Grace is Real!

Being home seems to put me in a trance. I feel like I lose my sense of self. I feel like I lose myself in the obligations I'm expected to keep. To survive peacefully here I feel like I have to sacrifice my identity.

The worst part about it is that it happens so naturally. Without fail being home has let me to binge on distractions, chiefly food and pornography. I compulsively maintain a level of detachment deeper than usual. Something here drives me to escape myself.

But this time...no. I pretty well covered my resolve to get real, here and every where. The results are in. They hate it. I've been forthcoming about the desires of my heart. I stopped trying to be what I thought they wanted. I just said what I wanted. I said what I believe, without apologizing, without letting their opinions rule me.

I ranted and raved and let it loose. It started by my brother telling my dad how upset his emotional absence made him. Then I joined in and start ripping into him. But then it changed. I realized that picking my dad apart would only leave me empty, with no one to be but "not him". My parents always said that no one loved me more than they did, but they never said God loved me most. So I believed them, for awhile. Then I realized that they could not fulfill my needs. And I was pissed. I set out to expose them as a fraud. I have, for so long been obsessed with revenge, with making them pay for the lie. Tonight I let them off the hook. I stopped worshipping them. I won't have to compromise my needs and peace. I won't have to pretend that I'm desireless to God. He won't be disgusted or enraged by the mess of me. I told them that God's promise means everything. I told them that I would no longer quell my desires because God created me with them. I also said that they told me lies about what I could ask of God. That was a real popular comment. I drove it home by saying I'm sick of being controlled by all the expectations imposed by this family and I am absolutely through being control by shame. About that point my mom interjected with some pretty intense judgements.

I'm selfish, I talk incessantly and only think of myself. I control every conversation, and I am a huge hypocrite, preaching theology and not living any of it. These are true things, and my mother kindly pointed them out. I responded by saying that it was true, but I wouldn't be dragged back into the pit. That just made her more angry. My heart starting beating pretty fast. I was tempted to engage.

But I didn't.

I made the break. I maintained my solidarity and peace even though what she was saying was true. For maybe the first time, I faced the harshest judgement from the person who probably has the greatest ability to hurt me, and I endured it. Grace prevailed!

I went out for a drive.

While I was driving I try to make sense of it all, but I ended up just asking God if he still loved me. That was all I needed. It's still enough.

I came home and told my dad sorry for condemning him, and told my mom that she was right about me.

Another new day with the God of the Universe. I wonder what is next.




Here I am. I guess I'm not going to finish the story about eating the mushrooms. The only important thing is that Jesus was there, and is still here. He never gave up on me, and I was amazed and fell in love with a savior.

I am home. I use the word loosely. I'm at this place where my biological family gathers every Christmas, staring at the Christmas tree decorated as it has been for as long as I can remember. Something stagnant about this place. Perhaps it's me.

I feel very stifled. I'm a sinner, a redeemed creation with a demand to express myself as sure as my very existence. I will express myself. The variable factor is how I will choose to do so. I want to love these people that look so much like me. I really do.

...but, it is hard.

My scars come from this place, and these faces. Not all of them, but the worst ones.

The memories haunt me. Like ghost among the living they remind me of the consequences of being cursed. I remember how the wounds reopened time and time again when I refused to swallow my impulses to be heard. I simply could not fit into the mold. I struggle very hard to believe I had much choice in who I was as a child in this house. All the turmoil and vicious wars of words. To think that I chose to suffer so bitterly. The only way I can stomach the memories is to think that I must have been compelled to be who I was by virtue of those around me. Why else would I be so monstrous? I had to be. I must have had a good reason. The worst of it was and still is the responsibility.

Being here with them all now restores the pangs of guilty responsibility. I feel the weight of expectation and condemnation. There is no way for me to be here and be me without arousing tempers. To be free and express myself in an authentic way will cost me. It will cost me the illusion of safety this family projects.

If I just am who I am here without engaging in the sick carousel of enmeshment that this family is, I commit treason. As my mom used to put it, "You're bombing your own harbors". People feel left out, I'm selfish and basically a big jerk. The other option is to engage and that inevitably ends in conflict or desolate "peace".

So what am I going to do?

Treason of course.

I am God's child. That is my primary role and responsibility. If, in being that, I get to enjoy my family, great! But, if my commitment to be true to myself and Him is something that they do not like, or percieve as a threat, well too bad. Nobody is telling them they can't be their own person. If I engaged them in the roles of our past, the sickly codependency, then I would only be reinforcing their own denial of life.

