What’s more important: people or image.

Having gone through a major life change as I have, I felt challenged to write about something which tends to be overlooked, not spoken about or simply ignored. Those of us that have gone through serious dark times can relate to the feeling of being judged or misunderstood. I felt challenged to write about the topic ‘Christian’. Yes Christian! The word we associate to church, bible or religion.
Don’t get freaked out! I am not writing against the bible, church or the Christian.
Having been involved and attended church for decades I am speaking about something I believe should be said. It is personal to me. It has affected me. Not many would understand unless they had gone through an experience which would take them to places breaking apart small minded thinking and judgements of other people.
The fact of the matter is that I was married to a man that claimed to be a Christian. Without going into all the details of how I was mistreated, the purpose of writing about a topic such as this is the hope it will encourage others who may be in the middle of OR have gone through a similar struggle. Deep down I would hope that people who are quick to judge and live in a world too small would get a glimpse into reality rather than resort to the typical Christian phrases or bible verses blinded to ‘the real issues’ in life.
Personally, I believe what the bible talks about and I believe there is a God. Having experienced situations for myself I could never deny that God exists. Unfortunately, there are people who choose to use the bible to control others. It may be an individual or the leadership of a church. These people grab parts of the bible and use it to manipulate, control and attempt to scare the hell out of people.
The trouble is that often these people believe wholeheartedly that they are doing the right thing? Are they misunderstanding the bible? Where does this all come from?
Since my life changed over a year and half ago I have not gotten to the point in which I desire to go to church. I have tried a few times earlier when I first got to Canberra however hearing all the typical Christian phrases, messages and watching all the typical routine within a church doesn’t appeal to me. Sometimes it can feel a little like a rehearsed show. Do people really benefit from clichés?
At this point in my life I just want what is REAL and GENUINE. I have found that listening to people’s real-life battles in the place I work has been like therapy for myself. People going through real issues are usually open and genuine. They have nothing left to hide. They don’t have an image to uphold in front of others. When I have the privilege to listen to a person’s dark time I relate to them. Everything within me stops for that moment and takes in what this person is pouring out. I genuinely listen. I don’t have all the answers and they don’t expect me too. I don’t have an agenda or motive behind why I am listening, I just genuinely care about people.
Why? in the darkest hours of a person’s life is the Christian person often such a hindrance. Throwing judgemental words at the hurting person. The person who doesn’t need anymore hurt!
The fact that I currently don’t attend church does that mean I don’t believe in God? Or the bible?
The way I am living out my beliefs may look different to others. Isn’t it about the heart? Your motives and intentions? Your behaviour?
I simply cannot fathom that a God who is talked about as a loving heavenly father would be so nasty as to banish a person from his love if they were not attending a church on a regular basis. I believe God is sooooo much bigger than that. Perhaps us humans like to contain God into a very small space.
The amount of pressure often put on a Christian is another topic altogether. That if you follow all these steps daily you will be closer to God:
1. Read bible daily
2. Pray daily
3. Attend church weekly
4. Attend a bible study
5. Attend a ladies meeting
6. Attend a small group
7. Evangelise your neighbourhood and the world
All sounds good and great and involves a lot of DOING but what about who you are as a person?
A person’s beliefs don’t make them a loving person. You can attend every session under the sun, running from one group to another and ignore your family, mistreating them worse than your worst enemy. All in the belief that without DOING all of the above you will fall short of what it is to be a Christian!!!! Failing to recognise that the way you treat others should be right up there on the priority list.
I’m thankful that I have been able to see life from a different perspective. I’m so much happier and content without all of the unnecessary pressure to perform or keep up an image.
It took me along time to come out of an unhealthy relationship involving a lot of control which included emotional and spiritual abuse. The bible was often used to manipulate and scare me. Sadly, this is an all too common occurrence. This experience has changed me and my thinking for the better. You could say that it busted through my small thinking and my judgements of other people.
It also made me aware of how easily we can get mislead and controlled if we don’t use our god given brains. At the end of the day all that matters is that you live life in a way which leaves you free to be yourself! You know who you are, there is no need to keep striving towards an image someone else has established somewhere back there ←
→ move forward and don’t be controlled by others. Every human has a god given right to be themselves, we all have a different history, future and purpose.

We don’t need to be copies of others.






