I have a flaw.
Actually, I have many. If you asked my sister, I’m sure she’d give you a nice and neat—probably highlighted— Excel sheet of them.
However, I’m not talking about my tendency to “borrow” her clothes over state lines, interrupt her, or steal her pint-sized Wookie while she’s sleeping. Besides, little Chewbacca likes the cuddle-fests I force upon him.
My problem is that I live in an unrealistic reality in which I try to rely only on myself. This, might I add, is ridiculously unhealthy.
I’ve always been independent. I think I see my life as Kelsey vs. The World. Though, I always seem to get the giant K.O. at the end of most of my battles.
But I suppose life isn’t a video game.
Now, how does this relate to the workplace you ask?
As soon as I got my first paycheck, I started saving for Corban. I wanted to go so desperately that I was going to make it happen whether it was God’s will or not.
Because that always works out.
I became obsessed with making as much money as possible. There’s nothing wrong with that, right? It was for a good purpose. It didn’t matter that I blew off my sister to stay late, neglected my friends, or skipped church because it conflicted with my work schedule. Money was important, a necessity.
I replaced “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” with “I can do all things through money that pays my bills.”
I told myself that everyone else would have to understand. It wasn’t them. It was life. And it was life, not me, that just couldn’t make time for them anymore. I was so caught up in my dream of going to Corban that I was losing the heart behind it.
I wish, I really, really wish that I could say I prayed about it, God fixed me and I’m all better. Like the time in third grade when one of the “big kids” jumped off a swing and landed on me. God would be the “recess police” and rush in, brush me off and I’d be good. Maybe I’d even get a lollipop.
Unfortunately, that was about as likely as me volunteering to watch a zombie movie. I’ll be a whole new kind of crazy when that day comes.
God didn’t wave His magic fingers and make everything all better. If He did, I think that would make Him the fairy godmother from Cinderella rather than the almighty and glorious God of Job.
God made me learn the hard way. I hurt people I cared about, I lost friends, and I for a while I think I lost myself. You’re going to hear me say this a lot in this column, but I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be.
I have her written down somewhere.
She’s jotted down in journal entries and hides in a box of precious papers and poetry beneath my bed. She lingers on the backs of crumpled receipts and the edges of white napkins from the times when I just couldn’t wait to have a real piece of paper. I know who this girl is. I’ve recorded her because I never want to risk forgetting her. But sometimes I still do.
Have you ever done that? Known exactly who you wanted to be, who you wanted to emulate but then acted in ways that were completely contrary? I hope I’m not the only one.
I think as Christians, we all have this amazing person that we want to be. They’re kind and caring, someone people trust. They’re Christ-like.
But we let our own pain and sin stand in the way being that person. It’s easier to be harsh and cut-off, than vulnerable.
It’s only been pretty recently that I’ve seen some real changes in myself. I was reading a few weeks ago in Mark and there was a passage that really hit me. Actually, I’m pretty sure it punched me.
God was telling me that this whole “I can do everything on my own” approach wasn’t what He wanted, and it wasn’t what I wanted.
The environment we have here at Corban is unique. Here, in the presence of our brothers and sisters in Christ it’s okay to take off the mask. Here, it is okay to show that we’re weak. In fact, it’s through our weakness that we can boast the strength of God.
I’m back on track now. I’m learning how to let go of the fears I have about finances, and the way I cling to work and academics as a complete social cop-out.
I’m learning how to be a child of God, and I’m in process. But I think we all are.