more on my secret

i’ve done a little thinking since my first blog on this topic and i’ve got a little – or a lot – more to add. i said i was hiding my faith because i didn’t want to be alienated. there may be more to it than that. i mean, yes, the alienation fear is true, but it’s bigger than that. i think my struggle is that i have – in my head – created a “good christian woman” persona, and she’s someone i can never be. i don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say she’s someone no one can be. i’ve created super-perfect women. someone who gets up early, reads her bible, prays, makes breakfast, gets the kids up and prepares them for their day (in a proper way) and tucks them in at night with prayers and cuddles. her home is immaculate. she makes sure all members of her family eat a well rounded diet based on the food pyramid – the new and improved one – and she has dinner ready and on the table for her husband when he walks through the door. and she does all of this every single day while looking fantastic – she’s physically fit, her hair is perfectly coiffed, her makeup has nary a smudge and she dresses fashionably, but appropriately modest. she never looses her patience and friends and strangers seek her out for her renowned wisdom and, of course, all her answers are supported by scripture. she certainly doesn’t struggle with her weight, with depression or any other things that might possibly be considered a weakness of the flesh or of character. i have created someone i can never be – a mold in which i can never fit. but it is who i think i have to be if i want to be a “good christian woman”. this woman certainly doesn’t lose her cool, yell at her kids out of frustration or punish them – they never need to be punished. she doesn’t eat chocolate when she doesn’t really want it – she may never eat chocolate. she isn’t irreverant, never sarcastic and doesn’t have spare time to waste watching reality tv or reading random blogs. when i compare myself with her there’s no way i can match up to her and what’s more i know i never will. and that, i believe, is part of my problem… i don’t believe i’m the only one who has developed this impossibly perfect being. (i may be the only one, but i’ve convinced myself otherwise.) i didn’t just pull the parts and pieces i’ve put together to create her from thin air. i’ve come in contact with these ideas for years – i’ve gleaned it from many places. it isn’t something that’s necessarily been spoken, sometimes it’s just an impression or perhaps a misinterpretation. i don’t know exactly. but it’s there. and i’m afraid because i’m not her that if i disclose this truth, this secret, the world might think me a fraud. and not only because i can’t be her, but i really don’t want to be her -i’m pretty sure i don’t like her very much.  so i guess that leaves me to reconcile my made up super-perfect woman with me, myself and i. to redefine and maybe even discover that being a good christian woman doesn’t mean i have to become a different person, but it might just mean that i become a better version of myself. i’m sure this isn’t the last you’ll read of this…

5 thoughts on “more on my secret

  1. Monica – I want to give you a big hug right now!

    I think it’s fascinating that we’ve been drawn into this conversation because while we both share a hesitation about openly expressing our authentic belief in and love of God and Jesus — the thinking behind our heistations differs greatly.

    I’m so glad you are NOT the woman you described above. That woman would never engage the likes of me (a single-“living-in-sin”-femenist-liberal-democrat-ex-hippy-entertainment worker-residing in California – worse – near Hollywood) in a conversation. The woman you describe sounds like a Stepford wife. I’m with you – I don’t think I like her very much either.

    But I can relate to idolizing her a bit, because she’s got it all under control, doesn’t she? She gorgeous, people like her, she does the right thing, she doesn’t struggle. That does sound like a good way to be.

    This is where it gets scary for me because I don’t want to sound too churchy in my jargon–I haven’t quite figured out how to express this in my own langauge yet — but here goes:
    I just know – and I bet you know it too – that God’s grace is given to us. So it’s not by our works (or our attempts to get closer to some idea of perfection) that bring us closer to him, it’s by his works (his grace) that we are brought closer to him.

    I don’t know you very well, but from what I’ve read of your blog, I feel strongly that God created the witty, smart, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, creative and loving Monica just the way she is – on purpose. 🙂 You know it. 🙂

    I’ll post on this topic too at my page soon. Thanks for the food for thought. Have a great day.

  2. ruth – thanks i feel somewhat odd “putting it all out there” but i’m also finding it very helpful to actually have a reason to dedicate some real time to figuring this out.

    i like this quote…
    “i like your Christ, i do not like your christians. your christians are so unlike your Christ.” ~ mahatma gandhi
    the super-perfect persona would probably be one of the christians gandhi is talking about here.

    i can really relate to “trying to express this in my own language” i think what i’ve done is take someone else’s “language” and tried to make it work for me. now, i’m fighting to find what fits me and i’m not saying i don’t have to change – i know i do, but i’m pretty sure that whatever that change looks like the person i am can be maintained.

    make sense at all?

  3. Just 2 quick thoughts – christians aren’t perfect-just forgiven!(Thank heaven!) and like the magnet on your very own fridge says-Dull women have immaculate houses. (just look at me for your evidence of that!

  4. Hello . . . I’ve finally put up my first post on the topic ….. it’s at my site, but I think I’ll add it to 30 voices also. Thanks for inspiring the discussion.

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