If you thought this was a catchy click bait title that sneakily was something other than really, truly a list of complaints – I’m sorry. This is the maybe one time I am being 100% literal. (Note to everyone still yelling at me over Christian Men in Tank Tops: please Google “satire”, thank you.)
In church on Sunday we were talking about how to go from “hurt” to “hallelujah”; how we get from “horrible” to “hallelujah”. It was a beautiful, inspiring message that I’m not going to attempt to summarize because, dang. You had to be there. Lucky for you it’s 2017, and it will be online for your viewing pleasure soon (heyyyy diveintoflood.com).
We were challenged with the idea of complaining – with confidence in Christ. As in, we need to be okay with complaining. We need to call it like it is, admit life isn’t always rainbow and sunshine. We need to bring honesty to God just as easily as we bring praises. Buuut we also need to do so with confidence in who Christ is. We need to complain knowing the fullness of the God we serve, the goodness He promises.
It’s easy to be honest about the things we’ve already figure out, right? Oh man, that season I went through 4 months ago was so hard Jesus, glad we got through it together! Or it’s easy to sit in the pain and refuse to even look for a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a lot harder to complain about the here and now while simultaneously living in the knowledge of our God. It feels near impossible to sit in the middle of the tension of life’s brokenness and God’s faithfulness. To allow ourselves to be melancholy or sometimes straight mournful – but to do so in a way that recognizes Who we serve.So, a list of complaints? Not a list of what is everything I see broken in the world and how can we fix it? Not a lesson I learned 3 months ago, tied with a pretty Christian-ese bow at the end? Not, hey let me share that life is hard BUT ALSO GOD IS GOOD, SO GOOD, HAPPY NEWS AT THE END YAY. Just a list of complaints. Just that.
Welp. Here goes.
Working a full time job and writing on the side is hard. I am so, so fortunate to love not only what I do, but who I do it with and where I do it, as well. It’s a sweet spot in the current job market that I know is so rare and I try my best to not take it for granted. But I do one thing Monday – Friday, 8-5, and I have this whole other thing I do… whenever I can. I wake up too early to write or (more often) sleep in, don’t write, and then hate myself for it the rest of the day. I constantly have blogs to be written, emails from people asking for pieces, this nagging sense that I need to figure out social media “as a writer” because – yikes. No idea about that. I am continually loving my job and encouraged to pursue writing and… where does that leave me? Constantly feeling like whatever I’m doing, I should be writing – that’s not fun. Having what feels like 2 full time jobs and still trying to have a social life and also maybe be a healthy human is hard.
99% of my friends are married and it’s weird. Can we just get the “but you’re so great!” “you’ll meet someone someday!” “[insert silly cliche to make single people feel better here]” out of the way? Because that’s not what this is about. I know I am a wonderful person, I know there isn’t anything inherently wrong with me, I know my life isn’t horrible because there’s not a man currently in it. Really, truly – I do. But the 50-50 ratio of singles to marrieds that used to be my friend group took a sharp dive to the right, and now basically everyone I am close with is married and/or in deep, committed relationships. I hang out with a lot of couples. Basically constantly. And, hear me, I LIKE IT. I like them. But, also, it’s weird. It’s weird to sit through marriage talk after marriage talk, it’s weird to be in a different life stage than most people you know, it’s weird to grow more and more independent while everyone around me grows more and more dependent. Weird doesn’t equal bad, horrible, worst ever – to be sure. But it’s weird.
My thyroid is once again wreaking havoc on my life and I don’t even have one anymore. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease when I was 16 years old (a uniquely aggressive form at such a young age, yay me!). I ended up getting my entire thyroid removed at 22. Like, it’s gone. I don’t have one. Yet here we are, back at the doctors. Back at the labs. Back at shaking legs and hair falling out and insomnia. Didn’t we figure all this out before?? I thought yes. Apparently no. Having health problems is the absolute worst. Especially (I’m biased) something as tricky and all consuming as your thyroid. What does your thyroid do? Control all your hormones. What do hormones affect? BASICALLY EVERYTHING, EVER. My life is so fun.
Being a woman in 2017, being a female writer on the internet, being a woman in the church – it’s so exhausting some days. This really needs no explanation. Don’t @ me.
Seasons end and start without my permission, and I kinda want to control the world. There’s been so much bittersweetness going on in my life lately – and while I’m grateful there’s sweet and it’s not all bitter, I just wish life asked for my permission before changing things up. I wish I was counseled before certain events take place, I wish my advice was considered before life does what life does. Ugh. The worst. Why am I not supreme ruler of all? It would really help some days.
White Christians are messing up so much of the world right now, and I can only so do much. Let’s just be real: I could make a whole complaints list re: Charlottesville and America right now. I’m not gonna go there in this post. But OH MY GOSH, YOU GUYS. White people, we need to get our shit together. White Christians – we have so much work to do. And I can’t fix it all and I so, so, so wish I could.
I would really like to try minimalism, except for the fact that I’m a hoarder. I just… ya.
Ice cream is not a “whole food” and yes, I’M MAD ABOUT IT. I’m at the point of “getting older” where what I eat affects me so much more than I wish it did, and also I’m having health problems (see complaint #3). So logically I know I should be eating things that come from the ground, buying things at the store that don’t come vacuum sealed in plastic, consuming meals where I can pronounce all the ingredients. I have this conversation with myself probably 3 times a day. It’s for my body to feel better, my skin to clear up, my jeans to fit better, my budget to stay out of the red… So many reasons! So many good reasons! But also why the [insert so many expletives] can’t ice cream be natural? Why can’t it be good for me? Why can’t it make my actual body as happy as it makes me happy? Why can’t it make my migraine go away????
Adulting is really hard and I constantly feel like I’m not doing it right. At some point everyone else took a crash course in being a grown up that I somehow missed (I think). Forget how to fold fitted sheets or meal prep efficiently or regularly clean my baseboards – I can’t even get the Clorox wipes out of that weird container correctly. I just don’t understand how some people’s brains can comprehend all these extra tasks and extra skills and I forever feel like I’m A. Totally behind and B. Faking it till I…. nope, just faking it. Have yet to make it.
And lets just give a shoutout to the guy who hit me on the freeway AND TOOK OFF. It’s totally cool, I’m loving the $700 (and counting) I am currently spending out of pocket. Really loved how you made eye contact with me and took off, by the way. Super classy. Thanks for restoring my faith in humanity.
God’s goodness is just so dang annoying sometimes. Honestly, sometimes I hate that God has promised to work everything together for our good. Because it’s usually working behind the scenes, working the long game, working in the small, barely noticeable ways. I want Him to plan everything perfectly for my pleasure. “Good” is very vague and typically painful and very rarely easy. The promise of goodness is always fulfilled, but never in my timeline and never how I want it to be. Sure, it’s better – but it’s painful. That’s annoying. Working is, hello, work – and also a messy process. I want plans. I want schedules. I want perfection. Where do I sign up for the God who sticks to a plan (that I wrote) for my life that is 99% rainbows and unicorns?
(Complaint #12: It feels very strange to not wrap up this blog in some sort of way; I am feeling very uncomfortable just posting a list of complaints on the interwebz with no inspiring message woven throughout. Vulnerability is the worst and why does the Holy Spirit constantly nudge me into it?)