The first state of important business is that this video exists
I’m just saying. It’s totally being ‘marketed’ as a real abduction video. Also you know, what if Amanda Bynes isn’t really crazy & she’s telling the truth about her parents on Twitter?
Well, after a few weeks of accelerated living, I’m back on that doing nothing grind. After a couple Happy Hour meet ups, a week & a half of dating, 4 friend requests & some Halloween parties it’s Saturday & I’m doing nothing. The extent of my day will be going to Wal-Mart later for some shampoo & a few groceries. And I’m A- OK with that. One because I don’t mind the disconnect from the real world & two because I’m flying home for xmas & my plane ticket is about as much as a month of rent or 3.5 car payments. So, I really am in no position to be spending money.
There is one thing that I do look forward toward to every weekend, my wholesome guilty pleasure – Church.
I’ve always gone to church, whether it was for the basic holidays like Christmas or youth group (where not surprisingly I looked for boyfriends, not Jesus), or every Sunday like I do now. There was a time when I did not go to church, whether it was because I had to work or I felt unique & eccentric for having an opinion against the church, specifically the mega church I went to back home. But for the past two years, church has really been a huge centering & inspiring thing in my life.
That’s probably a loaded intro to this post, a lot of people probably think I’m about to get real religious but really here’s what I found in the church when I started listening to the sermons:
- A God-like/ christian-like perspective on life
This was such a huge take away from church, we live in a terribly negative world and I was breeding negativity into that world. I had a negative mind, a negative heart & a negative life. But what I realize now, stepping back & looking at my life I was infinitely attracted to positive people. Sure, the pessimist in me was annoyed by their optimism & I much preferred the company of miserable people. But from a distance, I was always watching, observing & trying to learn from positive people. They always looked so much more beautiful to me than the naysayers.
So through church sermons, I sat and really listened. And most sermons consisted of : here’s the negative in the world, here’s what God has to say about it & here’s how we, as Christians (believers) can reap the benefit of God’s positive outlook on every negative situtation ever by aligning our thoughts & beliefs to him. Really, whether or not you’re a believer, religious, Christian- what have you, I think the Bible offered me all of the answers to questions I was asking. Knowing right from wrong is a pretty basic concept in life but sometimes the world doesn’t offer you the full spectrum of a perspective on any given situation & I really liked the positive outlook in the preaching. I’d relate it to going to a therapist who told you exactly how you should feel about your shitty job; grateful and encouraged to learn from your time spent at that shitty job because it contributes to the bigger picture, with a better job in the future. And just feeling complete relief, like yes, that’s exactly what I needed permission to feel.
And with positivity came hope, I finally had permission to step outside of the immediate circumstances of my life & look at the big picture. When I was working back home, after a while I was not happy with my job. But now I had permission to look past the difficulty, the anxiety & the resentment I had towards my job and find hope, comfort & assurance. Although things were not what I wanted, they were not as pleasant as I would have liked, I could not be where I am now without the experience I have. So, I started feeling grateful, grateful that I had a job to go to every day that paid my bills. And I started too look for the hope in my job. Working directly with the less fortunate in our town was a struggle but there were the small successes, the constant learning opportunities and the ability to see that with my experiences & my determination I could go somewhere else. And that led to the ultimate hope that what I was doing was going to get me somewhere bigger and it did.
When I first started paying attention in church and taking notes even, it was during a series called Reset. It was the perfect introduction to what I was headed towards, reset yourself, your relationships, your body & reset your mission.
During the Reset your Mission sermon I wrote these notes:
Every human being is going to embrace two ways to save themselves while living a life without God…
-Pursuing a life of good, I did all good, you owe me, give me what I want, his own righteousness.
-The knowledge of Evil, the idea of “once I get enough ‘fruit’ I will be alive.
What’s your fruit?
This is a direct reflection of my life, I was living with the knowledge of evil. I thought that once I had gotten my ‘fruit’ I’d be happy, I could really start living. What was my fruit? Money, weight loss, control, perfection, all of those idols. And living the life of good, was absolutely true as well. With no relationship with God & very little knowledge of his Word, even after years of going to church, I expected that if I did a good deed, I should be rewarded.
At the end of this sermon I also wrote;
You are way more wicked than you dare believe. And more loved and accepted than you ever hoped.
