Well hello, there.

I haven’t written in five months. FIVE. MONTHS. I don’t really have an excuse for this. I mean of course I do, I have a lot of excuses: I could tell you all about the time Peter climbed onto the dining table and poured a full cup of coffee into my laptop, that’s a good story, it ends with Aaron taking my laptop apart piece by painstaking piece and cleaning every single one and then gently putting them back, and the laptop working again but not before Aaron had turned several shades of purple and said a number of words that I’ve cautioned the children not to repeat. Or I could tell you about how after a few months of coasting through therapy (there are bound to be a few months of those after seeing her twice a month for three years, but there’s still a surprising amount of Work to be done; apparently I am quite the screwed-up individual, still able to find damaged bits of self to examine and fix up even after all this time; or perhaps it’s not that I’m that unhealthy, but that I’m just terribly bad at therapy) anyway after a few months of coasting through therapy on easier topics like how to strike up casual conversation with the other parents at my son’s preschool, I am back to being neckdeep into hard things like my body image and relationship with food and my father’s addiction and whether it’s possible to be unconditionally loved — and in fact I do plan to write about all of these things here, soon, but we all know about my track record for following through on things I plan to write about, so don’t hold your breath is what I’m saying. The truth is that I could have made time to write, even with snowbound kids to entertain and scrapbook pages to lay out and groceries to buy and books to read and all of life happening around me – I could have made time to write, but I just didn’t feel like it.

But I’m back! So, hi there. I do have so many things I want to say, things about therapy and about the guest post I’m writing next week for a friend’s blog and about how much I really enjoy my kids even after a long winter with not enough playing outside. But as I have been thinking about all these things I’ve realized there is a more foundational post I need to write before I can adequately explain everything else that I want to say, so here goes:

I am a Christian.

It’s a bit telling that I have to take a deep breath before I can write that sentence, isn’t it? The fact is I’m extremely conscious of how “Christian” is usually defined and so I normally identify myself as one only when I have ample space to do a lot of qualifying about exactly what kind of Christian I am, and so it’s much easier just to not bring it up. There are so many assumptions about what Christians are that just don’t apply to me – I don’t vote the way most Christians are said to vote, I don’t think making it legal for same-sex couples to ride tandem bicycles makes it any less special when my husband and I ride a tandem bicycle together, I don’t think Haiti or the poor or the uneducated or the uninsured are asking for it. I don’t have an opinion on how others should live their life, nor do I wish to have one. I don’t have the energy for that.

No, these days most of my energy is tied up in trying to get a handle on the unconditional love of God, grappling with the truth that because of Christ, God loves me completely, limitlessly, despite how I eat or how I vote or how I parent my children or how I feel about other people. God loves me. And with the understanding that Christ covered every possible thing I could ever do, I’m free to live my life without worrying that anything I do can make me attain, or fail to attain, God’s love. I’m free to let the Holy Spirit (yes I said Holy Spirit and it’s such a churchy thing to say I know but there, I’m saying it) direct my life and my actions – and do the same work in everyone else’s life, too, without it being a reflection on me. After a religious upbringing that emphasized being “right with God” — that unless you’re “right with God,” you have no platform for asking Him for help, or guidance, or just experiencing His love, so until you can find a way to get right, you’re trapped in an endless loop of not measuring up to His standards for rightness, but not being able to ask Him for help to get there — after this upbringing, it’s incredibly freeing to know that no matter what I might do that changes my relationship with God, His relationship with me will never change. He just loves me, unconditionally, limitlessly. And that’s amazing.

So I had to write this, to put it out here for the entire internet to see, because this is the foundational belief that colors everything else I am learning in therapy, colors how I feel about my children and my parents and my cellulite and my refrigerator. This is the truth that I am trying to just get, the one piece of myself that will make all the other pieces work. And I need you to know that I am a Christian because God loves me, not because I think He shouldn’t love anyone else.

And now I can write all the other things I want to say.


5 Responses to “Well hello, there.”

  1. 1 kalita March 8, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    I love this post.

    My in-laws describe themselves as ‘Christian, not Religious’. The idea being that they have a relationship with God, and they don’t need the pomp and circumstance, and, let’s face it, wankery, that goes on in churches (although not all churches, obviously). Their faith is just between them and God. I admire it, although I am not Christian myself.

    That was a bit off-tangent 🙂

  2. 2 kalita March 8, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Also, funny how I stalked you here from Vox and then we both stop posting 😉

  3. 3 Nathan Pralle March 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Welcome back!

    I would term myself to be, “spiritual, but not necessary Christian and certainly not religious”; although the complexities of that are hard to describe in one small comment. But I DO want to say that I very much appreciate the whole, “This is who I am and I have no interest in saying that you suck because of it.” Would that more would say similar.

    Good luck with everything going on and I hope you write more soon!

  4. 4 Rachel March 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Great post 🙂 I love your views on tandem bicycles 🙂

  5. 5 Blondie June 15, 2010 at 6:36 am

    I just discovered your blog, and I love everything you said in this post. Closet narcissim FTW!

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