Thursday, August 27, 2009

This is getting hard!

Today is the one week mark since I moved into school...I can't believe it. I thought it would be so easy to stay strong in my convictions and plans, but it's been such a struggle. Especially since the Christian guy I met drove me insane! He was really nice at first, but he didn't like my room mates (and in fact said he didn't want to hang around non-Christians; which is ridiculous; did Jesus hang ONLY with religious Jews? No!). What really sent me over the edge was his disapproval of my faith. He said the old Law is gone, yet couldn't really explain the sin of homosexuality without quoting from it. He even brought up marriage at one point, and while courtship is a noble idea, his mainstream evangelical ways just creeped me out. I won't say much else about him because it's almost at the point of gossip, but in short, he had a lot of hang-ups and he was a tad condescending. I may have made myself look less knowledgeable than I am, but he acted like he had the keys to the Kingdom.

This weird experience really threw me off. I had to hide in my dorm to get some peace from him. I even started to notice myself sliding. And in my head at the time I was justifying it...I didn't want to be like him! I didn't want to be that way to people around me; how do I know how they see me? It gave me flashbacks to when I hurt my atheist friend with my "Christian talk". I must have sounded like an arrogant _____. To be honest. I was freaking out inside. When my covering slipped, I took it off. I was getting excited about the nightlife with my room mates, I was lusting and flirting, I wasn't thanking YHVH for my food before I ate...

and then english came. We had to give a writing sample (all freshmen) the first day. We were supposed to get like an hour, but my teacher gave us 35-ish. I bombed! (well in my mind I felt it was the worst essay I had ever put my name on.) If the teachers felt my essay was bad enough, they would put me in a remedial class. How awful. Maybe it was my own insecurity, but I had a feeling that essay was bad enough to be deserving of such action. I had to turn to God to calm my nerves and assure me. It was really hard repenting that acknowledge the sin from a mere few days! The next morning I put a full covering on and just trusted God with my fate in english. That night my teacher told me my essay was great, vivid, and compelling. I was shocked. It deserved no praise and yet my teacher did not hold back. I remember blurting out "Praise Yah!" after I read it with the biggest, cheesiest grin on my face. I didn't even care that my door was open and that my room mates were in ear shot.

It's still hard for me to wear my covering though. They don't stay on! I've tried bobby pins, clips, hair ties...nothing will keep it in place. Also, since I share a suite with 8 other girls, shower time in precious and I usually shower before class and putting cloth over wet hair is not comfortable or practical. And the food crisis....oh boy! Pork everywhere and sometimes they just label it "meat" in what? mystery meat? I saw lasagna tonight and I just scooped it on my plate not noticing the "meat" next to the sign. As I took a bite, I couldn't tell what it was...beef? pork? both? All day they had pork. Sausage this, pork quesadillas that. I was starving come dinner! I hated not knowing if what I was eating was kosher. The frustration was overwhelming and just writing this upsets me. Being a religious college freshman is almost an oxymoron. Week one was rocky...I hope it gets easier from here.

I am trying to get in touch with my friends who I may have offended at home though. If anything, this week has taught me how NOT to be a Christian! I definately know Campus Crusade and those people are NOT the crowd for me. Which means I have no where spiritual to go lol. No Chabad, no Campus ministry. But my room mate did ask me last night if I would go to church with her. At first I was dreading it...I didn't know what she was. (baptist like the guy? episcopal? lutheran?) I almost didn't want to deal with some crazy protestant church, but she's a Catholic. Baruch HaShem!

So this weekend I'm off to Catholic church with my wild roomie :) Hopefully she appreciates and feels YHVH there. I'm ready for some comfort in the word, even if I don't agree 100% with the RCC; it's been my home for 18 years.


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

Wow, you're really being tested aren't you? I really truly hope you can find some friends that you can relate to on a deeper level.
I know what you mean about the ubiquitous pork. In that setting, its easier to just eat mostly vegetarian. At least then you have a better guess about what's in the food.
I know what you mean about being uncomfortable with some of the Missions focus Christian groups. They are just too pushy and want people to agree to narrow doctrinal guidelines. Most importantly, I think they forget that it is God who draws people to himself, its not something they can bring through their own efforts.
I hope everything keeps getting better for you at school.
B`ezrat hashem

~Joseph the Worker said...

Maybe you can meet some friends in the Newman club? We had a great relationship with the Jewish community around here, and all my Jewish friends have great respect for the Newman club.

caraboska said...

Stacy, Agree 100% about the evangelical groups. I think you've put your finger on the mentality and, well, there are names for trying to take over an area that belongs only to God. Ones that start with letters like B and I. The worst possible kind of sin, in other words. Used to travel in such circles myself, but not anymore. There's just nothing left to say to them...

caraboska said...

R.A., Evangelicals who have the sort of approach to the Law that that guy you mentioned seems to have divide the Law into ceremonial and moral categories. They believe that everyone - Gentiles and Jews - is obligated to keep the moral Law, but the ceremonial Law is another matter.

But as far as the issue of homosexuality is concerned, remember that abstaining from sexual immorality is on that list of items that are required of Gentiles as well. Of course, sexual immorality is covered by the Ten Commandments, but it seems that we are supposed to take the Mosaic definitions of what and is not forbidden. So he was right, even within the bounds of his own thought system, to refer to the Torah, to the Law, in explaining why homosexuality is wrong. There is no inconsistency there.

Another thing I had been meaning to point out: the feasts set forth in the Law are another example of something that Gentiles are not obligated to keep according to HaBrit HaChadashah (New Covenant). As the Scripture says, 'One person considers one day special, the other considers every day the same. Let everyone be convinced in their own mind.' I'm paraphrasing here, I believe the relevant verses are in Romans 14; it's a good idea to read the whole chapter to get the context.

That having been said, it is not wrong to keep them (after all, all things are permissible, within certain limits - more about this in I Corinthians, chs. 6 and 10), as long as one does not think they are required (for more about this, see Galatians - all of it, to get the context) or that they will materially contribute to our salvation - which as you have stated elsewhere, and rightly, is by grace alone. So if you find that this is edifying for you and you want to do it as an expression of love for God, then it's the right thing to do for you.

I again really wonder where the nearest Messianic congregation to you is... For the moment, I suppose you will find support online :) At least that. I check your blog at least once a day, hoping for a report on how you are doing.

You are evidently getting to see a bit of the seamier side of college life. I suggest you adopt the role of an observer; the areas that seem difficult, you can treat as matters that require study and prayer to gain more precise knowledge, to form and strengthen your convictions. You may find with time that the fact that you are in college majoring in some particular subject is more of incidental character, compared to what you are learning on the spiritual front. God has provided an opportunity; May He grant you wisdom and strength to make the most of it. Y'varechcha HaShem veyishmerecha.