With positivity, hope, forgiveness, all that stuff you learn about in church came a new perspective. I started to dig & search high & low for the good in everything. I don’t ever remember a time where I have been so accepting of criticism of my way of thinking from my best friend Shrylle. I definitely remember rejecting her notions of positive thinking, especially in the form of reading materials like The Secret. Which now is a top 10 favorite book of mine. And I don’t ever remember being so eager to hear what people think or hearing people’s opinions on anything and everything with the desired point of learning something new & changing my perspective.
Do you know, I was listening to Dan Savage’s podcast a couple weeks ago and his opinion on cheating completely boggled my mind & changed my heart. In a very loose summary, he stated that cheating should not be the end all in a relationship. And not because everyone cheats or it’s to be expected, but because when you set up your relationship with this expectation that ‘if you cheat on me we’re over’, your partner may be less likely to tell you when they do cheat on you & not only is that hurtful but it also could lead to sexually transmitted diseases.
What? The perspective never would have ever crossed my mind. Let’s say your boy (or girl) sleeps with someone else, is scared shitless you’ll kill/break up with them over it, so they don’t tell you. And let’s say you guys are used to having sex without a condom on & it’d be pretty weird if he started using one, so he goes without the condom. And boom, there’s that STD risk. What are you more mad about, a one night stand or HIV? And from there, my “I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to your living body if I find out you cheat on me” perspective has become a little less terrifying.
A God-like/Christian-like perspective in my life became so much more obvious. Not long after I started going to Sunday service by myself, I started going with my best friend’s mom, which then became my best friend’s whole family. (Sadly, my best friend did not join us because she lives in Ohio.) I suddenly had this church family, that was a real second family to me in real life & we could talk about church & share our thoughts & perspectives together and it really solidified the relationship I had with God that I wanted in my life. It also gave me a chance to talk about God & encouraged me to talk about God with other people I didn’t go to church with. Not to mention, as my relationship grew with my boss at the time, who is very religious I started to feed off of her faith, feeling even more inspired. And then we hired another coworker who was even more religious and it was great to have a sermon preached to me during the week, rather than just on Sundays and I think God knew I needed that strong presence to keep Him in my mind and keep his promises on my lips. Which I subjected my friends to rants of just how fucking amazing life is, even with all the bad shit in i because of God.
Which leads to family. Last weekend I attended the 11:59 am service (God bless the church that understands us late sleepers) at the Life Center Tacoma Church and although it was rough being Halloween weekend & attendance seems to be small when there’s a Seahawks game on, also seems like everyone shows up like 7 minutes late- I had one major take away, written in my notes.
“We define family by science rather than spirit. Anyone who does that will of my heaven is my brother & sister & mother.”
When I was of negative mind & heart, isolation was my things. Don’t get me wrong, I got a scientifically provided family, like some weird sisters, a mom, a dad and they’re cool. I mean, they’ll do.. (LOL) And I got a lot of cousins, aunts & uncles and my Grandma is pretty cool and they’ve all been apart of my life, no doubt about it. And I’ve got friends, in fact a lot of my friends have been my friends for like 7, 10 years, even some a little bit longer. And I’ve got new friends here in Washington. But I never understood what it was like to have a God given family until I started going to church. I never knew what it was like to have that family love from people who weren’t my science (project gone wrong) family until I got out of my negative mind set & started to create relationships out of Faith. (An important side note: I have a lot of friends who are not religious/believers/Christians/whatever & those relationships are just as valuable & meaningful to me. Because I love them & they love me & really that’s the only requirement I have.)
I used to think that the world was out to get me, that nothing good was going to happen the way I wanted it to. Then I realized no one is against you, they’re just for themselves. And then I saw how many people were for me, everyone at my going away party who gave their little speeches about how awesome I am (we should do that again BTW) and just the endless amount of support I receive from 2 bajillion miles away is nothing short of agape love from God manifesting in my life I’m so grateful & so appreciative of it, I’d be nowhere near as happy as I am now without it. And that’s good & true whether my life works out the way I had planned or not. Because even in a world where negativity is first nature and we’re all focused on ourselves, there’s beauty & inspiration in everyone in my life, my family that feeds into that big picture purpose & our big dinner up in Heaven… #allthepizza