These days, people are obsessed with being famous, whether it be for five minutes or five years. With the advent of the internet, reality tv shows, YouTube, it’s really easy to see why. It’s easier than ever to put yourself out there in a public way. And perhaps just as easy to be lost in the crowd of people who are clamoring for attention. It’s a bit like Where’s Waldo…i always had my favorite people on each page, just as lost in the chaos as Waldo was.
My aunt and mother don’t get it at all. They’re from a completely different generation of course. They don’t appreciate how open i am about what my struggles are, what i believe, what has happened to me, what i dream might happen in the future. But i don’t do these things for fame. I realize that fame could potentially come with it, and a part of me is thrilled by that, while another part of me wants to dig a Hobbit hole in some forest and never come out to face the world ever again.
But. We are meant to be in the world (not of it). And i agree with Zachary Levi that our best witness isn’t openly proselytizing, it’s living a life that glorifies God so people will want to know why we’re so joyful, nice, etc. Maybe some people are gifted for that sort of evangelism, but it turns me off. I want to get to know someone one on one, and it’s important to disciple someone after they accept Christ as Savior, not leave them under Satan’s attack, alone, with no help or encouragement. A stranger handing me a tract offends me greatly; they are assuming that i am unsaved. And if i tell them i am a Christian they usually force it on me anyway. “Oh, give it to someone else.” In other words, they want me to judge someone based on their appearance or actions during a brief encounter, too. That is not my place. No, i refuse.
But back to the idea of fame. I remember preachers at Bible camps telling us that we would be the generation that God would use greatly, that we are going to change the world. And the insinuation of fame came with that, i think. In reality, we need to be a light where we already are, not thinking about reaching many people at some unknown time in the future. The time is now. And i would say that things have gotten worse so far as reaching the world, not better. I genuinely feel that the End Times are very nearly upon us and we are very soon to be out of time to witness at all.
What i wrote about my Happy Place and bad relationship experiences, i didn’t want to share really, but i felt like i needed to. I’m not looking for fame or sympathy. Encouragement is nice when it comes, but what i really want is to encourage others. I’ve been told a lot “You’re going through this so you can help someone else in the future.” Okay, i’m fine with that, but why aren’t there more people telling me what it was like when they went through this? In fact, i can’t remember meeting anyone who was willing to tell me about a time where they couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit for over a decade and how they got through it. Beth Moore briefly spoke on her relatively short Dark Night in one of her sessions, but i don’t remember here giving any advice on what to do when it happens to you.
I know with my head that i’m not the only one that this has happened to, Job and Mother Teresa are two people who come to mind, but i feel completely isolated. Which isn’t unusual in itself, i’ve lived my life feeling isolated, whether it was the kids at preschool who didn’t want to play with me (i assume because of my glasses/eye patch) or the fact that i was Protestant in a mining town full of Catholics and Mormons. I would say that a certain amount of solitude agrees with me, but that isolation is what Satan wants. He doesn’t want me touching anyone’s life. He doesn’t want me to help a young Christian who is going through their own depression or Dark Night.
I need to hear from people who have lived through this. I know that Pinterest pins and Facebook shares are out there touting the great idea that whatever i’m going through is so God can bless me later on, use me to His glory, etc. I’m fine with that if it’s true, but it also sounds like that platitude that we tell girls who are bullied by boys, “He’s mean to you because he likes you.” Where is the Scripture to back this up? Where are the Christians who can tell me about how the hard things they went through blessed them in the long run, and blessed others? And i think that it’s true, but at the same time the world is screaming at me that tornadoes, tsunamis, famines, Ebola, earthquakes, etc., are proof that there is no God because how could He allow these horrible things to happen. The lady with Alzheimers in God’s Not Dead said that the hard stuff makes us turn to God, but that’s not where i’m at. I’ve been following God my entire life, and i’ve always been very aware of that being my destiny, but His silence, the hard things i’m going through, have driven me away from Him, not towards Him.
There is nothing easy about this. My continuing to take up my cross daily, to seek Him, are an enormous sacrifice and denial of self. I haven’t fallen away, i’m not going out and partying, sleeping around, doing drugs, stealing, killing, etc. I am righteous, i have worked very hard to be so, and yet i feel like sitting here waiting for God to answer is almost akin to having a temper tantrum. I almost expect God to tell me off like He did Job and Jonah. If i am ever blessed i am afraid it will feel like i’m getting my own way. I want to say that i would wait for Him forever, but i know i can’t. I don’t know how i’ve waited this long. And i cannot even fathom what it would be like to feel Him again, it’s actually quite terrifying. How am i supposed to witness to people when i cannot find Christ for myself? How am i supposed to be in a relationship when all of my friendships and crushes have ended so spectacularly horribly? When not even God will interact with me?
It is easier to dream about actors and characters from books and TV programs and movies being friends with me than anyone in RL because people in RL never want to be friends with me, not really. They’ll say they’re my friend, get offended if i say that i have no friends (therefore they are not my friend), but never actually treat me like a friend. I share intimate moments with strangers and acquaintances, but people do not make room for me in their lives. And for me to try to become friends with someone would entail me going out of my way and meeting them more than halfway. So much fear and sacrifice are tangled up in that i don’t even want to try.
Characters from my beloved books and programs are more real to me than anyone in RL. They become a part of me, and share parts of themselves that are hidden in the dark. No one is that open in RL. It’s painful to bare your soul to the world, but this shared pain and sadness and joy are what makes life rich. Like i said, i am such a geek/nerd/bookworm.