If you have no idea what this devotional was written for, read this. Oh, and guys? This is another girls-only day. Sorry :P
Anna has graciously invited me to write the first devotional for this chain, and despite the fact that I've twice tried to write devotionals and failed miserably, I said I'd do my best. Third time's a charm, right?
Honestly, I wasn't sure what to write about until tonight. I've been going through a lot lately. To make a (very) long story short, we have doubly many people in the house this week; I just might be graduating a year early, which means I should be looking into my future right about now; and I, founder of the P.O. Box Club and role-model-wanna-be of church, have been struggling in my spiritual life yet again.
I'll tell you a secret. I am a people pleaser. I only recently admitted this to myself, but it's been glaringly obvious since... well, forever. I am a perfectionist who always thinks about what someone might say - and not the one who worries about it, necessarily. Sometimes I go against the flow and work hard to look unique, carefree and 'hakuna matata.' I always want the children to pick me. I want to have a gleaming reputation. I want to be a spiritual leader - at church, in youth group, with the kids, online....
But I've never been open, like a blogger I admire. I have honesty issues, like the brother I often think little of. Until this year, I never grew spiritually except a sporadic camp decision. Until this year, I never truly saw my sinful self the way I did once at six years old.... the sinful self I asked God to save. I wanted to be the perfect 'preacher's daughter,' even if my daddy was just the song leader.
I wanted to look good, and I convinced myself I did - because Mom thought more highly of my honesty than my brothers'. Because I never missed a church service for a sports game. Because I had gotten saved young, so I would never, ever drink or smoke. Because I had said two cuss words in my life, both times without knowing they were cuss words. Because I had vowed to save myself for marriage - and had kept that vow.
In short, I was a legalist.
Then I discovered the blogosphere, and all the opinions out there. I became a radical feminine un-feminist. You know the type: I shall be a stay-at-home-daughter and never wear pants and master the arts of cooking and making my own clothes and growing my own potatoes... But this wasn't working. I was just growing more and more confused - what did I believe? What, exactly, made me different from that Calvinist? I knew why I wasn't Catholic - but why not Methodist? If the perfect woman described by the Bible was the person I started to see her as, why would so many women think God's will included college - spinsterhood - no children!? Why would my mother lead me to believe that could be possible?
And then the whole boy thing. My own experiences lead me to start a club in which I decided not to date until I was legally, emotionally, and spiritually ready to marry. Of course, my perfectionist self set up neat little dates for these events - high school graduation/eighteenth birthday, mostly. But I never prayed about these dates and decisions, or the club. And it was a horrid failure (which I'm considering putting an end to.)
So, to use the terms of the blogger I admire, this is my own Declaration of Independence. I won't label myself as a homemaker in training, or a stay at home daughter, or a feminist or nonfeminist, or even a Baptist, at the moment. I'll admit that anything I say or believe could be utterly wrong and totally flawed, because I'm sinful, evil, wretched, selfish, undeserving, and stupid. (There, I admitted it.) From now on, I'll set out into God's Word first and take everything in the blogosphere with a grain of salt, determined to find God's plan for my individual life and not put myself into any more neat little boxes.
Oh, and I'll stop trying to find verses to fit ideas and opinions, and instead form opinions and ideas to fit verses. That will definitely be a challenge for me.
Pray for me, would you?