Dear Catie, my body is a temple.

Catie, my body is a temple.

New International Version
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

New Living Translation
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

English Standard Version
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

Berean Study Bible
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

Berean Literal Bible
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you, whom you have from God? And you are not your own,

New American Standard Bible
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

King James Bible
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghostwhich is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

International Standard Version
You know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God, don’t you? You do not belong to yourselves,

NET Bible
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do you not know that your body is the temple of The Spirit of Holiness who dwells within you, whom you have received from God, and you are not your own?

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Don’t you know that your body is a temple that belongs to the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit, whom you received from God, lives in you. You don’t belong to yourselves.

 

I had no idea that that phrase came from the bible. I had heard people say it – usually in defense of staying abstinent until marriage – but I thought it was just a nice way of saying “you are worth more than a careless shag.” Y’know?

Which, to be honest, that always bothered me. Absolutely, a person is worth more than that, but to give a phrase that much power without first ensuring a sense of self worth is hard. Personafying a body as something so holy, so right, so without flaw in God’s image… It truly bothered me to hear things like that because it only solidified what I felt about myself.

As someone who was raped multiple times by multiple people in my life, I began to feel that my temple was destroyed. My temple was no longer a temple, but a ruin. And if my body was to be a ruin, then what did it matter how I treated it? Sure, doll it up, make it pretty, but a ruin is nothing more than a collection of pretty artifacts of the life that lived within before.

Can you see, now, why I began to detest the phrase?

My body is a temple. Was a temple. Is a ruin.

And then, my mind changed. I began to think for myself, and then, I began to read and reread and reread that phrase. I began to see how misused it had been, and how harmful it was as a weapon disguised as a shield.

Now, I realize, my body is a temple.

My body is a gift from God. It is not truly mine, but what I use to walk this Earth in. It is a vessel in which I can experience life in, and what a true gift that is.

My body is a temple, and with it, I realize.. It will only last so long, as all great things will crumble in time. So, perhaps, I should do my best to respect it. To use it to venture forth in to this world. To push it to it’s limits and see what I can withstand with it while valuing it enough to feed it what will nourish, heal, and rest it.

I dunno. This phrase just hit me recently, and it’s made me want to dance.

I got big plans, girl. Big plans. God’s just been waiting for me to see them.

 

xoxo

mojo

Dear Catie, the older I get, the less I care.

I’m not talking empathy. That is still high and I will always feel unmeasurable pangs of guilt, sorrow, sympathy, empathy, happiness… etc. That’s part of BPD. I’ll never be ‘mellow yellow’, but you get used to living with that after a while.

What I am talking about is the older I get, the less fucks I give about things like:

  • How someone other than me parents (as long as it doesn’t hurt the kid)
  • How someone other than me loves another person (gays, bisexuals, etc)
  • How someone other than me lives their life (as long as it doesn’t hurt someone)
  • What I eat, what I weight, and have I told you how much I love my body lately?

  • Where someone lives and the pictures of their ‘life’ they allow us to see on social medias
  • Keeping up on my own ‘social media’.

I try to post enough to let my grandmother not freak out, but honestly, I have found the tools on Facebook considering who is allowed to Follow you, See what you post, etc to be very helpful. I can now feel comfortable that I won’t step on any toes and other bullshit like that when I post things about how I feel with friends who are like minded. My family is southern, conservative for the most part, and not as… progressive? And that’s fine. I’ve learned that I don’t want to change them at all. Let them live how they always have, cause it’s not hurting anyone. While they disagree with gay marriage, they aren’t going out of their way to kill, abuse, or otherwise hurt gay people. *shrugs* And I know that I give less effs about what other people think, but Facebook is full of little ways that people can pipe up with their opinions and disagree with mine and make me feel like, in general, using facebook to share my opinions is a waste of time because they will be shit on every fucking time. (Which is why I hide a good majority of it now from those who do that.) (I’m looking at you, Joseph. I hope he reads this with the same humor as me, but damn, that guy is as much of an instigator as ever. AGAIN, THOUGH, WOULDN’T CHANGE ‘EM.)

  • What people think of me.

A good part of social media for me, way back before I left it, was I put way too much stock in to

  1. What people posted and how their lives that they let everyone see must be all there is to it.
  2. What people see of my life must be perfection, just like theirs, and wtf, why isn’t my life perfection like theirs?

