Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can "Normal" Be Okay?

Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., Bono...these names represent some of the greatest Christian leaders and activists of our time. When we hear their names we think of extraordinary talents and above average charisma and giftings. These are some of the people I have looked up to with great reverence and awe throughout my life. I've only seen one of these people in person, Bono in concert, but they all seem bigger than life in my mind.

Since I've fallen down the rabbit hole I've begun to see something within organized religion and within myself. I like to call it the "do do" complex. We're encouraged to be "doing something big for God" at all times. The message we get is that you must be involved in ministry, a cause, a mission, etc., etc. to be following Jesus. You must be doing something ginormously big for the kingdom and if you're not, well, then you must be either lazy or in rebellion, (or "taking a break" since we all need one of those every five years or so.) I found that while in the church whenever I wasn't doing the above do do's I felt a tremendous sense of guilt. This guilt produced anxiety, striving, and ultimately huge feelings of guilt. This led me to seeking out ministry at all times - it didn't even matter what kind of ministry it was. If it was "for God" I was golden. It was even better if people noticed and poured on the acilades. But now that I'm out of the four walls and not going to church five times a week, attending mid week Bible studies, ministries, etc. it's dawning on me that maybe being "normal" is okay! By "normal" I mean maybe it's perfectly ok for me to be just a white middle class housewife and mother who loves Jesus and isn't spear heading hurculean mountian moving ministries or missions.

Since this realization has sunk in I've felt a tremendous sense of relief and peace in my life. In fact, this revelation is in part why I started this blog in the first place. I finally came to the place where I felt comfortable in my own spiritual skin. I saw that the every day thoughts and feelings I had were worth something big to God. I didn't have to be a literary genious to share my thoughts and feelings with the world. Normal is okay. I still have my heros, (everybody needs a hero), but I've come to a place where normal is not only acceptable but its perfection. I'm finding that the more I relax into who God created me to be the more I see my worth in His eyes. The expectations that the church laid on my for years are melting away and my identity is coming into focus.

If you don't mind me asking, who are you? No really, who are you aside from the expectations you have placed on yourself, aside from the expectations others have placed on you, and the percieved expectations God has put on you? What would your "normal" look like?

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