Was it meant to be dynamite?

Wee Frizz said some stuff that encouraged me and reminded me of this post from Feb 2011 so thought it was worth posting it again… I feel reassured that these thoughts are not completely new…

my small corner

I’ve heard a lot of Christian talks in my lifetime.  It seems that in a fair number of those talks, the idea that the bible and that the gospel are explosive (or could be so) featured so heavily as to have been engrained in my head.

I’m just wondering… Is the bible meant to be ‘dynamite’?  Is the gospel?

Its just… well, when I think about it, the idea of the bible of the gospel exploding in a great big BANG doesn’t seem to fit.  There is something slow and steady about scripture, something growing, something expanding.  Like sunrise or sunset – where you can’t quite tell the moment where they begin and end.

The whole smell of the Jewish culture in the Old Testament, the simplicity with which churches met and began to grow in the New Testament… Yes, there are moments of great drama and ‘explosion’, but is…

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Stating the Obvious (or ‘Real Live Person’) Too

As I said, I am marrying a Real Live Person’ it therefore should logically follow that he is marrying a Real Live Person Too.

And yet…

I’ve had a hair trial to make sure my hair is Perfect for the wedding. We spent an hour getting the perfect Messy look.

I had one makeup trial where a lady literally spray painted my face so my skin could look Flawless. As if not enough, I had to have a re-trial because it turns out my nose does not like being spray painted and I would rather be able to top up my Flawless Skin with powder to keep from shining not-so-flawlessly and the spray paint is like no other product know to womankind. I suspect it may be alien in origin.

And then again I stood in regalia fairly close to my birthday suit while a different woman spray painted much more than just my face.

I paid money for this to be done.

After this, she tells me when I’ll have to be waxed and soaked and scrubbed and polished in order to get it all Just Right for my big day. And really that I NEED false nails, ‘especially for the honeymoon’.

Now. Don’t get me wrong – I will willingly do some of those things again. I don’t want to look like a ghost in the photos we’re paying a chunk of money for! I want to look my best – enhance what I’ve already got, ya know??

But… In all of the pressure for not only the bride to look Perfect, but for the WHOLE DAY to be Flawless?? I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that I, too, am a Real Live Person. If that’s good enough for my husband-to-be, then its good enough for me!

I’m glad I’ve been single a little older than I would have chosen – otherwise this crap might’ve taken me over.

Vive les personnes réelles !!

(now where-d I put those tweezers…??)

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Sometimes Facebook is useful

Saw this on Facebook today and couldn’t quite bring myself to ‘share’ it.  I don’t THINK its because I’m a horrible ashamed Christian, but maybe not wanting my colleagues to think I’m weird makes me that.  But I can’t help but feel like FB sort of hangs things out there sometimes with a context void and makes people weird.

Anyway, enough about my FB issues.  Here’s what I saw… Felt useful to remember…

 

God

  • Stills You
  • Reassures You
  • Leads You
  • Enlightens You
  • Forgives You
  • Calms You
  • Encourages You
  • Comforts You

Satan

  • Rushes You
  • Frightens You
  • Pushes You
  • Confuses You
  • Condemns You
  • Stresses You
  • Discourages You
  • Worries You

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Stating the obvious (or ‘Real Live Person’)

I thought being engaged would mean I’d finally have that lifelong companion who would match me in every way. I thought he would know exactly what I’m thinking and how I’m feeling without me having to say a word.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t that I thought this in an obvious way. I had what I thought was a realistic view of what a relationship would be – I’d spent so much time worrying about not getting divorced that I’d given plenty of thought to how crucial good communication would be. But, as much as I hate to admit it, I expected a greater sense of ‘completion’ (eugh!) and ‘just knowing’ when it came to be 6 weeks before the wedding.

For a long time the fact that I did not feel those things in the way I expected to, was a great source of fear and trembling and many tears.  Thank. God. I have friends with their heads fully screwed on who gave me the courage to push past that crap. Because here I am, 6 weeks before our wedding, happy and ready for a new adventure. Not because I’ve ticked all my boxes and am Complete and Know, but because I find myself engaged to a Real Live Person. That is a much better adventure than I could ever have asked or imagined.

I’m afraid that’s it. No profound moral and a bit repetitive of my previous post. But that’s what’s happening in my small corner : I am marrying a Real Live Person.

Its nice😀

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Why I want to pray with you, but probably won’t

1. I’m sort of tired of being the one who says ‘Do you want to pray?’  Not because I did it lots and lots, but more because I spent quite some time where it was kind of my job to pray with people and for people.  Its true, I appear to have gotten a good desire somehow twisted because it wore me down and it shouldn’t have.

