09 April 2006

Staggering in the ring

"Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses." 1 Timothy 6:12

There was a period of three years where I felt myself growing steadily stronger in my Christian faith. The stronger I grew, the more I wanted to surround myself with other Christians. Then I came to a point where I wanted to give back. I taught Bible study, Sunday school, and worked with my husband on creating a youth worship group in our church. I turned my back on many things that I once did and loudly renounced those practices.

Now I feel like can't live up to the life I built anymore. Going to church became a job and an obligation rather than joyful service to the Lord, so I dropped out. Morning devotions at work have become something to be tolerated rather than a refreshing way to start the day. I've returned to doing many of the things I abandoned. Most of these things would not even raise the eyebrow of a non-Christian, such as enjoying a Chris Rock comedy routine. However, I know that my former Sunday School students would think I was a hypocrite if they could see me.

I've tried to live in the Land of Denial, but I don't think I can anymore. I can't shake the feeling that I am not following the correct path. For a while, I tried to convince myself that God wanted me to take my current job. I had prayed fervently to Him, begging Him not to let them offer it to me. When they offered me a temp position, I assumed it was His will. Misery was my daily companion and only the fact that I was a temp helped me drag myself out of bed each morning. I prayed yet again that they wouldn't offer me a permanent position, but a month ago they did. I had to accept it because ABM almost developed an ulcer when the seasonal layoff time came around again. So my husband feels relieved while I feel trapped. Not only that, but I feel like God laid this trap for me.

Where does all of this leave me? I don't know. Many believers draw closer to God as their coping mechanism, but I feel myself pulling further away. I am thankful for the many ways that God has blessed me, but I can't pretend that I am content with His plan for me. It's like being a teenager: you're old enough to know that your parents have your best interest at heart, but your limited life experience doesn't allow you to see how their restrictive rules are going to help you. My faith isn't strong enough to endure this weight on my chest indefinitely, so I've been returning to my old ways to take the pressure off. I'm still in the ring, but I'm staggering.
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