(written November 26, 2011 in my journal)
The thing is, when I do things by being "myself" - I'm instantly under this condemnation of "not being Christian enough."
I'll be honest here. I am scared of "myself" when it comes right down to it.
G said the other day that she hardly recognized me when I got up and did that presentation at that meeting. She said the quiet, polite Norma disappeared, and suddenly there was a self-confident, professional, knowledgeable woman, able to field and answer questions, with a clear, confident voice. She said she was so impressed.
The thing is - that's where I like to be. That's where I'm comfortable.
But I'm terrified of what people will think of me. I'm terrified of being seen as pushy and overbearing (I was astonished to hear "self-confident, professional ... impressed"). I'm terrified of overstepping the bounds of a "nice Christian girl who knows her bounds."
I want to step out and be myself. All my life I've wondered how God (yes, You, Lord) could make me like I am, when apparently what I am "naturally" is all "wrong" (evil!) for a Christian woman - wife, teacher, "leader" (oops ... oh, evil L word).
Is it "wrong" for me to give up my dreams? (Or to just "turn them over to You, surrender them, give them up to You..."). (Or is it that I am actually "giving up on them" - thinking that they were "all about me" and "selfish" - and probably "undeserving" maybe - and yes, "evil," all along?).
I really am confused. What if Your really don't want me to be a "good, nice little Christian girl"?? What if You really did make me with this "abrasive" personality? What if my beloved-by-everybody-and-worshiped-by-me mom (and Grandpa) were doing the same thing? What if "keeping the peace" isn't all it's cut out to be?
What if You, Jesus, really did come "to bring a sword"? What if You do want me to stand up and PROCLAIM - even though I am a woman?!?! And even if people don't like to hear it/reject it - to just "shake the dust off my feet, take back my blessing, and move on"?? That's what You told Your disciples, isn't it? (Of course, they were men, right?) (Why did You make me a woman then? Sometimes, "Christian-wise," I feel like a man in a woman's body! I'm tired of holding myself - or is it my "self"??? - in!). (Or is this my own personal little cross? Or what?)
I'm tired of being "pushed around" by the "Pastor." I'm tired of being "just a woman, working in the kitchen" - supposedly not able to do anything "brave" - and certainly not anything "spiritual" - which is the feeling I get. So am I just be "selfish" again? And "unsubmissive"? R is happy "in the kitchen." I enjoy it there to a degree - but I surely don't feel it is my "calling."
I want to be able to speak out at church gatherings (along with helping/serving). I'm tired of "submissively, womanly" keeping my words to myself. (Your words? Really? Could it be?) I feel useless, sitting there politely, submissively. (But okay, in this group I sense it is safe - and welcome - for me to participate. But so many years of fear are holding me back....)
What's with that B guy? He seems to take joy in "egging me on" until I come out and say what I think! Actually, I love it when I "let go" - and yet, I immediately clam up because I feel I am "not being Christian." (Maybe he's giving me courage!?!)
I'm tired of "being Christian."
But longing to follow You. Really follow You.
(Is it even safe to let You let me be me? Could You have made some kind of "mistake" making me? Am I just "crazy"? Ha! I hear the enemy on my shoulder!) (or is that just my mind "playing tricks" like that guy in the book says?) (Nah.)
(orrrrr.... Could it be that "being a nice Christian girl" is "selfishness and empty conceit" - seeking, in reality, the "approval of man" - "humbling myself" under the hand of man to seek his exaltation, rather than under the hand of God to seek His exultation?!?)