This morning, I woke up with a complex.
Usually, I wake up because Arddun’s been calling or crying in her room and when her Daddoh finally frees her from her cheery white prison bars, the first thing she does is run over to me and squeak, “Hi Mumma!”
And that still happened today. But this morning, I also woke up with a complex. And it all had to do with this blog, or rather, what I project from it.
Sometimes, I get depressed that I am not the poster child for Christianity. I still fret. I still say the wrong things, I still think the wrong things, I injure others – sometimes deliberately. Often, I look at myself and my life and my impulses, and wonder how I dare to claim I’m in the field of public relations and marketing. Because I am not the poster child for Christianity.
I woke up this morning and wondered if blog posts like this very one I’m writing are counterproductive to the cause for Christ. Because if I’m a Christian, and I believe I’m washed and shiny and new, then why am I still so insecure? I woke up this morning and wondered if perhaps I am being too honest. Too quick to air my dirty laundry, to turn my insides outside and talk about how I continue to struggle as a wife, as a mother, as a Christian. Because the consummate PR thing would be to talk about the good and the great. To project effortless joy and quiet confidence, to talk only about the upside because there should ONLY be an upside to living a life in Christ.
Except, it has always gone against my conscience to project nothing but the smooth veneer of polished Christianity. Especially when I am not a smooth, polished, glib Christian. Not by a long shot.
This. This struggle is one that I mull over often, because I wonder about the cost of brutal honesty. And yet it strikes at the very heart of my personal identity. The biggest insult you can ever give me is to question whether my insides match my outsides, because I hate to think myself a hypocrite and I work very hard at not being one. I fiercely guard my authenticity and my sincerity. I don’t ever want to live a double life. Or a quadruple life – a version at home, a version at work, a version in church, a version at Mother’s Group. I understand that there are layers of ourselves we reveal to others over time, like the peeling of an onion. I am the same. But it is always important to me that I never fake out.
And yet, in always being stark and honest to those closest to me about my sins and struggles, I wonder if I’ve inadvertently turned them away from seeking Christ. Has my word-of-mouth advertising for the flawed Christian life that I lead so uninspiring a product that it’s gotten them to try out the competitor’s? They say that your personal walk with God is the greatest evangelism tool there is, and yet my track record for baptisms hasn’t been great – so maybe it’s telling me something about my PR spiel. “Lighten up, Blogger. You’re scaring away the tourists.”
And yet, it is so, so, SO important to me that my friends and loved ones know about ALL of it. That it’s not all Happy Clappy because sin sits at the door like horrid spiders waiting to come in and spin webs, and that’s normal. That they see that I fall down all the time, but that I want to get up for Christ – not because I’m this religious powerhouse with a rock solid faith, but because there is a God who forgives plenty and gives me a fresh slate each morning if only I ask. That they wonder how that someone – who continues to muck up big time, who sometimes gets super hurt or disappointed by people in the church, who in turn sometimes hurts and disappoints loved ones and people in the church – still stubbornly holds on to this notion of God. I hope they see that it isn’t blind faith, but a relationship I’ve entered into with eyes wide open.
That the honesty – blogging about the good and the funny and the bad – is my way of ensuring I don’t glory or boast, except about Christ.
That’s my prayer. That’s my one consolation. That in spite of my life and my tongue, I can still be a poster child for God.
12 January 2013 at 11:31 am
What a beautiful post, dear friend. Your honesty often brings me to tears, coz I’m not willing to ‘bare my soul’ as you do .. but you are being such a wonderful example of the struggles of a Christian. Just coz you get baptised, doesn’t mean life is then all hunky-dorey. It IS a struggle, it IS tough, we AREN’T perfect … far from it!! And that’s why it’s important for you to continue writing … to show the struggles we all have as Christians but also to show how Christ loves us and forgives us each and every day. Praise God for His everlasting love and forgiveness and mercy .. without it we would be lost. Love you, dear Velle.
12 January 2013 at 1:02 pm
Well, I for one think your honesty is refreshing and raw and real. And, putting my own PR cap on, there is a lot to be said for communications as authentic as yours – bc people of all sorts see than honesty and are reassured by it too – life ain’t perfect and that’s why we need God. We mess up, he is there, we fail, He does not. etc. I mean, all of us are different in our personalities, our attitudes, our struggles and what we share and why – the spectrum is fine I think! Because those on the recieving end are all different too. SO at the end of the day, just being YOU and letting God’s work in you shine through can only be a good thing – pls dont stop sharing! xx
12 January 2013 at 1:25 pm
I’m a Christian as well and I know better than anyone that being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re going to be perfect or have a perfect life… there was only one perfect person in this world and that was Jesus… the rest of us are just doing the best we can… saying that you’ve made mistakes and don’t always do what’s right doesn’t mean you’re not a good Christian… it means you’re human… in fact i think it would make you less of a Christian to lie and say all is perfect with your world and you never once stumble or have problems… that would be an illusion and people would see through it… Now if you were saying “hey i’m an awesome Christian by the way i cheated on my husband and now i’m gonna go get black out drunk”… that would be a problem and people would be like what’s so great about being a Christian she acts as bad as everyone else out there… As long as you’re being faithful to God and your family and you’re genuinely trying to do what’s right, then everything else is just a part of life… and from what i can tell you seem to be doing pretty good…
12 January 2013 at 5:55 pm
Peter had questions and fought his imperfections until Christ’s crucifixion.
He was a human being and was later the rock Jesus built his church.
We are imperfect because we are human. But your heart yearns to reach God.
That’s the goal of all Christians.
12 January 2013 at 6:49 pm
Your blog helps others in their journeys. That may be God’s calling for you!! X