Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some Struggles

The opinion of humans isn't supposed to matter to me.

God knows the truth of each of our hearts and lives.

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine, from my past. I was catching up with her and telling her about Ryan. She was not listening to the wonderful things I said. Instead, she focused on the fact we met online and haven't met in person yet, and I could tell she was dismissing the whole relationship. Then she had to go.

It is so irritating not to be taken seriously. I've been unemployed for over a year, and Ryan makes good wages... for a "third world country"!* So of course, this summer is the soonest we've been able to afford seeing each other. What do people really expect? And do they think you can talk to someone every day and not care for them and get to know them? And I was trying to tell her about God's work in this relationship, but she left too soon.

God's been in this relationship before it even started. Really, he's shaped Ryan and my lives for each other! One day I'll tell our story on here in full.

It's not just this one person, or this one issue. But being 25 and living with my parents, not having transportation, or money to just do normal stuff... I know people judge me. And if I accept gifts or favors from sympathetic friends, I'm using them. If I want to hang out with someone and not spend money, I'm a wet blanket. If I wallow and am unjoyful, I feel guilty not to rejoice and be thankful for all God has given men. If I am joyful and at peace, everyone around me (ESPECIALLY the Christians) seem to think I'm being awful because how can I be at peace when I'm living off my parents? If I focus all my energy on job searching, I turn into a ball of stress that feels like vomiting. If I step back and relax and know God is in control, I'm accused of being selfish and irresponsible since my parents are supporting me. If I open up about the health problems I've been facing, I get horror I've not seen a doctor. But I haven't had health insurance since I graduated. If I sit around and do nothing, I'm lazy. If I do something and get excited about it... I see those looks that mean "aww, poor Pam! She's doing this because she's got nothing better in her life." And on and on and on. It's... hard.

I know I shouldn't care.

But I'm not good at not caring.

That can be a good thing. I can't not care about people. That's an awesome thing.

But it's just hard to care about people, and not care about what they think. It's a tight rope to walk. But God's guiding me, right? I really, really do love people. Which is why it matters so much... I've just got to learn to let what God thinks matter, and everything else to fade away. I do care what He thinks, more than what they think, but I still care about what they think too... I'm not trying to please everyone, I'm just irritated I don't. I don't know. It's all crazy.

This time really is for the Lord, by the Lord. But when I try to talk about that, even with my best friends (aside from Ryan) they just get this impatient pity look. It's hard to explain, but it's sort of a 'you're making excuses look' mixed with a 'is she getting it yet?' look. It's not that they (I'm thinking of Christians) think that God isn't teaching me. It's that they're not going through the process I am, and so they're having trouble identifying with the lessons I'm learning. When I try to tell them some of the things God's pulling me towards, they look at me like I'm just making it up!

I really, really see how God is refining me. I struggle with pride. Well, you don't have a lot when you're bottom of the ladder. I struggle with impatience. Well, I'm waiting on the Lord. And so on. When I try to talk about that, all I get are some quick, excited nods that seem to say 'Good, Pam is acknowledging her faults! Excellent!' which annoys me. I know that annoyance is a fault in itself, but they just seem so self-satisfied to see me humbled. Sigh. And then they either want to end the topic or hear me put myself down more.

There's this superiority I feel from them. I can't explain it. But despite how sad my life might seem, I'm exactly where God wants me and we're walking together. I just wish people would stop asking like I'm a six year old who needs a teacher's guidance (them being the teacher). There's so much pity, so much "poor, pathetic Pam can't get her life in order. If only she'd listen to me! That'd never happen to me!" I don't mean to say they're mean. I love them. They just don't understand.

They're not interested in tenderly listening. I don't think I've really gotten to talk to someone about this, to actually open up, for more than maybe fifteen minutes at a time, since the unemployment started. I could be wrong. But it just feels like no one is patient enough to listen to me. They are all action oriented, and just want to egg me on to something I really don't feel God is calling me to do. My life right now, it's just not action oriented. Oh, there are tasks God's calling me to do... but nothing big.

It's slow, faltering steps. It's acknowledging my balance isn't good enough to run yet... and how much that stings. Believe me, all I can see is my weaknesses most days. I am well aware. It's saying even though I'm not where you are, God is progressing me just as much as He's progressing you... even if you can't see it. What you see really isn't what you get. So much is happening beneath the surface of my life right now.

Prayers are always appreciated.

*I think that's an insulting phrase, so I don't like using it, but you know what I mean.

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