Friday, September 14, 2012

kingdom grind.

today is one of those days where i'm just feeling... blah. well, not even blah. it's better than blah. it's just being. today, i just am.

i wrote "my heart: the manifesto" a few weeks ago and then "for the kingdom" the week after and between the two of those i've felt like everything else i've written these past few weeks have been desperate attempts to be incredibly hilarious and then spur-of-the-moment excuses not to write one day out of the week (hello, wednesdays-wreads-series-that-wasn't-supposed-to-be-a-series).

i'm behind on blog posts (and have been since before going to spain). i opened my inbox yesterday to find 96 unread emails (read: unanswered; they all go to my personal email so i always read them the day i get them but i leave them unmarked in gmail until i respond). and i had planned to organize my room but i absolutely refused to let my inbox reach the triple digits. so i sat down and handled that instead while chatting over gmail with chelsea and talking-aka-really-listening to L on the phone as she started a five-hour drive at an ungodly hour in the morning.

basically, the last few weeks have been a lot of hanging on.

sunday after church, the spain team reported to the short-term missions committee at our church. i spent most of the time in silence, because i still haven't processed spain, mostly because i just don't feel that part of my life is done yet. and if that phrase sounds vague and unsure, that's exactly what it is.

so my team members talked and i interjected very small things until we went one-by-one with our impressions of the trip.

so then i told them. i told them how i didn't want to go, how i had a meltdown on the paris runway, how the entire thing felt and still feels, somewhat, like a fight. how it was hard to go and not see any fruit on our trip, but how i wouldn't have trusted it anyway. how it felt like tearing my heart out to leave, how it didn't feel finished.

a few weeks ago i read a blog post where someone wrote that being a christian was fun. i sat there, stunned, as my blood began to BOIL.

let me tell you something. being a christian is many things, but fun is not one of them. fun is something that serves you, and christianity is the complete antithesis of that. christianity is not about you. it's about Christ.

(hint: that's why it's called CHRISTianity.)

deciding that yes, actually, i did believe this audacious Jesus was in fact God, did in fact do miracles, and went through an incarnation, unspeakable torture, and an excruciating death ON MY BEHALF and then deciding to live out the good news that all of that saves me, not just from hell, but to Himself, and to the service of His kingdom, and deciding i would, in fact, spend my life trying to figure out how on earth i'm supposed to reconcile that truth with my hot mess of a life is THE HARDEST thing i have EVER done.

deciding that i am going to willingly surrender all the power i have to make all my decisions in my own life, to willingly surrender my entire being, up to and including my living, breathing body, for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of people i have never met, and frankly, whose lives and deaths do not impact me in the least, is THE HARDEST thing i have EVER done.

& deciding that yes, in fact, i will continue to do this, even and ESPECIALLY on the days i don't want to, which, quite frankly, is just about every day in some capacity, is THE HARDEST thing i have EVER done.

so to hear someone say that christianity is fun upsets me and cheapens the hard decisions that people have made in the name of Christ. and we won't even include mine in there, because mine are comparatively easy decisions.

but people have given their lives for this Jesus in whom we believe, and i will tell you straight up, they didn't do it because it was fun.

and i never feel more fulfilled, more joyous, than when i'm serving exactly how He has asked me to at that moment but that, either, is not fun.

i'm at the point where christianity at home is doing dishes and wiping down the shower walls with a squeegee. i'm at the point where christianity at work is cleaning up clothes people are too lazy to pick up and making the store at least functional if not beautiful. i'm at the point where christianity online is stepping away from twitter for more than two seconds and actually answering emails before my inbox implodes.

that's not fun. that's work.

kingdom living sounds glamourous, but i'm wondering if it ever really is. i thought of ameera in the uae today and thought, how weird it must be to live there. i can't imagine doing that. it's just not the US.

but to her i'm sure it doesn't feel that way. she's in a different country with different mores, but she's getting a classroom ready for students who are learning english.

& that sounds like what my mother was doing two weeks ago in michigan. so, really, it's not anything more special. it just is what it is.

i wish kingdom living were the spectacular moments and the posts on this blog that surge to over 300 pageviews. i wish writing "my heart: the manifesto" were enough to leave a strong legacy of faith.

but it isn't, because our legacies are built in the small moments, not the spectacular ones. the latter are only a manifestation of what the former have slaved for, and right now, it's the small moments that are holding this blog, and this writer, together.

so i take up my cross and carry on.

6 comments:

  1. You are the sister of my soul, Annie. I appreciate your boldness and vulnerability of heart. You writing is beautiful and clear.

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  2. Thank you for these thoughts. I feel like the heart of kingdom living gets lost in day-to-day life. When I spent time overseas, it was different because of the constant reliance and returning to the heart of God. To seek Him constantly and put my trust in Him because I was out of my element with a language I didn't know and living with a family that wasn't my own. With life here, I get comfortable and feel like I'm doing it on my own. It's those upsets in life--when I found out I was pregnant on the same day my husband lost his job--those are the moments that I'm reminded to put my trust in God. I hesitated reading this because I thought, "Hey, I've had times that I've had fun being a Christian!" I realize that reliance and surrender that Christianity calls for is not necessarily described as "fun"--and those are the moments when I feel closest to Christ's calling in my life. Okay, I'm done rambling. Thank you for sharing this!

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  3. really, really good thoughts, friend. No, Christianity is not fun...through it, I have unspeakable JOY, a joy that comes from the Lord in spite of my circumstances. Joy is so very different than 'fun' though. Joy is one of the best things I have ever experienced! To me, fun is waking up every morning doing whatever *I* want, however *I* want, in whatever terms *I* want. Turns out, Christianity is not about me (shocking, right?!), it's about Him. He is good though, so very good.

    I'm right there with you...just kinda hanging on for dear life as the days tear through. I feel so behind on so many things, almost as if I'm just barely keeping my head above water. I'm realizing that there are some things I'm just going to have to let slide...that's a hard lesson for me, but a good one.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    P.S. Have I told you lately how much I love my blog design? It makes me happy every time I see it! : ))

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  4. Wow. This is such a refreshing perspective. It encourages to know there are people in the next generation of Christianity who are taking their faith seriously, analyzing what it really means to be a Christian. I'll definitely be praying for you. I can't wait to Skype :)

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  5. You are amazing, Annie. Loved this.

    Yesterday was kind of a draggy day for Memory and me too. :/ I hope today is much better for you, friend, and filled with sunshiny things! :)

    xo
    purposelyathome.blogspot.com

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  6. I love everything about this post.
    take up that cross, girl. we're right beside you.

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