Advent: Day 3

I just moved into a new apartment, and it is 100% a victory in commitment and faith. I’ve been afraid to put down roots and this feels like a solid step into the ground. Right outside my window, across the way, are these gorgeous apartments. My bedroom is mostly bed, and I have 2 roommates. I’m grateful to be here, and to be with them, and I also know, or hope, or really know, this isn’t my final stop. This isn’t it, it. This isn’t my forever, god, I hope not.

Waiting is really hard when you know where you’re at is not it, it and a potential it stares at you from across the way. You wake up with longing, with a desire to be on the other side. It doesn’t take away from how great the right now may be. What is possible just reminds you how much space there is in your heart, in your longing, in your desire for more. It’s okay to want more. It’s okay to look across with even envy. There is a fine line between inspiring envy and covetous bitterness. It’s okay to know where you’re at is not it.

Because it isn’t. There is more. There is space for even deeper promises. There are promises waiting to blossom. So yes to embracing all you have right now and yes to knowing more is to snow down. It snowed today.

Where can your desire for more receive more grace and judgement?

What is on the other side? What does it represent? What would you get?

What is great about this side? (Because this side was the other side of something else.)

Sh*t Christians Don’t Say: Singles vs marrieds

Just kidding. The church LOVES talking about singles and marrieds. It’s both adored at the pulpit and anticipated in the audience. There’s this rush of hope every time that maybe this sermon would unlock and unravel the pain of waiting for singles, and root and make sense the never talked about pain of staying for marrieds. Yet no one really talks about the pain of waiting because we love focusing on how singleness is a gift and that the Lord can really use you specifically in this season. So we have a bunch of singles hurting inside lashing themselves with this holy waiting and trust. And no one talks about the real pain of marriage. Ya we talk about how it’s ultimate sanctification and how’s that’s the hardest BUT MOST BEAUTIFUL thing on earth, blah blah blah. But can we cut the glamorized version of difficult sanctification and get into the nitty ugly cave. Do we talk about falling out of love with your spouse? Do we talk about low grade amounts, and I dare you, overt abuse? Do we talk about how monogamy is not natural and how sometimes this fight seems too uphill? We don’t. We wrap obstacles in, we’re being sanctified.

The danger of never talking about these things is that when someone is in that position, the response is guilt and shame. If we are ever in a space that is not publicly discussed as normal, we feel abnormal when we experience these human tendencies. Shame is hiding because of a fear of losing worthiness. Shame is hiding because of a fear of judgment. Shame is hiding because a facade keeps others distant from your mess. Isn’t that what happened at the garden? We assumed God would lash at us so we hid and lied instead. I wonder if those peeps in Eden were outright about what they did, would they have been able to stay in the garden? God might have let them stay? The transgression wasn’t the issue? The hiding was? But the reality is, we are no longer in Eden and people are not lovely like God. When we are vulnerable people do cover us in judgment, create distance and make us feel less Christian or unwise/blind/foolish when we talk about said topics above. It’s a fucking catch-22. If you talk, you might get shamed. If you don’t talk, you are imprisoned by shame. How do we change the culture to merely listening and holding space, suspending your judgment and quickness to scripture showering?

But I think the deepest issue with this whole thing is singles v marrieds. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP DIVIDING PEOPLE IN THE CHURCH IN TWO CATEGORIES. Why do you do that?!! Why do you delineate people by relationship status? Inherent in that boxing is our huge human-created difference, there’s a type of crossing over, there’s us v them and they wouldn’t understand the struggle. Don’t act like after marriage, spouses don’t want to sleep with a hot emotionally available dude that walks by. Don’t act like singles cannot get deeply sanctified by close friends and roommates, FO SHO. When you say singleness is a gift, then proceed to spend 15 minutes chatting about the beauty of waiting….take a nice exhale, smile and then get into your inclusive circle tone of voice to talk to those who are married, it is obvious and weird. Stop taking a few verses in the Bible and elevating them into central to our faith structure — don’t we Christians love doing that with whatever scripture seems perfect for such a time as this. Why don’t we talk about things we as humans struggle with that cross all boundaries? Greediness. Jealousy. Greediness. Racism. Sexism. Misogyny. Defensiveness. Ego. Gossip wrapped in we should pray for her. Ego. Fucking ego. Why do we need pastors specifically for singles and marrieds? What qualifies one to know people in these categories better? I’m really asking. Do I go to one pastor if I’m thinking about masturbation and another pastor when I want to hoard my money? Stop drawing out details of my identity like they’re my defining trait. Stop making such a big deal about my status like that’s the reason I sin. I don’t always put God first because I’m human and selfish. My relationship status is not how primarily relate to people. We have created a culture of such connection like that in church. It’s incomplete and often damaging.

Stop putting people in boxes so it’s easier for you to manage and control. Stop defining people so you can quickly go to your prescription box of scriptures. See me as a complicated human. Show me the wisdom and faith and trust I too have the Spirit.