I woke up the other morning for the first time in a long time feeling a little down for a few reasons:
1. I work at a job for $9.50/hr (yeah, I got a .50 raise), which is almost $2/hr less than my undergraduate campus job and $1/hr more than my high school job working at a movie theater five years ago. Five years ago.
2. There were still unclean dishes in the sink from the day before and my apartment was a mess. Ryan and I live in a small apartment, which makes my inability to keep it clean so pathetic. How can it get this messy when no one is even home?
3. I watched this movie the night before and there was this guy and this girl and the guy was looking at this girl and wanting to know everything she thought and felt and was and I thought–how come no one listens like that? My voice is so small and sometimes I feel like I have to yell the loudest to be heard.
5. I just woke up feeling a little down, which happens sometimes. Also, Ryan is out of town again and this is the first time this season that it’s been hard on me.
I got to work late that day because I am late to most things, except movies and church. I guess in a way, my being late is a small act of defiance which says, “Hey, I call the shots around here. I come when I want.”
I showed up seven minutes late. I’ve been working overtime so really, I’m doing my manager a favor. (I can and will justify anything, when necessary.) When I got to work, I sat at my desk. There was a small pile of work on my desk, which I thumbed through and by the time I finished all those assignments, an hour had gone by. So I got up and went to the fridge. I had brought homemade cookies the day before for some of the workers and so I ate one. It was delicious. I ate it at 9 o’clock in the morning. Again, I do what I want. I eat what I want, when I want.
Then I went to the bathroom in the back of the warehouse, which is like an outhouse, but without the smell. Well, then, Tara, you may ask, How is it like an outhouse? The answer is simple: it is very cold. Air from outside blows up through the toilet into my bare butt. I apologize for the details, but this is the mood of the post and I am going with it.
But just so you know, the mood is now changing:
I prayed when I was on the toilet. As crude of an atmosphere it was, I prayed because I was starting to feel insignificant again, when I had worked so long and hard to know that I was significant, at least to God. When I look at what everyone else is saying and doing and saying a thousand times, over and over, sometimes I start to feel a little lost, like I’m just not cut out for the cut-throat competition. Like the rest of the world is up for the challenge to “SUCCEED” and I just don’t have what it takes to join, or even worse, that I just don’t want to join in the way that they do, but that I have to because there are bills to pay and there are people to take care of. You know what I mean?
So I prayed to God because the truth is, I believe in Him. I believed that He could and would tell me what I needed to know to feel better…again.
This is what God told me:
He reminded me of this one time when I felt like I was doing everything all wrong. When I had broken up with Ryan and was trying to figure out my whole heart. I remember writing in my journal that I wanted to be so good, that I wanted to be consistent, that I wanted to be the kind of person that Ryan was and how come I couldn’t? I wanted to be the kind of woman who loved with all her heart, who could give her whole heart, who didn’t have to take it back over and over again because the person she loved messed up. I didn’t want to love so unconditionally, so fearfully, so I ended it.
For weeks after that I was quiet. I turned off the TV, I turned off the music, the news, the internet, yes, even the Facebook. God told me I couldn’t hear Him and so I started listening.
I remember one time lying on my bed, watching the snow outside the windows, thinking about what it would be like to love as clean as snow.
Then God told me that He loved me. That He was proud of me because I was doing everything I could without His omniscience, and that’s all I could do. He told me to keep listening–that there was more light to receive, more love to hear, more of me to become.
He told me that He knew my heart and how big it was. He said my kind of heart was a gift.
He said, “I know who you are and who you want to be.” Then He said that I could be that person and that I would be.
I ended up marrying Ryan half a year later. I had a lot to work on, but I kept trying to become who I could be. I am still trying, not just with Ryan, but with everyone. I mess up literally every day. But still, my deepest secret is that I want to love like God.
When I was on the toilet, God told me that He knew that. He told me that I had come a long way and that was enough for me.