Sad

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I’m not sure why, but tonight a wave of sadness so overwhelmed me, that directly after dinner I put my pajamas on and crawled into bed. And, as I did so, tears began to trickle down my cheeks. Maybe it’s partly PMS. Maybe it was my grandmother’s snappy attitude toward me when I walked into the house earlier this evening.  Actually, I do know that had something to do with it. But I’d been feeling inexplicably blue all day, and after encountering her bad mood, I just wanted to disappear.

I only dozed off for a little bit, and then I finally sat up in bed to force myself to work on a paper for school. As I sat there, I sort of listened to a sermon being preached in the background on the radio, and when the preacher talked about the Body of Christ being a place to find healing and accountability for our brokenness, tears once more cascaded down my cheeks. Oh, if only, I said to myself, or God, out loud. If only that were true in my experience.

I’m not in a good place right now spiritually. Disappointment and disillusionment, with church, with myself, and–dare I say–even God at times, have hardened a once soft heart. I’m grieved over this, but I also don’t exactly know what to do about it. My counselor has been visibly frustrated with me lately, because, for the last few months I’ve found myself stumbling backwards. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t try, she told me. You have to keep trying. No matter how many times you fail, you have to keep trying.

So, I’ll keep trying. I’m going to a Christmas party tomorrow evening, for the singles group at the charismatic church I’ve been attending, not really because I want to, but because I feel like I have to. I’m also hoping to join a women’s group at another church I’ve been attending. (Yes, I go to two churches now.) I’m seeking fellowship. I’m trying to put myself out there. And yet, my experiences so far have been so damn frustrating, that I don’t have very high expectations anymore.

It’s the seemingly never-ending source of frustration for me: finding meaningful relationships and accountability within the Body of Christ. I’ll keep trying, like I said. But sometimes I’m flat-out exhausted from trying. From dealing with disappointment after disappointment. So when preachers, or anyone else, claim the Body of Christ is where we’re meant to find healing and accountability, I just break down and sob. Because, apart from a few short-lived experiences in my life, that has not been the case for me. The Body of Christ is where I’ve been hurt the most, disappointed the most, rejected the most. And it shouldn’t be any wonder I have such a difficult time trusting and connecting with other Christians. Of course I blame myself. And then that just heaps more guilt and shame on top of the burdens I’m already carrying.

I am a broken, broken person. I have no problem admitting that. But I’m sick and tired of trying to make myself whole. All alone. I am too weak to keep carrying these burdens alone. While I’m definitely grateful for the few Christian friends I have, none are the sort I can just casually meet up with, or pray with, when I’m going through a rough time. Most live too far away for one thing. And so far I’ve been unable to really connect with anyone at either church I’m attending. (Unless you count going to lunch with a guy and then practically being stalked by him as “connecting.”)

So maybe my sadness today really does have a source. Maybe I’m just so weary of living in this place of brokenness and having so few people–if any–to turn to for support. Maybe I’m tired of hearing “healing only happens in community” when that community has been so hurtful and/or elusive for me. Maybe I’m tired of hearing God is enough, when He hasn’t been enough for me, and I feel incredibly guilty that I even think that. Maybe I hate the person I’ve become…indifferent, selfish, spiritually cold and cynical. Maybe, even though I’m disappointed with God, I still miss Him. Maybe all I want is to believe again all the nice, warm and fuzzy things about God that I used to believe. Maybe I’m so disillusioned with church–at least the way it’s done in America–that I feel like throwing in the towel and giving it up altogether. Maybe I just need to get out of this narcissistic, materialistic, self-centered culture I live in and go live with and serve those who have nothing–to remind myself of what truly matters.

But for now, I still feel like crying.

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5 thoughts on “Sad

  1. April,
    It is okay to be broken.
    It is okay.
    I am sorry you are in such pain, that you feel alone in your deep sadness and wounds.
    I am learning that it is okay to be broken. This whole world is extremely broken in my opinion and just by existing in this world, we are wounded.
    Not only that, we as humans are fragile and have the capacity to be deeply hurt, damaged, even destroyed. I often feel destroyed, and I imagine you feel that way too at times.
    It is okay to feel sad and cry and I have a sense you have a deep capacity for feeling, for great joy and great pain.
    Sometimes, in the moment of pain, you can feel so warped by the suffering that self compassion dies from the heat of the fear and pain. Sometimes a person needs someone else to be compassionate toward them, so they can remember themselves.
    I am sending thoughts of compassion your way, that you know your own soul beauty even in the midst of the unbearable pain.
    -Rachel

  2. Look, I’m sorry that I quote-unquote stalked you, but, when you said, “Thank you for lunch,” all I heard was “I love you and I can’t imagine life without you constantly by my side!”

    😉

    David Dickens left a thoughtful comment on one of my own lamentations, wherein he concluded, “A God that does not explain Himself. But a God that turns the other cheek.” Doesn’t feeling guilty implicitly mean that you fear God is angry, or at least disappointed, with you? That you’ve failed to overcome your sorrow by some magical grace and therefore are … accountable. Funny how we can force ourselves into a cruel self-accountability, while we feel abandoned by false accountability in the world around us. The cruel accountability of those who tell us God is sufficient to heal our pain now, that healing happens in community and yet then implicitly it is one’s own individual fault for not finding it there, is not unlike how we can readily call ourselves to account—that is, punishment—for not magically getting over it.

    WordPress really needs to get a Sympathize button. As I’ve said, Like just doesn’t cut it. In any case, my prayers sent in your general direction, April.

    • Haha…What part of “Let’s just be friends” do you not understand? I mean, come on, even friends need some personal space now and then. 😉

      Thank you for the prayers, Virgil. And your insight. It’s true–I do fear God is angry with me. And that just makes me withdraw from Him even further. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

      Perhaps I’ll have to suggest a “Sympathize” button to WordPress. 🙂 In the meantime, your words of sympathy are appreciated. Blessings.

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