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May 30, 2012

Are You There God? I'm Stuck in a Judy Blume Novel

        Based on some of the issues I've faced in the past few years and am currently facing now, it's hard to say how old I am.  In some ways I feel like a young child.  After all, I spend a good chunk of my day playing with toys.  But I also feel old.  Health issues, financial difficulties, health problems, etc. And then there's everything in between.
        On one end of the life spectrum you have the fact that it was only two years ago that I dreaded going to school because I was being bullied.  And on the other end of the life spectrum, I've been having problems with hot flashes and achy joints.  What's wrong with this picture?
       Then there is the large part of me that feels a lot like Judy Blume's eleven-year-old character, Margaret Simon.  Some of the things Margaret faces in the classic novel Are you there God? It's Me, Margaret. are things I'm dealing with now.
        One thing Margaret starts learning about is boys.  I've been seeing the same guy for nearly a decade now, but I'm still trying to figure him out.  Sometimes, I just don't get him.
         Another thing Margaret does in the story is get her first bra and she has trouble finding one that fits her underdeveloped chest.  In her case, she just hadn't grown yet.  In my case, I can't find a bra my size!  A-cups are too small, but I need to stuff B cups to make them fit right. And it's not like I'll grow into it.  I'd have to get pregnant in order to grow anything up there.
         Finally, one major part of the story is that Margaret is conflicted about her faith and what religion defines her beliefs.  I at least have the benefit of being sure of three spiritual truths. I firmly believe that: 1) God created the universe; 2) Jesus died on the cross, conquering death to save us from our sins; and 3)  His followers are going to argue about everything else until he returns. 
       But as a Protestant Christian, I have many denominations to choose from.  I've been to Lutheran churches, Baptist churches, and I even roomed with a Methodist pastor in training.  I see very little difference in the underlying theology of all of these doctrines as well as the doctrine of the church I grew up in, The Church of the Nazarene.
        I have no problems with the church where I grew up.  Their doctrine is biblically sound, the majority of people there are genuine and caring, and I experience spiritual growth there.  But I started attending a Hebrew roots church recently and I feel like I'm growing even more than at my home church.  Therefore, I'm rather conflicted about leaving the church I've known for so long when there's nothing wrong with it and then starting to go to someplace so much different than what I've known and calling it home.
        I know God will be with me every step of the way and help me with anything. From childhood-like conflicts to geriatric-ish health problems, God will take care of me like he always has.  So I'll finish with a prayer.
      Dear God,
      Thank you for loving me even when I don't love you as I should.  Help me to be a better example of you.  And today I ask that you let my body match my age and help me find the right church to call home.  Amen.

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