Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Drastic Decisions

I am ready to do something drastic. I've spent two years recovering, making stupid choices, coasting, surviving and pulling my head and heart back together after a 10 year roller coaster life. I've spent years reacting and responding, and while a lot of that is my own fault, a lot is not. But now, it's different. I'm in a different place.

Yes, I still have young children at home, but not babies. My youngest seems to be potty-training herself, actually, with very little encouragement or guidance from me.  So diaper changing and nursing every few hours is a thing of the past for me. My oldest is now at the point where she can be trusted to watch a sibling or two for more than a few minutes (though not for an entire afternoon, really) and can be independent herself. I have downsized significantly, so my home care is also at a minimum. I also don't have the outdoor space to care for - no gardens to weed or lawns to cut. While I miss the gardening, I am appreciating the extra time I now have.  

All this to say that, well, I have more time than I used to. And I have more space in my head to think. I don't have some areas to put on my to-do list, like I did once. In addition, I now have a form of child care. Funny how some things become more important to people once they are no longer immediately and continually available. My ex now takes any and all opportunities to be with our kids, where before, for me to ask for child care help was a huge imposition. But this does mean that I can take time just for me away from my kids.

Given all this, I'm not sure what to do. My life has changed, and is changing. But I feel restless at the same time. I don't know what to do with the extra time, and I feel like I need to do something just for me. People seem amazed at what I accomplish with and for my kids, and to be honest, most of the time I don't think about it, but if I do, I frankly am amazed myself.  But at the same time, I feel the need to do something.. just for me.

Perhaps I will look into school or training for myself, and actually start the career I gave up when I became a mother. Maybe a hobby or perhaps I can finally lose the weight years of poor habits, babies and lack of time has heaped on me. Or just maybe.. maybe I will take the time to breathe. To relax into this space. There is no need to rush into any rash choices -- after all, it was thoughtless hurrying that kind of got me into a lot of this.

Time to breath. That sounds really really good. Maybe I don't need to be drastic after all.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Christian Cliche

I am so freakin tired of the Christian cliche.

Let go and let God

God's got this

And we know all things work together for good...

He's in control.

His ways are higher..

Bah.

Can I just say bull and be done with it? The couple of phrases I listed that are legitimately based on scripture are so taken out of context they are almost worse than the other cliches. But all of them stem from this idea that God is somehow directly controlling everything in the universe. Every little tree falling, storm cloud raining, and scraped knee -- or hurricane, tornado and cancer -- is somehow directly caused or arranged by God, according to this theory.

Which makes God out to be a sociopathic crazed killer, honestly.

This may sound heretical, but I do not believe God is in control. I don't.

Don't get me wrong, God knows everything. He knows what will happen before we do, because He is outside of time and space, and to Him, He can be everywhere, every-when, so nothing is a surprise. But that has nothing to do with why bad things happen, why certain things happen at all, or who causes things to happen.

One of the pillars of my faith is that God is a good God. God is good. I can trust God because I am confident of His goodness. I may not understand everything, but this one thing I cling to. God is good.  So when someone tries to say "We don't understand why God let this happen.. " it makes me nuts, because they are, indirectly, subtly, saying, at best, that God could have stopped whatever bad thing it was, and chose not to, or, at worst, God caused said bad thing to happen.

Stupid Christian cliche!! God didn't "let" anything happen, and He definitely didn't cause a bad thing to happen.

There's a few things people forget when they say these trite phrases. One, God created the world, in the beginning, and after 6 days of work, on the 7th, He rested. No where does it say He started working again on the 8th day. So when He created the world, He made it as a self-regulating, perpetual motion machine, designed to continue on its own forever, without His direct intervention ever again. Two, God then delegated all authority over this earth to His subordinates, us human beings. This means that for God to intervene in this world, it's either going to be at the direct invitation of a human being and a suspension of the laws this world operates under (a miracle, to use the Christian term), or indirectly through other human beings, as they follow His leading and nudges. He will NOT directly do anything in this world on His own. For Him to do that would be to break His word to us human beings -- and then the universe would cease to exist, because it is His unbroken word that holds all things together (John 1). Three, and this is kind of the most important thing to remember, human beings brought *sin* into this world. We broke the perpetual motion machine. This world is now fallen, and falling, and slowly winding down. It is the perfection of God's creation and His love for us that allowed the breaking of the universe to be a gradual thing, not an immediate disaster. Sin should have destroyed everything immediately, but God commuted and suspended that sentence.

But because of sin, our world is no longer perfect, and now things happen that were never supposed to happen. It isn't God's fault bad things happen. It's ours. Either indirectly (because of original sin and a fallen world -- a hurricane destroying someone's house, for example) or directly (getting cancer because you smoked cigarettes every day since you were a teen), bad things happen because of sin. God doesn't let it happen either; at least, not in the sense of approval and permission. God does sort of "let" things happen, but only because He allows us our free will, and He will never go back on that, even when we choose to do stupid, sinful, hurtful things. He will, however, send people who obey his nudgings and leadings to try to stop us, but ultimately, He'll protect our ability to choose to the grave.

Not all things work together for good. His ways may be higher, but that has nothing to do with why something happened. If you let go, God isn't going to do it for you. The cliches are nothing more than  lies designed to keep us passive and from realizing our own power. They can be comforting for a moment, but it's like taking aspirin for a toothache. It may make you feel good for a moment, but it doesn't solve the root issue.

The reality is God gave all authority to us here on earth. We're the ones who gave it away to the devil. Thank God He sent Jesus to wrest it back for us, and through Jesus, we now have that authority back. All authority in heaven and earth was given to Jesus, and because we are joint-heirs, because we are in Him, we also share in that authority. This is why Jesus said we can cast mountains down with our words -- because we literally do have that creation-force, the raising-from-the-dead power at our tongue's tip to use.

Bad things happen for a reason. That reason isn't God. It's sin. It's a lack of recognition of what we have. It's us letting it happen.