A great part of learning people are full of shit and all about The Game of fronts and perceptions is that I don’t give a fuck to play a game I didn’t realize I was playing. Fuck the rules, fuck the ‘my life is perfect #blessed’ bullshit. I don’t care. I’m glad everyone’s so happy, but they got nothing on my life. Sorry ’boutcha.

And I mean that. You ask on the regular how I am doing, and I feel bad and like a parrot when I repeatedly state: “I’m good. We’re good. Everything’s groovy.” — But it’s the truth. Matthew and I are —

Oh wait. The readers have no idea about that. Oops. Summary recap.

Matt and I split up last summer in July 2014.

We were fantastic apart. We were nothing but nice and friendly to each other the entire split.

The worst part was divorcing not only him, but his parents. — And that’s a lesson we learned. We were married, but his parents were a heavy portion of our marriage. While, in their own lives, Matt’s grandparents were a huge part of their marriage, they felt that was the norm for everyone – so they including their lives so heavily on ours. I don’t mean ‘come and visit me once an a while’. I mean, where we live (apartment vs house), how much we pay, the city we live (was 7 minutes from their house), how often Elijah sees them else we hear about it, the things we spent our money on, keeping up appearances and visiting extended family at functions, going to the lake and outdoorsy things all the time when the weather allows.

None of these things are awful traits. They honestly do it because they care and that’s how they know how to care. They have always wanted what is best for Matthew and I, and if it worked for them, it must be ‘best’, right? I used to be so frustrated and angry with them and the way I feel they personally drove more stress and anxiety in to my life – in to Matt’s life – and then, in to our marriage because they ultimately ended up pinning Matt and I against each other on the regular. It was so unhealthy — but they aren’t solely responsible.

Boundaries are important, and if Matt and I never speak up, and never hold up to our end of the fence post, then they would never know where the boundary began.

Anyhow, so they were hard to divorce because they were hurting and I was the one to blame and blah blah. It was pretty ugly there, but I remained trying to be as nice as humanly possible because that’s how I was raised, and I didn’t want Elijah to think Nana and Pops were some horrible people. They’re not, and I don’t want him ever to think they’re anything than super heroes in his eyes.

Matt and I dated other people. Our paperwork wasn’t filed yet, but damn, do you know how expensive that crap is? You do, cause you’ve done it, but we agreed that we were both divorced, that neither would use in court some adultery charge if we were to date before we filed, etc etc. So we agreed to date others. We didn’t live together, we dated, we would occasionally update each other on how that was going, and we became best friends again. It was amazing.

And then, one night we decided to take Elijah out to eat together. And then we took him back to Matt’s place. And then I didn’t leave, and we fell back in love. It went something like this:

The most important thing I took from this separation is: We grew up.

We were not so focused on the other person, and would they still like the other person if we liked this or didn’t like that, or had a preference to this or that. We weren’t able to grow up healthily in our former relationship, between each other and his parents. I wasn’t allowed to feel comfortable, and feel like I wasn’t some freak because I didn’t like fishing like the others did. Or that I preferred to read. Or whatever.

We got to grow up when we were apart, and dating again was complete and total new territory. We were different people, who loved ourselves, and we went in to this relationship like this:

-Do we feel the same religiously? (Because I gained way more faith when I discovered I was Super Mom as a single mother)

-Can we communicate? (A huge problem before, where Matt would rather bottle things up than speak up about them at the risk I would blow up at him — and I would definitely blow up at him at every chance, with tensions so high.)

-Can we be our own people, but also still love each other? (I’m sorry, Matthew, but Grunge was so hard for me to pretend to like. While some is fine, I just can’t get behind Sound Garden. It’s not my jam, mannnn.)

-Can we be us, and not let anyone else intrude on our relationship? (We decided, if this would happen, that this time around we would gently let everyone know that it’s us against the world. Just us.)

Naturally, we came to an agreement. We dated in secret for a while, because while we can forgive each other and fall in love all over again as new people — everyone else that we knew in our family would likely be confused, hurt, and not know what the fuck was going on. I was definitely worried for his side of the family, who had every right to be bitter I feel. I was never worried for my family, though. They’ve always loved him and his family. I half expected a celebration — one that will come.

