It has been a very trying couple of years. Struggling with who I am and what I stand for has been my main adversary, and yet, I know it is an adversary to better me, not destroy me. The biggest struggle with my walk in this world has been how to step out into who I want to be, who I know I am, vs how to do it and still honour God (...and "no" people, I am not talking about sexual orientation). When it comes to honouring God with my actions, I recognize that God does not need my defense. He can take care of His own reputation. It is stabilizing my identity that leaves me feeling like a failure at times as I break free from the foolishness of religion and the blows of unsubstantiated condemnation brought against me.
You see, I hadn't realized how much of a 'doormat' I have become. When faced with conflict, I would generally step into my peacemaker persona and take the brunt of the blow, thinking that it makes me the "better-person", meanwhile others have interpreted my actions as guilt, weakness, and I become a target for further abuse. In these past two years, this type of activity in my personal and professional life has been escalating, leaving me seriously wounded - struggling with bitterness, anger, and intolerance.
Right now, I am trying to break free.
I am a bit of a recluse, there is no getting away from that. I can be social, but usually purposefully social. For example, I get to know others and I draw them together socially, but once I have connected persons to each other, I draw back. My energy is drained in large social gatherings after even a short time...I am an introvert most of the time. With this quality about me, there leaves a mystery I guess, to my being, that people seem to love to speculate on. Ironically, if anybody wanted to take the time to get to know me, I am generally very forthcoming, and probably not what they expected, but most people would rather live in a world of fantasy; it tends to be more interesting than the truth...This is the reason Hollywood thrives.
Presenting myself to others in such a way that they see the qualities of God before they see the qualities of Misti is an ever-sword-in-my-side situation. It weighs heavily on me as each decision I make - especially in the quandary of retaliation or defending myself - becomes a battle of determining whether my action will honour God or not, and then, is my decision based on a religious response of what I think God would approve of or not...and oftentimes, it is less a case of what God would approve of and more of a case of what the religious would approve of...sigh, I get exhausted in my spirit just writing that.
Quite frankly, there are times I would love to turn and beat the hell out of some people...and then pray for them... But that's not very "Christian" of me, is it?
Transforming so that the qualities of Misti are consistently a reflection of God is an ongoing process that definitely has its speed bumps. These past couple of years I have forgotten more often than remembered exactly who I am...I am NOT the Great I AM, but by the GRACE of God, I am who I am...an imperfect woman, a child of the living God, loved by God, forgiven by God, and transformed by Him...and this adversarial existence lately is part of the transforming work of Jesus Christ in my life.
And despite the calamity I have been experiencing, it is comforting to know that God loves me just as I am...it is even more reassuring to know that He loves me so much that He will not leave me as I am.