I will not be controlled by guilt. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, and I will not be compelled by it any longer. I choose to be moved by the love of God that has been planted in me.

Phew. I feel good.



Time for me to purge again.


I feel so mellow today. As a writer I fear that calm is the death of passion. What have I got to say if I'm not thrashing around like a caged animal? Maybe I'm just medicated. No, well...yes. I am medicated. But I also have Jesus. I know that he's there, striving for me, reaching to me regardless of my resistance. Knowing that changes everything in me.

So much has happened to me in the last week that feel urgently relevant to my trajectory toward God. I hesitate to make an attempt at capturing it all. I would hate to cheapen the things my savior has shown me in trying to bottle it in a blog entry. I will try anyway because in the broad view God has shown that he will not be cheapened, cannot be cheapened.

I ate some mushrooms about a week ago. I had hoped that I would achieve some renewed sense of God. I wanted to feel like I had a handle on the events that were shaping my existence. My grandma dying and and my hatred for my father may have been catalyst. Also feeling like a demon in disguise. So I ate the drugs, plunging into the depths of whatever was there.

It started out really nice. I felt emotionally lucid, like I could express love or hatred to anyone without flinching. I felt like the weight of my soul was finally connected to my consciousness. The words that came out of my mouth dripped with meaning and sincerity. But then came the reckoning that I would soon sober up. Morning was only eight hours away. I had grabbed for a something that would not last. This wasn't right. I started to feel sick. I went in the bathroom and tried to make myself vomit the drugs. They wouldn't come, so I curled on the floor and hollered at my friend in the living room that I was scared.

Some time later I emerged from the bathroom and decided bed was the best place for me, as if I could sleep. The next thing I remember was screaming and trying to claw my way under my bed. My friend (who will remain unnamed for his privacy) tried to pull me out, then I bolted for the kitchen. What happened in my mind was a determination to execute the urge in my soul: surrender to destruction. I felt as though my body and soul were crinkling into a twisted pile of metal. What happened from my friend's perspective was that I dove for the wall above my stove scattering the tea boxes and spices to the floor. I claimed that I was "coming through the wall" and in my mind I felt as though I had to. He pulled me down and tried to restrain me, and I slithered out of his arms to the ground. Then in intervals I wailed out a primal scream. I felt inside I was being challenged to expression. I engaged the call. Then I was spent and returned to my bed.

As I laid there things started to loop. I pulled my face under my covers, rubbed my nose, looked over at a book called "Loving God", then at the guitar cable hanging off my amplifier, then I sat up and spoke to my friend. Then the loop would begin again. Each time, though it was infinitely different than the last and terribly fascinating. In my mind names and faces flew through and I spoke them at random. At this point I lost touch with reality severely.

Names and images from my past, intermingled with images from a book called "Clan of the Cave Bear" all congealed into a panorama of bliss. I heard music and created it as I wanted, feeling as though it was an extension of my soul. Then things got weird. I started blurting out everything I could imagine, uninhibited, surrendering to the perversion that gripped me. All I can remember is that it had to do with penises and vaginas, and it made me feel so incredibly daring at the moment and later overwhelmingly soiled and guilty. In the bliss of the moment I was somehow lead to believe that the Kingdom of Heaven had arrived and the way I felt was the culmination of my long-suffering faith. I thought, I have waited so long and this is so unexpected, of course it is real. At long last Jesus has returned and I am never going to suffer again.

I laid there believing that the Kingdom of God was really upon me, within me. I felt as though I was at last made one with God. I felt music flow through me and I was creating the beauty I had sold myself to. I let go entirely. I remember at some point my friend standing over me, speaking. I must have tried to explain to him that God had established his dominion and our faith was finally vindicated. Then I felt a warm wetness between my legs and the pleasure of release. I had peed.

I believed that nothing could invade the peace and joy that was mine. I really committed to the thought that there would be no more tears, no more pain. This is the only way I can gesture toward the emptiness the surfaced when the piss in my bed started getting cold. I got up and wandered to the bathroom, stripped and sat down in my bathtub. The water was too hot, then too cold and the light too bright, but the dark too empty. There was no comfort and the illusion shattered. I started crying.

I gave up on the shower and tried to sleep on the floor, avoiding the mess in my bed, but then returned to my filth. I laid again in my bed hoping to warm the urine soaked mattress to fall asleep.

Sleep would not come. Crying quietly for my fear and shame, trying not to wake my friend, I stared at the dark wall. I rose, dressed myself and told my friend I had to leave. Wrapped in a blanket, I set off in to freezing night, tears streaming steadily, blurring my vision as I stumbled along.

To be continued....