When we eventually came public, Matthew told his parents and informed them as gently as he could that it was he and I, and that this time, while he knows they love him, he would do his own thing with me. They didn’t quite understand, and he tried to explain, but again. That may be something that never changes, and that’s life. Gotta let it go.

Sooooo. Long story short, we’re happy. Still. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘honeymoon’ phase, because we’re smarter than that. We know there’s hardship, and we struggle – but our struggles are easier now. They seem so easy. Communication has been key. We both make more money, and love our jobs, which is huge. We live in Frisco — which is perfect for our lifestyles. We go on dates, with or without Elijah, weekly and without having to plan it.

I tell you, spontaneously asking the other person if they wanna go see a Movie tonight and knowing you can afford it without having to skimp on some bill is the best feeling in the world.

But, despite how amazing we are, I don’t like to go in to detail anymore. Why? Well..

  • It’s my life. Our life. And that’s between us. It’s a boundary.
  • Life really is great for us, but rather than post all the damn time about it on social medias, I’d rather people witness it if they’re curious if we’re just as happy as we seem.
  • I don’t have time any more to post on the regular about my life when I’m busy trying to write my book and relax on the small amounts of times I have. I work pretty heavily now (which I love), and Matt works opposite schedules, and Elijah is on a schedule, and while there is always time for the three of us – we don’t back burner each other, and that means things like this and gaming are not prioritized and it’s just hard to keep everyone updated.

I know you ask because you care, and because you can’t just ‘come over and chill’ and witness the glorious harmony yourself, but believe me when I tell you.. Things are groovy. We’re so lucky. No one I know has the love story we do, and let me say, just because it worked out for us, doesn’t mean it will work out for everyone going through divorce. I’m not one of those blindingly positive people who thinks people need to try harder. Not at all.

Also, just because he and I ended up never getting an official divorce on paper, we do consider ourselves divorced in our hearts, because we dated other people and truly attempted to live apart.  We fell out, definitely.

Which means as of today, we consider ourselves Boyfriend and Girlfriend, or dating. Someday, when we decide this is forever, and Matthew asks me to marry him again, we will have a ceremony in which we reconfirm our love for one another — but this time, with God involved, and on a personal scale. But that’s the future.

We’re enjoying the now.

Love you, Pot.

Dear Catie, Hippy Jesus and Hamptons Jesus.

I know I’ve been talking a lot about religion lately – whether I’m for it, against it, in the middle of figuring out what the fuck about it.

I’m a hot mess about religion, let me tell you – except I don’t need to tell you because you already know (as does anyone else who’s reading this blog.)

(I’m pretty sure God reads our blog.)

So, what threw me off of religion this time was yet another argument I had with my cousin about religion. My cousin grew up with religion in her life. I did not. She has been going to church since she was born. I started (consentually) going in my teenage years (because I wanted to hang out with the cute boys) and then seriously when I was about twenty-years-old. This was during my ‘I want to find Jesus to save my marriage, because I heard you can’t have a marriage without Jesus in it’ phase. When that fell through – and didn’t ‘fix’ my marriage, I gave up again. Then when my marriage fell apart (I am not blaming this on religion at all, by the way, readers), I went back to church to try again.

As you recall, it. was. fantastic. I found people who believed in the same kind of Jesus as I did. This is a direct quote from myself when I was speaking with our mutual friend Melisha / Lareia.

“Shit has been so damn difficult lately, and it’s made me think about religion a lot.

I am torn between Religion and God. I believe God exists, but I just wish I found a group of people who felt the same about him as me – and that’s hard to find. Even more so, I feel like it’s about the relationship between myself and God. Not the relationship between Religion and I. But just like a new friend you’ve met and think is totally awesome and great and all that, you want to introduce them to your friends and you want your friends to like them too because you like your friends and you like this new friend and it would just be so much simpler if you had more than just the two of you to hang out with.

That’s what kills me. I don’t have friends who know my ‘friend’ / God the way I do, or don’t see Him the way I do, or whatever. Now, this isn’t just a ‘I have friends who are atheists’ cry, this is a ‘I have friends who have a different kind of friend named God that they think have rules and regulations on how to be friends and etiquette and blah blah. Like, their God (in my metaphor) is from the Hamptons and there are rules of being that classy and that great. Don’t air dirty laundry. Don’t talk filthy. Don’t wear certain clothing. People can see you, so be on your best behavior 100% of the time.

