I have long hated the radio programming on K-LOVE. Yes, I'm a Christian but I find K-LOVE to be so ANNOYING. It's entirely too positive! It's like what sunshine, rainbows and unicorns would sound like if you could hear them. Positive, cheerful and always full of faith. While those are beautiful things, I finally figured out this why K-LOVE annoys me so much. It is because they make me feel bad about not being okay. The constant barrage of positive and uplifting content makes me feel like I'm failing as a Christian and as a person.
Having a strong faith is supposed to mean that we won't let the struggles or suffering of life get to us. So what does it mean if I'm over here hanging out the window of the struggle bus holding on with my teeth? Is my faith so weak that I feel the struggle more than others? Am I a really crappy Christian? How do those people do it?
My grandmother was the perfect example. She was diagnosed with cancer in December 2002. I was away at a residential high school and she would always tell me not to worry about her and that God was taking care of it. This was a FATAL diagnosis and she carried it out with grace until the end, which was only several short months later. Looking back on it, I don't know how she did it and kept her faith as strongly as she did. I had a miscarriage six years ago and that drove me into a drunken stupor for weeks. It wasn't fatal, it was a pretty common occurrence (I was only 8 weeks) and I didn't handle it well AT ALL. What is wrong with me? What is so different about us that we handled things so differently?
Now, let me say that I am no theologian or expert in any way, shape or form. I'm a crappy youth leader at best. However, all of these thoughts and questions led me to do some digging and some serious thinking. I think that my grandmother did have those human moments , she just didn't show them. Knowing her personality, I'm sure she was pissed and didn't show it. I think we as Christians have a habit of shoving our pain, anger, suffering and struggles down because we have this idea that our faith should take it all away. We feel like crap, we pray about it and then we feel even worse because the prayer didn't make it feel better. Now, not only are you a failure in general but now you're also crappy Christian and have created your own version of hell in your brain. Does that mean we don't have enough faith or that we're doing something wrong? No, I'm here to tell you that it does not. God is no dummy. His intelligence is beyond our comprehension can I can't imagine that He would create these negative emotions without wanting us to experience them.
When times get hard, they always tell you to turn to the Bible but simply reading the Bible won't heal you or miraculously make you feel better. I think that what it will do is help you ground yourself in His word. It will provide an anchor so that no matter what crap gets thrown at you, God will be a pillar in the center. I find that one of the most beautiful things about God is that His power comes in times of our weakness. There are days, weeks and years that just flat out suck. It feels like our soul has been crushed but there He. He may not change our situation, we may not have this big epiphany on how to change things but we know that we are not alone and that He is feeling the pain with us.
It is okay to not be okay. Its during these times that you get guided back to the person that He intends you to be. Don't fight the negative feelings. Allow yourself to feel them, to acknowledge them and then learn from them and move on. I've managed to learn a lot about myself while looking at my lowest points of the last few years through this new lens of acceptance and vulnerability. I still won't listen to K-LOVE but at least I know why now.