On Faith, On Other Topics

I am staying up to write this post because I feel that there are some things which need to be said. There is no particular order to this post: it is simply a collection of things that have been on my mind. Feel free to read these in whichever order suits you best.

On Worth

Contrary to modern belief, humans are not goods. They are not products. In essence: one's worth will never be found in numbers.

It is not measured. Especially not by:

  • weight

  • height

  • grades

  • body count

  • attractiveness on a XX/10 scale

On My Shame

I have been asked often enough, "Hey, why is it you keep posting on your blog? Aren't you embarrassed? Aren't you ashamed? Are your failures something to be proud of?"

According to the standards that have been set, perhaps I am a failure. I should be in my second or third year of university by now. I should be "doing" things. I should be changing the world. I should be making my way towards a fancy degree and should probably have an internship or two under my belt, as well as a few hundred dollars (at least) in savings. I should have awards in various national competitions while also maintaining a fabulous figure and a perfectly fresh, clear face and I should be smiling each and every day because I have absolutely everything going for me and being sad means I'm being selfish.

I do not think I have even accomplished even 25% of the aforementioned things. Because of this, I am considered a failure. Because I speak easily about my past sexual behavior and my struggle with anxiety and OCD, I am proud of my dysfunction. Because I share intimate details about my life, I am a brazen vixen who knows no boundaries. So many people have questioned my motives and intimated that I find some sort of perverse enjoyment in talking about my personal issues.

An utter failure, to some (or many?) people.

On Faith and Pride

Perhaps what differentiates me from so many of these detractors is that I have faith. Even before I found the Lord I had faith in the inherent order of the universe; that it would guide me safely to where I was intended to be all along. And after I found Him I found true solace, because once I accepted Christ's sacrifice sin had no power over me and thought I may struggle against my ego never again can I be doomed to death. In Christ there is no failure: there is only joy, and everlasting hope.

And why exactly do I feel the need to post on this blog and share such terribly soft and vulnerable details about myself? Because sometimes, someone needs to hear them. I have always been of the opinion that if even a single person can find hope in my blog, if even one person who has also been called worthless can find joy again by hearing of my trials and triumphs and how I overcome them, if another person can also find bravery in the gentle whispers coming from this small corner, then praise Him because He has allowed my voice to be heard. Because of what some consider my scarlet letter people can feel hopeful, or inspired, because I am fighting for myself and for them and for all of you. Because you are not alone! I love you so very much! Look at me! Look how far I have come. Two and a half years ago I tried to disappear. I found no joy in my life and thought it would be easier to leave. And look at me now! I am getting married, and I am here writing to you, and I am telling you that it gets better.

If a person like me who is considered a stain on the family and a harbinger of war and shame can find happiness and joy in the simple pleasures in life, then I am sure that you can too.

On Lack of Faith

I feel an immense sadness looking at the many many people who have no faith, and who think they are free because of it. We are always unaware of the degree to which this world captivates us, and how ardently we slave for it. We yearn for good jobs, not because we enjoy them but because we feel they provide security and prestige. We paint an array of masks with different expressions and tie them around our heads when we are looking to hide, and unfortunately, we are always looking to hide. We hide for so long that we forget how to properly wear our real faces. When we fall short of the standards which society has set for us (and we inevitably will) and which we have internalized, we feel immeasurable self-hatred. We feel worthless.

But here's the thing:

Humans are indisposable, as is the Lord, as is love. But because so few things are treasured, because so few things are nurtured, and because everything has become so very quick and easily accessed, humans, too, have acquired an aura of disposability. We consider ourselves cheap and easily replaceable. We fill the holes in ourselves with drugs, alcohol, bodies, medicine, and new things. But humans are not at all replaceable, and they are not at all worthless. We are all individual treasures of the Lord. He spent so much time planning you and breathing life into each one of us. Joy is our birthright and we are not wasting space on this green earth, no matter how much other humans may tell us so.

(Isn't is tragic how often other humans are the source of despair?)