Meanwhile, me and the God I know and love are kickin’ it back in our sweatpants watching Netflix marathons. We talk about all kind of things – things I’m proud of and things I’m not. And when it’s just us I feel so great and fantastic. I’m relaxed. I feel like I’ve got my shit together – even if the laundry’s not done.

But I still have friends who don’t know him, or they think he belongs in the Hamptons, and I just.. It’s hard. It’s like, not only does believing in him narrow the field of people who I could potentially get along with / date, but even further still, the Him that I believe him narrows the field even more to impossible percentages.

So then, with it being so small a number of people that I’ve met that feel the same, I’ve begun to think in the back of my mind: What if I am in the wrong? What if it’s MEANT to have all the damn rules and Hamptons shit? I mean, he’s GOD, shouldn’t he be treated like royalty like the Hamptons kids?

Or what if my God is an imaginary friend? What if he doesn’t actually exist and I’ve made him up because I seriously cannot deal with life sometimes and rather than feeling like my misery and existence is all for nothing and why not just die today, I made up a story about a creator who gives it purpose, suddenly?

Shit is hard. But no matter how many times I’ve tried, I cannot shake the feeling that he’s real. So, I’m back to the scenario of my God being too chill and loving like a hippy than like the Hamptom kids want.

Ugh. I hope all of that made sense to you. I have the Hampton kids analogy because I wasn’t born in to religion. I wasn’t forced to go to church or anything. I didn’t know about God until I was a teenager, and then I only went because it was the ‘cool thing to do’ in my circle of friends. Then when Elijah was born, I tried discovering more about it, but was shunned because of my circumstance by the Southern Baptist churches and like minded churches.

Then I started looking for nondenominational churches, and I always remember thinking that big churchs that have fancy shit in them must be Hampton like — but the one I found “IBC – Irving Bible Church” is huge, and has a lot of people. So much people that I feel like not everyone in the room is watching me as an outsider, but also that there’s so many people that they split in to study groups for those of even more like-minds… So people like me can find each other, but also more specifically, people like me in my age group, or people like me with kids as a SINGLE parent… That’s one I’d never seen before.”

So, my darling cousin (whom I love enormously, which is why this hurt so much) and I were speaking about a mutual friend we have. This mutual friend has become pregnant outside of wedlock with a guy she fell in love with (at 18/19 years old..sound familiar?) and so now they’re engaged to be wed and are moving to California for it all (where his family lives) and my cousin is.. just not having it.

But that’s besides the point. That just started our little debate, in which Hannah said she couldn’t support anything about any of that, because she’s recently decided that in her ‘faith journey’, she’s going to adopt Admonishment. Admonishment is defined as follows:

“to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner”

“to indicate duties or obligations to”

Now, I understand that this is meant as “gentle and earnest” manners, but to me, it also reads in as a lot of… judging others, disapproving of them, and then suggesting what they ought to do for their own good — which, you know, I just love to hear about. And in addition, there is way too little room between the boundaries of stepping on that line or over it when trying to do this in the most gentle way possible.

Anyway, I don’t believe in getting in other’s business like that, or telling them what they should do or shouldn’t. I don’t feel like it is my job to judge anyone for their sins. That’s God’s job. It’s not my job to see if they’re truly repenting or if they ‘deserve’ Heaven or not. Why would you try? We don’t deserve Heaven, or God’s love. That’s the whole point. We will never be worthy, YET HE LOVES US. How crazy and unconditional is that?

What’s that word I just used? Unconditional? I feel like religion based upon ‘do this or don’t benefit’ or ‘do this and you’re damned’ is kind of against the whole ‘died for our sins’ policy.

Now, don’t get me wrong. If you ask me for advice, or it’s something life-threatening to you or another, I will probably say, “Hey, think about this before you do it, because it could be a bad time.” But am I going to look down on you? Am I going to judge you, you heathen? No. I am not perfect, and that would make me come off as holier than thou. Which, I personally feel, this Admonishment movement with Hannah is making her come out to be.

