Sunday, February 26, 2017

Identity Crisis

There's plenty happening in my shoebox world but I just don't feel like writing about that.  I've been up since 3:00 am and as I sit and watch the snow falling I thought I'd take a chance and spout off about my latest struggles.

When David wrote so many of his psalms were they his own personal journals?  I wonder if he realized they'd be read by millions of people centuries later.    If he understood that would it have made him less candid?  I don't know, but I do know many of us find comfort in reading his honest emotions.

I feel raw and vulnerable and I don't know who to tell so why not post it in a blog?  I'm having some sort of identity crisis that makes me cranky and miserable.  Is this spiritual warfare?  Maybe--but that sounds too lofty for my pitiful turmoil.

Day before yesterday the temperature here in Erie, PA reached a record 77 degrees. The sun shone bright and the air oozed with odors of spring. Yesterday the thermometer plummeted to 25 degrees and the snow started again.  Even the weather can't figure out who it is.

I can't figure out where I fit in and it's driving me crazy.  I can't align with Republican conservatives but I can't fully embrace the tenets of a liberal.

Theologically, I'm not fully aligned with Arminianism nor Calvinism.  I'm trying not to be a Pharisee but can't quite make it to whatever the opposite side would be--maybe Christian Libertarian?

And as I scroll down my Facebook newsfeed filled with posts about new makeup products (I don't use any) and stylish leggings (only wear black and only when running) and Pinterest projects (don't get me started) I wonder if I can even identify with the female gender.  I don't carry a purse for cryin' out loud.

But all that aside, what I struggle with most these days is the elemental question: Who is God?  

Whoa.  It's a big question.  I've wrestled for decades to try to comprehend God's love for me.  I mean, I know He has to love me because He says so over and over in Scripture and He wouldn't lie, right?  And, yes, I've tried reading John 3:16 inserting my name in it to make it personal. To be accurate, there have been many, many times when I've experienced God's love but it never seems to be enough.   Like a greedy toddler I want more.

I recently re-read a fiction story I read some years ago--one that moved me to tears as I felt God genuinely revealed His love to me through it.  But as I've tried to share about that I've been gently rebuked by folks who've pointed out the story is actually heresy because it doesn't show the full character of God--not only His love but His holiness, His judgment.  We can all agree God is incomprehensible so where does that leave us?

God reveals Himself in Scripture, but I'm reading the Old Testament right now--Judges and 1 Samuel have had some great examples of God's holiness and love evidenced in smiting large groups of both enemies and Israelites.  Of course, there was a refreshing break from the killing in the book of Ruth as all the characters who died leaving the women widows seemed to do so less violently.

I guess it's time to refresh my memory and get into the gospels again. I know Jesus is "the image of the invisible God" so maybe if I read the account of His life I'll get a better perspective.

Don't get me wrong; I've studied "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer and other books that highlight God's attributes.  Right now it's not academic knowledge I need.

Maybe I'll read some of my old journals and see the highs and lows I've already experienced in this journey, because eventually I always stumble out of the valley.  At least, by God's grace, I always have.

And if I were David, I'd write--God, if You're listening, come and rescue me from myself.  Selah.  

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