Somehow I think I had a concept of faith and salvation that looked like this…well, actually I don’t think I believed it myself so much as I simply found myself trying unsuccessfully to live within this narrative of it:
The greatest commandment is this:
Once you’re saved prove to me every day that you’re saved by doing every thing I have told you to do, plus everything everybody else tells you I want you to do.
Oh, and don’t be defiant and go searching Scripture to see for yourself whether I actually want those things of you. Just listen and obey because that is how real faith behaves.
For me this became,
Be the perfect woman. Be the perfect wife and mother. Be the Proverbs 31 (as they interpret it) superwoman they say I want you to be. As a wife don’t ask too many questions or have strong opinions. Don’t be needy.
Keep everything clean. Have clean children at all times, cook good meals and be very organized. Don’t sit down and rest. Get up several times a night with the children for years on end without complaining that you’re tired (because this is your role as a woman, you ingrate).
You shouldn’t need help or training because don’t you know raising humans is supposed to be second nature to you as a woman? If your children have any behavior issues, it is 100% your fault, either directly or indirectly, due to your lack of spiritual health, maturity or general failings.
Do not neglect morning (must be in the morning) quiet times to launch your day. What’s that? You only got a couple of hours sleep? Too bad…work it out.
Oh, and speaking of work it out, you need to be exercising daily, and no, chasing the kids does not count. It has to be “official” exercise time. What? You don’t know how you’ll accomplish that with several tiny children? Well, again I say, work it out sister. If it was really important to you, you’d make a way.
All of this must be in order before we can begin loving anyone or doing anything outside of your own home. It all begins there. Don’t leave the home if it’s not all done.
If all of the above and more isn’t accomplished, basically all the time, we will need to revisit your salvation experience and begin at square one.
Do you believe in Jesus at all?
I’m out of breath just writing all that. I’m not sure where it all came from. I think it began early in life and it didn’t come from a single source. It was in both direct and subtle ways. But it came and settled over me like a dark, ominous cloud.
If you know me well you know these are the areas in which I have continually failed. I would wake up every morning to immediate thoughts of failure, remembering mostly my sins of omission – the things undone.
I think this is what I’m about to dive into in this space. I’ve got a lot of words about all of it. I used to be angry and resentful, but I feel like I can do it now without the anger I once had. I pray I can.
It will not be about blaming anyone or trying to fault find. That isn’t the point. We live in a broken world filled with broken people and systems. I’ve been hurt and I’ve hurt others.
I’m learning about grace. I’m living in it more and I become more free with each passing day, week and month. Arbitrary expectations are losing their hold as time passes.
I hope to share with kindness and I hope it’s helpful to the reader. I hope that if you relate, you find some solace in knowing you aren’t alone. I hope my words are pleasing to the Lord, most of all.
I don’t know what the first post will be, or when (I never know when inspiration will hit), but this is where I’m headed.