Friday, March 14, 2014

Real Struggles

I've found that most people have a hard time talking about their struggles. Specifically, when I ask other Christians what they are struggling with they usually mumble something about not being nice enough or needing more time to read their bible.

Not all Christians I know do this, but a big majority of them seem to have an issue talking about what they are going through.

I think this is wrong. I realize that they might think I'll judge them if they are honest, or they might be embarrassed about what they are struggling with, or they simply may not wish to share, but I'm tired of the trite answers I keep hearing. We Christians (and people in general) are supposed to love and respect and not judge each other. Talking about our struggles with other individuals who might have gone through the same thing can start the healing process! Talking about our faults lets us realize we are all human here, and this is not a competition.

Making up shallow struggles in an effort to look good, on the other hand, does not help.

(Also, I'm not talking about strangers, I'm talking about people I know, people I either go to church with or see on a regular basis. I don't randomly ask strangers how they are doing, I suppose because first meetings are filled with other kinds of conversations.)

So today I'm going to talk about some of the things I have struggled with.

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means, mostly because I'm human and I have the funny problem of trying to turn my struggles into other people's problems or attempting to simply ignore them by stuffing them as far down into my subconscious as possible.

Perhaps that should be my first confession. Hah!

If you ask my husband what I struggle with, he would say patience. And he would be right. I'm very impatient. When he told me I needed more patience, I got impatient waiting for him to explain to me exactly how I struggle in this area. Suffice to say we ended up laughing.

I'm also selfish. In small ways, like feeling sorry for myself because I have to do the dishes, or wanting my husband to do this or that. I'm also selfish in major big ways. For example, I don't like it when my husband tells me I can't buy things. Honestly, I should not even be asking him if I can buy things. We have a budget. If I've already spent all my personal money, I shouldn't keep asking him for shoes or shirts or books or haircuts. He's not my parent, we are both adults that should stick to the budget. But I'm selfish! And I struggle a lot with staying inside our budget and not going over because I just saw a sale that could not be passed up. The goal for life isn't "attempt to make self as comfortable as possible by buying all the pretty things at all the times and without restraint" but rather "make the world a better place". I fail at living like that. All. The. Time. There are many other examples of my bouts with selfishness. I'm working on it.

Another thing I struggle with is judging others. Hi, my name is Carolynn and I judge others. And I don't know how to stop. When I see someone who is overweight, I think to myself: I am so glad I'm not fat like that. Instead of seeing a person I usually just see the weight they wear and judge them for it. Yes, I'm a terrible person. I'm trying not to elevate myself above others for any reason, especially a reason like myself being born with genes that make loosing weight easy and gaining weight hard. The fact that I'm a size 12 has nothing to do with my worth and the fact that someone else may be a size 22 has nothing to do with theirs. I don't "win" at life or beauty or anything by being a little bit skinner then you. I try to remind myself of this but I still can't help judging the "overweight" people I pass in Walmart.

I struggle with managing my time. I think everyone should like me, and I really struggle with accepting people who don't accept me. I mean, it makes no sense to me when someone isn't interested in me or says I'm weird or gossips about me or writes me off as stupid/lame/not good enough. If you want to make me livid, tell me I'm stupid or lame. I'll go off on you. Because clearly everyone should like me.

For major struggles: I, at one time in college, struggled with watching anime porn. (This is so awkward to confess...) It has been years since I've given into this particular struggle, but at one time it was very real to me. Also, in my last relationship my boyfriend cheated on me. I was super upset, so to get him back I went and cheated on him. Not my finest moment. I was terrified for a long time that because of my choices I was now an awful person who would eventually cheat on my husband--but I never will. That's a choice I'll never make again. Thankfully, my past X and I are both Christians now and we have totally forgiven each other and now are friends! It is amazing to have healing in this area.

So yeah, those are some of my faults. I'm not afraid to share them, although I'm not proud of them. No one is perfect, me least of all. The things I've gone through, the bad choices and things I deal with on a daily basis--they all just point me further towards God.

What about you? Are you struggling with anything lately? We are all human, and we all need grace and forgiveness.

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