The Wholesome Reality

Quality is everything. How much are we willing to overlook it when impatience has us making quick and hasty decisions?  Life is often about what we can get with no time to wait. Companies have capitalised on this human flaw multiplying $$$ dollars. They market us with cheap products so that we can own it faster. It’s all in the numbers rather than the quality of the product itself.

It’s about fast & quick!

It’s about saving time and making more.

It’s about beating the competition.

It’s about getting in and out as quick as you can.

We are living in a world of numbers and duplication with very little patience. Companies and individuals strive to get $$$ dollars into their bank accounts often overlooking quality and long term consequences.

We do this in relationships.

We rush in without a second thought.

The dream of having that perfect marriage/family/house can have us rushing the process.

As a young person I rushed into marriage without thinking about the consequences. Marriage in itself is not bad by any means, it can be wonderful. It is more about the person you are marrying, who are they? Are they someone of quality? Are they right for you?

My dream was to have a family that owned their home and had built financial security ensuring their children had a good start to life. To be married to a man who was respected in the community/family/friendship groups, a man who was successful on every level in particular a man of good character. I’ve dreamed of having a man that is respected and admired, who loves/protects his family/wife and cares deeply for his children.

This picture I’ve painted sounds achievable and normal to some. Perhaps you are one of the fortunate who can say they have all of that and more.

I’m certain I speak for many who have visualised the same as I have yet reality proves to be the opposite.

IF you can imagine for a moment a house made of bricks. Every brick layered on top of another brick perfectly in line, the brick work giving the house an overall appearance of how a house should look. Windows and doors all measured into place. The house has been built to plan to ensure time frames and budgets are followed.   Tradesmen follow the plan and do their best to put everything where it needs to be. The final product is eventually complete and there you have a house.

For some of us our lives don’t quite work to plan all accurately measured and tidy.

Mine didn’t.

Despite the dreams I held in my heart over the past few decades my life has not been that of a house with perfectly lined bricks with windows and doors in place. My life resembles that of an olden day style house perhaps built with stones. Different sized stones. One stone placed upon another stone. It doesn’t have an appearance of perfection it has an appearance of character and hard work. There are very few smooth edges and a lot of bumps and rough corners. The average house can take up to 6 months to build my life resembles a house which has taken many years and is still incomplete. My life is like that building you drive past which is looking incomplete after many years of construction.

Every stone that has been placed upon another stone in my life has come from all sorts of difficult circumstances. These stones are held in place by tears mixed with loneliness, confusion, pain, hurt, anxiety and even depression at times. Every stone and layer represents wholesome lessons learned and healing from pain. Unlike the straw house depicted in the children’s rhyme with the pig huffing and puffing and blowing that house down, my life having been built by heavy stones has progressively been growing stronger by the day.

Anything of quality takes time and effort with a lot of patience.

How often do we buy into products advertised and sold in large numbers only to be disillusioned once the product breaks down in a short time or once we realise the product doesn’t really do what they claimed it would do!!!

The truth is we often go through the hard stuff to get to the good stuff!

Having been in an unhealthy marriage and a roller coaster ride over the past few decades I appreciate life very differently now.

I love the fact that I can walk into my little unit knowing that I can relax without the fear I used to live with of what was going to happen next week or next month? My life was up and down and insecure, filled with contradictions and instability. I lost trust in the people I should have trusted the most. I even lost trust in myself.

Everything was a big fat question mark?????

I was always reliant on my ex-husband. I believed most things he told me even though the facts in front of me showed otherwise. In order to survive living in the relationship I had to push down my own values and what I held dear. To leave the relationship was unthinkable although I had thought about it on several occasions. The trouble was that I had the fear that God was going to smite me if I left.

That’s another topic right there!

Spiritual control was equally as strong in the relationship as was the emotional control.

As quick as we can be at buying those products which are lacking quality we can be equally as quick at settling for a partner that lacks wholesome character. A person can say all of the right things yet who they really are is shown in what they do.

I was sold on what I was hearing and led to believe.

The battle always began when actions were opposite to what I was told. Any questions I had were diffused with convincing sets of answers. Often my questions were turned back onto me. In psychology they call this ‘gas lighting’ in which the victim is always questioning their own reality.

Essentially what I am saying is don’t settle for anything less than good quality.

Be patient!

Don’t rush it!

As every decision we make will have consequences for the rest of our lives. Of course we can’t live in a bubble and think we will avoid every problem in life however we certainly can minimise the difficulties if we just consider our decisions that little bit longer.