Things it’s hard to admit part I
I suppose I will never forget how I felt when I finished my undergraduate degree. I think I’m not yet far enough removed from the situation to forget what I was feeling.
I had spent four years of my life in mental agony (anyone who has known me for more than five minutes will tell you I’m very aware of my emotions). Some hard providence had befallen my life and I had taken all of the agony I had felt into motivation to do the best at what I was doing. Now, let me be clear that being motivated to accomplish a goal is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is possible to become selfishly ambitious. It’s also possible to become that way without realizing it. The very nature of sin will make this clear to anyone who has indulged in it and had his or her eyes opened to it.
For two years I ripped my way through community college and at the same time worked part time at a preschool. My life followed the basic pattern that many a student follows- work, school, sleep,work school sleep. Of course there are variations to this, but mine followed just this pattern. I remember spending a lot of time at the home where I rented a room and staying in my room and not coming out. I’m not sure if that’s exactly what happened, but I remember it that way.
In 2011 I moved to Tampa with one of my best friends and another dear friend. I lived there for two years, but this was the point when it was pointed out that I had a tendency to lash out. I can’t say that I fully understood what was going on, but I thought I was being kind. I really don’t know what I was thinking, or if I was thinking at all, but that is what happened. I tried to get involved in a campus ministry, but I allowed myself to become isolated. To this day I don’t really know what I was thinking. I did in all honesty have a ton of homework and between work and what felt like infinite amounts of reading about people raping each other and feminist views of marriage I felt like I was drowning. It didn’t help that after watching my parent’s marriage be shredded to pieces (not that it was ever great) I was finding myself sitting in a chair defending an institution that had caused me more pain than comfort. Even though I was working from my presupposition of the inerrancy of Scripture I was finding myself wrestling with the emotions that I felt and what I knew to be absolute truth. In other words I felt split down the middle, and on top of that I was motivated to be completely right just to be right. I wasn’t really motivated by preserving the reputation of truth and Christianity as I was by the desire to be right. In other words, despite what I would have said at the time, I was strongly motivated by what I would say was legalism. While I had an idea of the grace I had been shown through Christ, I really had no idea how I was supposed to fully express that on a human to human basis. Some people would say “Well, God has been gracious to you now just show it.” This displays a lack of understanding of how nature and nurture work.
I don’t think I ever had a full mental break, but I came pretty close. I remember one night after several nights of less than adequate sleep and being involved in many stress inducing situations I sat on the edge of my bed and wondered if it would be easier to deal with life or jump out the window of the second story, but fear of pain convinced me that jumping out of second story window would not be the best way to deal with things.
Part II coming soon.