It is Well with my Soul BYU Vocal Point

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Ash Heap

I just found a couple of new websites. One is called, “Testify: the Blog” and it is a blog created by four woman bloggers who got together to share their faith and their stories via a blogsite. It can be found at : www.testifyblog.com and the other site was a link I found at Testify. And that is about a Christian Women bloggers conference. ( http://therelevantconference.com/ ) And I got all excited. Even more excited when I saw it is in my own state. And then I read the bios of the guest speakers.


Ann Voskamp led the list. She is my hero. I 'd mentioned her and written a review of her book in "The Fertilizer of Faith" on Feb. 23rd of this year: Her blog at www.aholyexperience.com is beautiful. Intimidatingly so.


The other speakers, like Ann, are Homeschooling-mom-ish-Christian -wiferly types , who, if you ask me, are “perfect people with perfect lives”.....NOT that there is anything wrong with that. Don't get me wrong...They are laudable. Applaudable …. and compltely different animals than am I. People who make me look at my life and question my sanctification. And feel completely inferior and unworthy to share the same cyberspace with them.


Initially, I wanted nothing more than to go to this conference, but then I suddenly felt like I used to feel when attending church, just slowly, tentatively returning to the community of faith after over a decade away, dressed all in black, weighing 90 pounds wringing wet, with cigarette breath and anxiety so great that I couldn't remain seated throughout the whole service, but would have to escape to the foyer and pace back and forth as I listened to the remainder of the sermon through the open doors to the sanctuary. This mess...amongst all those smiling perfect people.

And this early morning in the darkness way before dawn, that unworthiness washed over me again. I suddenly thought of heaven with terror. Is THIS the kind of people by whom heaven is populated????

Panic.

Maybe I shouldn't go.

I mean, put me in a room with Paul, Peter, Moses, Bonhoeffer, Julian of Norwich, and Thomas a Kempis and I think I'd be completely comfortable. But with THESE women? I think I'd have to have a cigarette. Never mind the fact that I haven't had one in 16 years. I'd definitely need one then.

Why is this?

They are, after all, women with hurts and struggles and who passionately love Jesus. I should be completely comfortable . They are my sisters.

But no. They all remind me of who I am not. Of WHAT I am not. Of the life I maybe could have had....had I not had schizophrenia and illness in my life.

OHH, is that what this is?

This is not humility folks.

It's JEALOUSY...Laced with disparagement because I have to make myself feel better about my life and my failures.

Gosh.

I didn't know, honestly didn't know, that that is what it was.


Oh man. This is ugly.

Firstly, I have NO RIGHT to be disparaging because, for example, Ann V. is brilliant. She was as much Harvard material as I was. She is more talented as a writer and as a photographer. And her mothering skills are without par in my book. It's not like these are “dumb blondes.” So the scorn is definitely and absolutely an attempt on my part to lift myself up from the pit I find myself sinking into. It's a pit of bitterness and disappointment. Bitter disappointment. I look at my life. My failures. My imperfect family. And I want to crawl away in shame.

And I should be ashamed.

But not ashamed of my life.

I should be ashamed of my attitude.

My life? It is what it is. I've done the best that I could with the hand God dealt to me.

And really? If you'd ask those people working in some of the psych hospitals where I've been, I've accomplished a HUGE amount. Just in getting married and raising a daughter and having some semblance of a career, until health made that impossible any longer....These are things that the doctors and mental health workers who knew me, pinned down in restraints and shrieking curses at them, could never have anticipated or hoped for me.

Even a year ago last October, things looked hopeless. Once again.

And like that phoenix who refused to crash and burn, time after time, I arose from my Job-ish ash heap and returned to some pretense of reality and normalcy.

(NOTE here what I am doing...Patting myself on the back and saying , “Look, it isn't so bad....” Restoring wounded pride to its normal state of residence in my heart. It's the pride that tells me, “you are better than this. Better than what your life has turned out to be. You had more potential than this....but an ill fate sidelined and squashed you. Poor baby” )

So, like, every emotion I've displayed thus far in this blog is pretty ugly.

Shame,

Unworthiness

Jealousy

Disparagement

Pride

Excuse-making

And then self-placation.

If anyone had any doubt as to the REAL reason I don't belong at this conference; they should be dispelled by now. Lol

I'd better end this blog now...I've got some talking to God to do.

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