Sunday, March 28, 2010

Long Absence

Hello again fellow bloggers!
Ok so my little hiatus was jam packed. Not only have I been busy, but my mind was pre-occupied and I didn't feel worthy of writing religious material when I was in such a funk.

A little while back, I posted how my room mate was mad that I didn't participate "correctly" at the party we went to, and told me I was too religious. This comment really stuck to me and I began to question my own identity, first and foremost as a Christian, but also as an individual...a simple human being. I was unsure if I was living my life simply to fit a mold or because this was what I wanted. I immediately tried to strip myself of anything stereotypical "Christian", while staying in the limits of morality. I went shopping for clothes I wouldn't normally wear (ex: shorts, skirts that rise a little above the knee, some tank tops, and tankini bathing suits), I tried flirting more and participating in the "girly" talk/gossip with my room mates, and I started to question my stance on love: who should be able to love? how should we love? how far is too far in the physical realm for a single girl like me?

Now this has only been going on for about 2-3 weeks and I noticed drastic changes in myself. I thought I was staying in my moral boundaries...just breaking the idea that all Christians must conform to this ultra-modest, ultra-strict lifestyle. I don't think anyone else noticed the changes...except for me, because they were emotional changes. My once confident self (in terms of body image) was suddenly looking at my body as a strange & imperfect enemy. I started to see "problem zones" and had the urge to fix them now. I knew right away something was wrong because I had overcome this battle since becoming a serious Christian. My weight had ceased to be an obsession for over a year and a half, I just focused on health, not the vanity. I also felt this guilt when I would make comments about certain guys...critiquing them like everyone else. I was objectifying another human being for what? A stupid game? I was allowing impurity into my heart...straying from my focus on God and my life as a single young woman. I was disappointed with myself...but this was what I wanted. Experimentation in finding my true self.

One of my room mates asked me if I would ever break my purity vow to have sex with this handsome foreign exchange student...and I couldn't even react. It was like 'what are you doing?' The thing is...I couldn't even answer it. I was so absorbed in "fun" of this game...of connecting with my room mates for once.

And then someone posted Romans 12:2 on their blog:
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

And I realized how off the straight and narrow I had gone. I didn't even like the person in the mirror. I lost my confidence, my direction, and my strength. The "old" me (the one from...a few weeks ago hahaha) was the real me. I wasn't blindly following a Christian stereotype...I was responding to the weight being placed on my heart by the Lord. When I felt like I needed change in my life (whether modesty, head-covering, character, etc) I would research, study the Bible, ask more experienced Christians...and that "conformity" was to the will of GOD, not a cult! Just because many Christians share the same habits and lifestyles does not make them wrong or stinted in creativity...we're living a life devoted to God and His Will is perfect and ONE. Meaning similarities will arise in our communities. I don't need to blatantly stand out and act differently for the sake of individuality's sake, nor do I NEED to conform to beliefs (Christian or not) that I am not sure are right for me and for the path God is leading me on. I need to stick to the discernment God has equipped me with.

I'm still working on fixing the damage I created (it spiraled so fast!) and I am unsure about some of the clothes I bought. My policy was always "to the knee!" so my capris, skirts, dresses...all went to the knee. Even my bathing suit which was board shorts and a surf guard thing. And now I have 3 pairs of shorts and 2 bathing suits. I feel like the bathing suits are ok...modesty on the beach (for some reason) is always different than "on land". But am I willing to compromise my modesty for a simple beach standard? I'll give it a try...I can always wear cover ups if I feel uncomfortable. This is all a learning process...God just needs to lead me. And I will NO LONGER let the words of others (especially the opinions of my room mates, who cannot even grasp the happiness I have in my God and His ways) deter my from this life...from righteousness. I'm ashamed I let it happen, but I was afraid of becoming a bigot...from becoming a Christian who scares off non-believers rather than draws them in.

Pray for me! (not only for guidance, but for the crazy amount of tests I have this week!!)
Peace always~
RA

4 comments:

Deltaflute said...

It's good that you've realized that your roommates are in the wrong. It takes courage to discover that of yourself. College is definitely a time of self-discovery. Once you finish school those battles with modesty will be lessened. You'll focus on other things like marriage or being a religious sister or a single woman. Modesty and how you dress will be less important to you too. God works on us in little bits to prepare us for our vocation.

caraboska said...

Thank God you caught it as quickly as you did.

Annie said...

RA,

I pray that you will never again compromise your standards so that your lifestyle is more attractive to roommates or other friends. Christ calls us out of the ways of the world into His ways--and you're right, it's not because we follow the stereotype, but out of love. Thank you for your honesty with this. We are not perfect, but God is faithful to slowly perfect us until the appointed day of completion.

May you be encouraged to continuing following Him without looking back!

Annie

Lucy said...

R.A,

I am starting to wonder if your companions are really your friends? They sound like bullies.Try to avoid them until the uni ends for the summer and then drop them!