We fight all the time over it, and this argument we had the other day.. broke me. I said fuck it. I said if this is how religion is, then why the fuck would I believe in it? It’s so hopeless. I cannot strive with the anxiety every day of wondering if I have been good enough, or if one of my friends is going to fucking judge me because of whatever mistake I made forever. And I love Hannah. I love her so damn much it hurts that we fight like this, over something so vulnerable for me, something so personal to me. To have what I believe, and have struggled so hard to believe shut down as false, to be told I’m doing it wrong, to be told that my God is not the same, not the correct God…

I mean, fuck it, right?

 

So I gave up on Him for a little while. I mean, Hannah has been doing this her entire life, right? So she has all the authority on this over me. I should trust her, believe her. Even if it makes me never want to look towards Him again.

 

And then I had a thought.

 

Miranda. God knows you. He knows you exactly where you are right now in your life, in your past, and in your future – should you choose it. He knows what He’d like, and he knows what you’ll choose. He meets you where you’re at, and he takes you and lifts you up. He is in everything you appreciate, everything you struggle with – guiding you from the straying path. And even in this, even in an argument about Him, He still waits. He knows what hurt it’s causing. He knows that moderation is key. He knows that while mistakes happen, strive for Faith, Hope, and Love. He is forgiving, while condemning – something I believe only he can do, truly and deeply, as he is not human, and he is not prone to these mistakes that humans are – which, again, is why I don’t think we have the right or capacity to do so. Especially those of us without training, education in this specific field, and seminar.

 

So, I still love Him. Thank goodness, He still loves me and I don’t have to worry about how many mistakes I make that will finally make Him leave me. Hannah is going to be how she is, and I can’t change that, but.. I can just not talk to her about God. She just may have to be one of those people who can’t hang with my chill Jesus, and that’s hard – because we’re so close – but it’s also what keeps me sane and I would rather get along with Jesus than with her without him.

 

I hope any of this made sense. I love you, Catie.

 

Miranda

P.S. This gif is hilarious, because as punny as it is, this is literal bible thumping:

 

Dear Catie, I’m starting my new beginning before the new year. #becauseican

So, allow me to apologize and thank you at the same time, my darling Kettle.

I apologize, because I have been rotten the past few months. I’ve been hurting in my own way, and that made me more bitter than I care to admit – but will anyway because admitting my feelings is more healthy than pretending they didn’t happen at all. I sincerely thought this would be my new life, this not caring, being sassy, and bitter thing.

But, it was not meant to be. And, while I was doing it all, and writing out in my darkest moments, I truly appreciate you for responding with haste, with compassion, and with humor. You and I speak on a level that is secret to our own nature, our own way. It’s a language people can see and hear and understand, but they may not fully comprehend the depth. You reached me. And I thank you so much for it. I’m surprised you didn’t just:

 

 

I mean, I would have taken it.

 

Anyhow, let’s move on to the new things.

 

I thought up a few new ideas for a book. Two are in this world. They’re fiction, but it’s like, modern day. 2014. You know. Another is in another world, made up, very steampunk meets victorian.

I moved in to my new apartment. Tomorrow, my father moves out of his house and stops sleeping at my apartment – and Elijah and I will be completely and totally alone. I love my father, and this isn’t a jest at him or the old, “I’m so glad to kick my parents out” joke. I am seriously thankful for the opportunity to be in my own home. My own. Just me (and Elijah). And more so, that I can magically afford it somehow, like a grown ass responsible and independent woman that don’t need no man. Huzzah.

I’m also kind of thankful that Dad’s gone because I could not get the man to cook healthy. I mean, come on. I am trying to lose weight. Stop making potato-cheese-bacon melt casserole, jeeze.

I also no longer have to deal with toll roads. Hallelujah. It takes me 20 minutes to get to work, even from Dallas, because every time I drive the highway is against traffic rather than with, and thus I don’t have roadblocks. I’m sure they will periodically happen. I’m not daft, but it’s a much better situation.

Oh, by the way, I am in the center of everything. I love the city, and have always wanted to live here. I’ve lived in suburbs, but this is my first in the actual city where sirens are a daily occurrence sort of deal. I love it. There’s 3 malls around the corner, a million bookstores on my block and my walmart is two stories tall. (Three stories with the Sams Club attached. Oh yeah.)

