Everyday Struggles11:06 AM
Sometimes I question why I air my ugliness out on this blog. It's not the kind of ugliness that garners sympathy -- I'm not the girl struggling with who I am, not the girl wrestling with self-harm, not the girl fighting insecurity when she looks in the mirror. I know who I am. I'm done with depression. A glance in the mirror never bothers me anymore.
A glance in my soul does.
People say be raw. Be genuine. Which means, on the internet, black-and-white photos, stories of past struggles, dreams waiting to be realized, disappointments, pain, discouragement, and poetic prose about everyday little blessings.
Is there a place, anywhere, for someone who's everyday stuff and everyday honesty means acknowledging disgusting sin dredged up from years and fed with pride? I can't find it on the internet, where the biggest sin is hating oneself and the biggest struggle learning to live life fully. I can't find it in real relationships, where the people tire of hearing me fall back into old sin, weary of me wounding them, walk away from overly-aired emotions on this sanctifying path. I can't even find it in the privacy of my journal, where Hallmark-style verses promising a happy future and comfort bespeak the ignorant idea that my greatest struggle is feeling alone and unloved.
Does nobody struggle with sin anymore? Can rawness not include those times when you say or do or are something scandalously terrible? Must genuineness be packaged within popular problems -- "I cut myself, I'm depressed, I wrestle with forgiving people" -- even -- "I struggle with pornography or addiction"? Does nobody else wake up on a Tuesday morning burdened with her chronic pride problem that manifests itself in anger, hypocrisy, and sharp words?
And I don't mean "struggle with sin" as in an already nearly perfect person irons out some kinks here and there and whose confession of "pride" causes people to chuckle and say, "Oh, honey, no, you're not proud." I mean all out brawl with sin -- an ongoing brutal battle with many more losses than victories. I mean a confession that shatters people's perceptions, that knocks their mouths open in horror that such depravity exists in man, that causes people to shift uncomfortably and move away to neater problems.
(Side note: I wrote a term paper arguing that Martin Luther rejected Catholicism's view of salvation because it could not adequately cover his sin and assure him of forgiveness. He needed something stronger. And I think that's why I too am staunchly Reformed and Calvinist. It's my wishful thinking, almost. It's my last hope. If Christ's righteousness is not imputed to me, then I give up trying to find salvation.)
My everyday struggles are not cute and neat. They are ugly. They are repulsive. And that's part of the reason why, I suppose, I continue to struggle with them -- they're so gross that it's easier to deny them and re-imagine them as something tamer and more sympathetic instead of dealing with them. Why write about such trash, such repulsive stuff? Because honesty. Because encouragement. Because grace and hope. The longer I hide who I am and what I do, the longer I deny myself the grace I need to change.