🎶It’s been awhile
since I could hold my head up high 🎶
That’s the opening line from the title song by Staind. I guess you might not expect a blog like mine to include songs with explicit lyrics. So if that offends you, I’m here to say that it’s possible the reason people don’t want to come within a 5 mile radius of a religious establish might be because they listen to songs with explicit lyrics and feel like that makes them judged as less than. And maybe nothing Christians are putting out there is reaching them because they just can’t relate. I’m all about meeting people where they are. That’s how God met Saul on the road to Damascus. Right. Where. He. Was. At.
Everyone likes to focus on the reformed Saul, the man who became Paul, an apostle known as one of the greatest of all Biblical messengers. But I think the thing I like the most about Paul was his humility. He’s the first to admit he was the greatest of sinners. In Paul’s own words:
That’s so relatable to me! I don’t see the need to hide all my past sins under a rug, even though I’m not proud of them. It doesn’t make me more relatable to others to act like I’m sinless, at least not to others who aren’t trying to look more perfect than they really are. Have I lost friends because I was authentic about where I came from and the kind of raw person that I am? Yes, on more than one occasion.
But Jesus cautioned against being fake and acting like you’re perfect when you’re not and he had major beef with the Pharisees who acted like they were perfect, yet who played an important role in his crucifixion. I don’t want to look like a hypocrite.
The other day I heard a song that went like this, “There’s a sign on the door that says ‘Come as you are’ but I doubt it.” (Truth Be Told -Song by Matthew West).
If you feel that way, I don’t blame you. I’ve tried to go to a church and be transparent about my past and found out I couldn’t. They were too legalistic. I felt judged, even excluded. If that has happened to you, I’m sorry.
You see, as a therapist, I feel like we’re all a bit broken. I talk a little bit more about that in another blog post here: Broken
I’ve definitely had days when I felt like I’d screwed things up way past the point of saying “I’m sorry”. As the song goes, there were so many times I felt like:
🎶 And it’s been awhile
Since I’ve gone and
F#%&$@ things up
Just like I always do
And it’s been awhile,
But all that s#%$
Seems to disappear
When I’m with you 🎶￼
Can you relate, trying to fill that void inside with a person? Somebody who makes you feel good and helps you forget your pain?
In the bridge of the song it says
🎶Why must I feel this way?
Just make this go away
Just one more peaceful day…🎶
You see, physically, I’m a weak person. I’ve really struggled with my health in recent years and just felt so un-usable by God. I just wanted the pain to literally GO AWAY.
I was wrong though. God can use me like this. Because maybe some people aren’t willing to meet you where you are, but God isn’t like that at all. Somehow through my weakness and loss of faith in some of the people and things in the world around me, an unexpected thing happened. My faith grew. Exponentially! People repeatedly let me down. I lost trust in humanity at one point. I became rather cynical.
Then I thought about it. God was true to his word:
All the people that let me down didn’t break me though. I learned to stop putting my faith in people; in relationships, fair weather friends, politicians, leaders. It might be hard to believe, but I can now think about the song “It’s Been Awhile” as me telling God how much I’ve screwed up and hear him say “That’s ok child. Nothing you can ever do will stop me from loving you.” Isn’t that what we all need to hear?