I read an article the other day about people who want to travel to go on their ‘soul-searching’ journey – and the author was like, “Quit coming to my country looking for your peace. We are not for you tourists pleasure. We do not magically fix you. You fix you. You will not be ‘fixed’ unless our mind and heart and soul are in the right frame. If you have to come here to ‘get away’, fine, but do not assume we are miracle workers. You can do this at home. Just find a place inside to sit and ‘get away’ and find yourself. It’s frightening, but cheaper!”

My apartment has become this. Granted, I pay for it monthly, but I’m on my own. My own rules. My own decisions. My own life. I am so thankful.

I know that this may be backwards, but after many disagreements and arguments with my cousin who is very devout in Christian faith, I have decided to take the label off of my faith. I believe there is a God. I believe whatever this God is is fair and just and lovely and fascinating and has to exist because this world, nay, universe is too much for chance. I believe in paying respects. I believe in thanking each part and piece of nature and our natural world for it’s existence. For thanking calm as it washes over me. For thanking worry as it reminds me that I care about something so much to be anxious over it. But I will no longer call myself of Christian faith. It was the hardest decision I’ve made recently, and one that broke me down to tears. It’s a long story, but it has been brought to my attention that my way of life was hardly anything to do with Christianity, and if that is the case, then fuck it. 

I’ll do good and be a good person because I am a good person.

I love you so much.  I may write smaller pieces here and there because there’s more I want to write to you but have momentarily forgotten. I love you. I love you. I love ou.

I appreciate you. I see you. Thank you.

Miranda

 

 

 

 

P.S. I got a text from my mom as I was closing this and my mom announces, “No breast cancer!! Just cysts!” Yeeeeehaw!

 

Dear Miranda, These are my thoughts on your struggles with Christians.

So I meant to get back to you sooner. And I wanted to be able to take my time in responding to your doubts. But life just keeps moving on regardless as to my feelings on slowing down (Jerk). SO for right now, until I have more time to give you my more eloquent thought process this will have to do.

My thoughts on God and your struggles with Christians are this. I’d be willing to bet that Christians keep more people from Christianity then any other factor. Religion (in general, not just Christianity) is SO personal that people (even really good ones) tend to become extremely close minded and rationality starts to slip away in favor of reckless judgement. Sin parts from our lips while we are in the act of condemning sin. Let me just go ahead and say right here that there are not just hundreds of denominations in Christianity…. but there are millions of brands of Christianity, because each of us is different and we tie our own lives and thoughts and ideas to our faith. And that is a BEAUTIFUL thing. However it leads to a lot of conflict.

I’m not now, nor will I ever press you to be a Christian. I hope that my thoughts will give you a glimmer of hope if you need it, but I will love you (which includes NOT judging you) regardless of what religion you are, always! People like to point out “sin” and I think they miss the point. All sin is sin. All sin is equal. If you have sinned once you are just as much a sinner as someone who’s sinned a billion times. No one is with out sin.

Really it’s almost a hippy Zen concept. We are all equal. We all mess up. We all know the ache of guilt, worry, and sadness.

The idea of Christianity was not Condemn or to pick each other apart! It’s the opposite. It’s LOVE. Unconditionally. Its hope and joy and peace. It’s a place to rest when you are weary or afraid. It’s the light from a big full moon in the dark. It’s a crackling fire, snuggley blanket, and good book. It is comfort.

And, at least to me, to be a Christian is to be that unconditional love, that comfort, that hope in the world around us because we were given new life. We are made to love God and Each Other.

So I really really hope that no matter WHAT other people say to you about their faith, you don’t let them stand in the way of the relationship you choose to have. Don’t let them dictate your feelings or your faith. Don’t let them steal your comfort. ❤

Dear Catie, I’m grasping at straws. (Warning: Rage)

Okay, real talk. Just so you know, Catie, I am not yelling at you, and as a disclaimer to you and our religious readers, I am not trying to ‘diss’ on any of you, or your Gods. In fact, the world would be fantastic if we could all just agree to love each other because that’s what we’re supposed to freaking do, but I digress. Actually, I digress a lot in this post. Ugh.

 

These are the things that I feel or know:

  • I know that we are not alone in this universe or else-wise. There is so much untouched and undiscovered that we can’t be the only aliens alive.
  • Despite attempting to see the other side of things, I cannot in my heart or sound mind assume that everything is for nothing, and that the creation of it all wasn’t the work of some greater power, some fantastic God or Goddess, a high power – if you will.
  • Things in my life have happened that are so miraculous or coincidental that I have a hard time second-guessing them as proof of either karma or divine intervention.

