Daily Archives: February 19, 2012

Sunday Shortie: Raggedy Holiness

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Another Sunday Shortie. A few quick thoughts, typed out fast, minimal editing.

Hang with a few abuse survivors and you’ll see—we’re all a little rough around the edges. Living in a dung heap will do that to you.

Once upon a time, I thought I had control. I watched my mouth, trying like crazy to never let a stray word get out that might betray my thoughts. Eventually I realized nothing in my life remotely resembled control  and whatever was in my heart was coming out, one way or the other.

I told the beast he was full of shit.

The sky did not fall, lightening did not descend. This little slip, however, gave him ammunition—he retold the story countless times as proof that I’m a hypocrite and (get this) demon possessed. How do I know? Because for several months, I heard versions of this story from his new recruits. Each telling became progressively wilder and by the last version, he had me dragging him around and snarling in his face with an unearthly glow emanating from my eyeballs.

I went right down to the local bishop and signed up for exorcism classes.

Interesting to note that if we’re counting curse words as proof of demonic control, the man is one pig short of a one-way trip into the Sea of Galilee. He might want to google ‘hypocrisy’ sometime before bible study.

Control is an Illusion

So many things out of control, so few ways to compensate, but brethren, I found them all.

For awhile, I went all Pentecostal and refused to snip my hair, wear makeup or pants of any variety. And since skirts were holy, frumpy skirts were extra  pious as everyone knows God shops at Goodwill. Pictures from this era  are just sad. Everything looks black and white, even in full color.

Another time, I purged my household of all secular items. Children’s book with animals dressed like people went in the trashcan. I can’t remember why. Nursery rhymes and fairy tales also exited the house as they weren’t true.  I listened to only Christian music, then filtered down to only Christian churchy-type music full of organs and stuff.

This is no longer the case. I paint my toenails and—to top that off—I pay someone *else* to paint my toenails sometimes. The fact I can’t reach my feet so well has nothing to do with anything.  It’s a tiny luxury I can afford, something I would never consider back in the day.  I read regular old books from the library without a Christian disclaimer in sight and if they get offensive, I know how to close the book and find another author. My music playlist is rich with all sorts of artists who’d never pass the respectability code of my more uptight days.

Once I broke open on the Truth, I learned that holiness is internal. As the fire of these trials does its work, I’m sanctified—set apart for  fellowship with my Father. I’m changed into the image of His Son because He loves me. And I love Him right back. Spending time in His presence transforms my heart.

I do not have to pretend everything is hunky dory when it most certainly is not. God accepts me just like I am, He simply has no intention I’ll stay this way. Working on all those outward signs of godliness did nothing but turn me into the hypocrite the beast accused me of being. And furthermore, it took up way more energy than I had available when I should’ve been doing things like figuring out why I lived in hell.

You can argue if you want, but the night I told the anti-husband he was filled to overflowing with bodily excrement, I was closer to the Father’s heart than all my mascara-free days put together—because I told the truth.

The truth sets us free. I don’t regret it one bit.

But I sure would like to burn some of those pictures from 1983.