 

2. I’m worried you’ll think I’m the sort of person who says ‘Do you want to pray?’  These people know what they are doing, they are Sorted to a degree which means they’ll ask that question.  I’m sort of tired of being the one people think is Sorted.

 

3.  I don’t want you to think I THINK I’m the sort of Sorted person who says ‘Do you want to pray?’  Because then you might inwardly laugh or sneer as you see so very, very, painfully clearly that I am NOT that sort of person.

 

4.  These then lead on to the fact that it somehow feels not very avant garde for us 30 somethings to pray together.  Aren’t we all a little too old and wise for such evangelical (spit) earnestness?  Aren’t we all a little too nonchalant for all that?  If I say ‘Do you want to pray?’ I might show myself up as someone so stuck in the past of what we called ‘fellowship’ as we grew up…

 

5. While being afraid of my doubts that the prayer will go un-answered, I am even more afraid of YOUR doubts about the prayer.  I’m afraid that this dynamic will push me back into the role described in number 1, thus spiralling through the whole thing again.

 

6. Then the simple reason that the culmination of all of the above and its twisted thinking and confusion will come to a head in an earnest, heartfelt cry for help from the One who might just do that, which will only serve to unveil fragility and let loose tears.  

 

And that’s just messy.

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The Problem with being single : The things people say (and what I did with it)

They said marriage and children are really hard.  No, like really hard… Seriously.  And this is good – honesty is good.  But, if you’re hoping to get married, make sure it is to The Right Person.  And, actually, while you’re at it, make sure you are The Right Person.

They posted endless Facebook articles : 8 ways to find a godly marriage partner, 10 things Christian men should look for in a bride, 15 things godly women need in a husband, 20 characteristics of a God-honouring marriage…

They said to find someone who would lead me spiritually, someone who would encourage me in all my gifts, someone who would push me to be the very I best I could be.

They said that if it were right, I would ‘just know’; that if it were real, it wouldn’t be so hard.

They said to seek out a man of character and to stay away from anyone with ‘issues’.

They said to make sure I was ready; my issues  prayed away, my patience perfected.

Later, they added things like ‘financial security’, ‘more than sexual attraction’, ‘shared values’.  Think about who’ll die first, who might get sick, where you might live, how you’ll spend your money, raise your kids, paint the bathroom, cook your pasta, scratch your… Well. You get the idea.

So, I packed up all these thoughts and questions and traits and hoisted them onto my back.

 I didn’t notice the weight at first, because I wanted marriage, I wanted to choose well, I had to choose well.  And now that I carried this stuff with me, when it came to being in a relationship, I knew what it would look like, how it would feel, what I would do, what he would do, what we would be together : a lean, mean, godly marriage machine. And it would last, I’d be sure it would last.

I, particularly I, would need to be sure it would last.

Then I fell in love.

No-one said I would come face to face with my fears as I accidentally fell for someone so completely unexpected. Someone so completely… Human.

 No-one said (or I didn’t hear it well) that life tends to be a little less tidy than my backpack of relationship expectation.  They didn’t post Facebook articles offering 8 ways to stop being Shit-Scared of marriage when your parents are divorced, 10 ways to loosen your vice-like grip on what you perceive to be control, 20 characteristics of two screwed up human beings trying to build a life together while trusting grace.

So I find myself in a relationship with someone whose complete human-ness is irritatingly out of my control (this is tongue-in-cheek, but – seriously?!? No-one said I would need to surrender control!). But in all his uncontrollable human glory, he is funny and gentle and GOOD. And I love him.

Those things they said I should look for, should do, should be… They haunt me sometimes. Sometimes they haunt me often. There tends to be plinky-plinky Disney-like music and chirupping birds echoing somewhere in the background. There is always fear.

I am not afraid of his imperfection – though sometimes The Lists would have me think so. (Then I can blame it on someone else.) I am not afraid of infidelity and drama. I’m afraid of me.

This is my fearful shame :

After all these years of praying for someone who wouldn’t give up on me, my biggest fear is that it will be me who gives up because marriage and kids is really hard.  No, like really hard… Seriously.  Like, maybe too hard for anyone other than The Right Person.

And if there’s anything I’ve learnt over the past few years, it is that I am not The Right Person.

I am only me.  He is only him.  And that load on my back is only Heavy.

Stuff the lists.

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(Untitled)

Belfast how you’ve grown.

I was barely gone, on the scheme of things

But I barely know you and

Cannot put my finger on

What it is that makes me love you and yet

Feel still so far away.

Crowds are lonely even when there are

Familiar faces.

Faces drawn on bravely,

Drawn on a wall, peace walls.

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Thursday, 30 January, 2014 · 4:48 pm