it means giving up my expectations."

Thanks for sharing your "epiphany."

Shannon said...

I love your honesty. Love it.