The Magic Eye of Christianity
Those are the things running through my head lately.
What’s pointless? Life.
Who’s worthless and useless? I am.
I’m very aware of my humanity and frailty. I’m aware that my beating heart could stop. At any time.
I’m conscious that my last breath could be. Any moment.
I am enduring a mild depression. Without medication. And it’s scary.
I have given up on suicide. I’ve failed at my multiple attempts. I obviously won’t succeed anytime soon.
I’m enduring a crisis of faith. I still believe in God but wonder about Christianity.
I attended a church-related women’s retreat this weekend and became plagued by thoughts, “Should I really be here? Right now, I don’t care about Christ or discipleship. Conform and transform to the likeness of Christ but I can’t see it? What a gyp. Christianity is probably a crock like the rest of those wacky cults out there.”
And yet my belief in Christ is the very reason I’m able to type this. Christianity is an addiction for me. Of all addictions to choose, I’m playing it quite safely.
I cried today.
I’ve been feeling as though my existence lately has been pointless, worthless, and useless. My husband argues that I’m very much like a guy and tie my worth to my ability to earn it.
I told him of a story of my father in August 2001. My father had just gotten out of the psych hospital after a bout of attempting to starve himself to death. I thought for sure I was going to lose him that summer but by the grace of God, he began eating again and a psychiatrist put him on meds (which? I don’t know). My father said to me before I left for college in Florida:
“I feel useless. Your mother is busting her butt to provide for you and put you through college and I can’t do anything.”
All I could do was hug my daddy, tell him he wasn’t useless, and that I loved him. He died on December 9 of that year. Perhaps he died the death of uselessness.
I wake up every morning, feeling ready to die. I, of course, don’t really want to die but feel as though I’ve outlived my usefulness. My best days are behind me. What do I live for now? Can I really simply be content with just existing to bring a smile to people’s face? Is it enough to exist simply to babysit one’s children?
Perhaps I deluded myself with visions of grandeur in school. Always coddled and told I could be whoever I wanted to be. Perhaps if I’d been more of a failure in the past, I wouldn’t expect so much of myself now. Perhaps I embark on epic fail because I’d encountered one too many epic wins. Perhaps I’m not making a bit of sense at all.
The topic at the women’s retreat was discipleship. And a friend, at least 10 years older than me, told me that I’d been an encouragement to her and discipled her.
What? How? Isn’t discipleship supposed to be older women to younger women? What could I possibly have to offer anybody older than me? What could I possibly have to offer at all?
She insisted that I was an encouragement to many people and I didn’t know it.
Perhaps this is part of that conforming and transforming to Christ’s likeness that God won’t let me see but somehow everyone around me can see it.
I hate that.
Remember those Magic Eye books where you’re supposed to stare at an image until a new image appears? I’ve never been able to see those things. I feel like my life is one big Magic Eye where everyone goes, “Wow! Look at that!” And I respond, “What? I don’t see anything.”
My Christianity is a Magic Eye; visible to nearly everyone but me.