What I would like to believe:

  • That God exists. One God. A solo, single god. Be it that all the religions are just talking about the same god under different names or one or the other is wrong and it’s actually this guy not the other. I’d like to believe that one exists.
  • That whomever this God is, he is merciful. That he realizes not everyone at all times is going to be on point all the time – or even the majority of the time. That he won’t belittle them or show them the door just because – as humans – we continue to fail.
  • That God truly does forgive, and doesn’t hold the grudges of the things you’ve begged forgiveness for.
  • That God saves. That his son really did die on the cross so that you could make those mistakes.
  • That the bible isn’t just a string of great moral stories fabricated by man to explain the things around them that they didn’t understand, and also to grant us a great sense of morals to follow by so we don’t all kill each other like morons.

Believe me, fellow readers who are of a religion, that I am in no way trying to bash your religion. I am not trying to cause doubt in your minds. I am not trying to shit all over Jesus. What I am trying to say is there are things that I know and have cemented in my mind, body, and spirit and then… there are things that I just really wish I felt the same about. But the honest truth is, I have a hard time, a really hard time, with just about everything in the ‘What I would like to believe’ section. I don’t want to doubt it. I don’t want to disbelieve what millions upon millions of other Christians so readily believe and have gone past the trials of not believing. I do.

I’ve been trying to think of the reasons why I can’t wrap  my head around them just yet, and a lot of it has to do with:

  • Guilt / Shame of my life and some the choices I have made. (I’ve made some really good ones, but… we all stumble.)
  • Pressure of very strict religious environments and their lack of acceptance of pretty much anything I’ve ever felt needed some mercy and understanding.
  • People I know directly who are so devout and mean well, but truly, they just push and push and do not understand that they are driving a wedge between myself and wanting to talk to them about anything other than the weather – which, by the way didn’t you know, is a gift from God for those of us who haven’t royally screwed up today/this week/this month/this year.

I’m being catty. I don’t want to be catty, but I’m about to explode. I felt like I almost had a grasp on God, and having a relationship with him, and screw anyone else and all the organized religion that everyone wanted to push on me, and the communities that scrutinized me, and forget them because I had a God that was forgiving and loved me despite my flaws and was working in my heart in the most beautiful ways.

But wait, I’m doing it wrong. He’s merciful… if you deserve it. He forgives you… if you really try to change. He loves you… if you love him back. You can have him… if you change absolutely all of your ways and shed off any sin you currently practice.

Weird. It sounds like he’s becoming a human being instead of an Almighty God. But wait, this wasn’t his doing. This is some of his followers. This is humans, talking about him. This is humans talking about him to me.

Slowly, I began to realize that nothing makes me want to give up religion altogether and stop struggling to believe… more than the people who follow him.

I. Absolutely. Love and Adore. The people who make me feel this way, and it breaks my heart. I also recognize that I, myself, am giving them the permission to get under my skin and grind my gears with their pressure. It is not their fault I am being pushed away, not really. I am within my own power and right to not give them that chance, to not let them in. So I haven’t been. When religion comes up, I bottle up and bow out. When something is said I don’t agree with, I give up even wanting to argue the issue — especially on social medias, where everyone is a winner as long as someone agrees with you. 

I wish I knew others who felt about Him the same way I do – without the bullshit of condemning me and all of that shaming, guilting. We all get it, okay? Just because my sins are on the surface and yours are well hidden doesn’t make you any different from me. People make it so hard to love God with all of their damn nit-picking and rules and … I could rant for days on this agitating experience.

I’m ranting.

I’m sorry.

At the end of the day, I want so badly to believe in God. The same God that every other Christian believes in, rejoices in, and prays to. I want Him to love me so badly because I get that I am not perfect, and never will be, and that’s why He completes me. I want Him to wrap His arms around me and sing to me in the car when He plays that special song just for me – because He knows that’s how I hear Him best – and He knows that because He is God. When I think of Him alone, I am content and peaceful and feel like I can do this.

I’ll let you know how it goes, but I wanted to be open and honest about my feelings. Hopefully, in time, I’ll have posts about how great life is with Him in my life, but today is not that day. Today is a day of great struggle, as now I’m fighting against myself and the world.

Wish me luck,

Mojo