On Wedding Vows

There is a certain phrase in many wedding vows that people tend to forget, and another aspect which is also, on the whole, forgotten. The first: "for better or for worse". The second: wedding vows are promises. I suppose this has been on my mind so often recently because I am getting married very soon, but think about it. We promise ourselves and our full effort to another person, but the moment problems arise the word "divorce" pops up so eagerly. Perhaps I cannot speak to atheists or agnostics. But to Christians, and to others who believe, perhaps in a different God or in karma or whatever it is you store hope in: when have we ever been allowed to use others' poor behavior as an excuse?

On Pain and Suffering

It is very easy to run from pain in a world that has been made easy for us. You know, there have been some articles written recently explaining that our focus on sterilization and cleanliness

may actually be preventing us from exposure to pathogens that help build our immune system. Others suffer from an overuse of antibiotics and pain medicine, and as a result their bodies go haywire. This sort of culture has spread into our perception of relationships and our personal level of happiness within them. "Well," we say, "I don't really like how this feels, so I might as well leave." We place a very large emphasis on feeling good vs. feeling bad, even though in truth the magnitude of triggers often depends on our mindset. There is no such thing as good or bad, only what we make of it. But because it is easier to run from pain in the form of disappointment, anger, and heartbreak rather than to face these things with understanding and patience, we run, run, run, run, run.

The world tells us to hit back because that is the fair thing to do, but what is the kind thing to do? We are called to understand and to reserve judgment and to have faith in all things and through all trials, not to throw in the towel once we become unhappy. Through suffering and unhappiness we grow and mature. By getting crushed and molded under pressure carbon becomes diamond, and, likewise, through hardship and trials we become far more compassionate and lovely. People who have been through the most hardships are often those most equipped for understanding others and guiding them towards better spaces. If we do not suffer, or if we suffer and only see the horrible aspects of the situations we are dealt, we remain stagnant. That is why sometimes we will come across people who are forty or even fifty and still seem so childish and immature.

On Life

Life is meant to be experienced in all its joys and tragedies (this is something I have also said again and again). There is no responsibility in running away from what is difficult to face. With a proper mindset and faith in a Lord that loves us all trials can be overcome, albeit with difficulty and perhaps many, many tears. And that is okay. I do not consider my current situation(s) to be a sign of failure, only another point on a very long journey which the Lord has laid out for me. At no point on this road have I failed because His hand is always guiding me. The burden becomes much lighter when I leave the organization and planning to Him. I leave my burdens and heartaches at His feet and return He gives me the world. What logic of this world can compare? What bank could give me such a splendid return on investment?

On Love

A section dedicated mainly to you, sweetheart, because your selflessness and patience with me has taught me far more than all my ruminations on this topic. Despite what others have said about me you believed in me and fought for me and defended me, and continue to do so. I remember the days we spent together which melted into nights which always seemed to end so soon (a fact which we lamented again and again, while also wondering if there was something wrong about us). I am overjoyed to be able to spend this life with you, and I think that that is what love really is about, in the end: to experience a future together.

In our future I am sure we will argue (you bring the mop and I bring the broom, as promised). No day will be entirely full of laughter or light. But I will learn about communication, patience, understanding, childrearing, travel, family, and so many other things with you. We will fight and I hope that we will be able to mutually forgive each other. By experiencing these things together I am sure our love will grow deeper and that we will grow closer as long as we always return to the Lord who brought us together.

Dearest, you are my lover and, more than that, you are my partner and a half-part of me and I am honored that I will be able to walk through this life with you by my side. My intention in entering this story was never to live a conflict-free fairy tale love story with you but to share with you the sweetest, craziest things in this life. Like we have promised, right?

Untuk saling menganggu selama-lamanya.

You are a very, very lovely person and I am so proud of how far you have come in this short time. I look forward to seeing how you will change and grow in the future, and I hope we can grow together in our love and in the Lord.

Alright, I stayed up to write this post. There are many things which need to be done tomorrow, so I will call it a very busy day. I am back in Jakarta and on Saturday I will be at the Unmasked poetry slam at @america, so do come if you can!

My love, as always:

Theodora