Pastor preached on maintaining your joy despite whatever circumstances you are going through. I’ve been there before. After I was laid off, I knew in my heart that the Lord would provide for me and just pressed onward. Sure, there were many times when I was curled up like a baby on the floor of my bedroom in utter agony not knowing what the next day would bring, yet I was still able to focus on all of the good things with which the Lord had already blessed me. That focus brought me the strength I needed to endure the unknown at the time. And that strength was my joy. Sometimes it was just enough to know that I could trust in Him to make it through.
The scripture referenced this morning was found throughout Philippians 4. Key points: 1) learn to avoid comparisons. There will always be others that fare better than you. This will inevitably spawn the “fairness” questions back to God. One comment that hit home is that the mortality rate for the human being is 100%. So, what do we do with ourselves in the meantime? What do we set our eyes upon? 2) It is a myth that I must be liked in order to be happy. Well, that’s a hard one with which to grapple. I am alone. I am unhappy. No, not everyone I will come across will like me. Truth be told, I easily piss off most people. And you’ve read my rave reviews I’ve received from my immediate family in Birthday Cards. Pastor said that all I should be concerned with is that I please God. Well, I’m in trouble here. I acknowledge that I am a lesbian (albeit celibate, although I’m not sure if that isn’t just splitting hairs). Certainly that isn’t looked upon as being pleasing (no, I’m not going to drag all the biblical references to prove that one). I also run right smack into the two verses that I have really tried so hard to pattern my life after. So, where am I really as far as the conforming and the transforming? Am I really just a poser? 3) Pray for what can be changed and accept that which cannot be changed Phil 4:6-7. Again, another sticking point. I don’t believe being queer is a choice, so what can be changed there? Also, what about the whole bipolar shtick? It’s not something to be cured. Do I believe that God has the power to heal? Yes, I do. Will He cure me? Who knows? All I do know right now is that I am bipolar which drives to the very heart of so much that is wrong with my life. 4) Learn to accept God’s power in that there are circumstances that I can’t face alone 2 Cor 12:9. 5) Learning to allow for God’s provision Phil 4:18-19. Both points 4 and 5 I’ve experienced first hand. I have seen God’s fingerprint on my life in such a way that it defies all other explanation (see My Own Personal Miracle elsewhere in this blog). 6) God will give you all you need if you put Him first in your life Matt 6:31-33. This point comes with that great caveat: IF you put Him first. Do I? I am consumed with the by-products of being bipolar. I am consumed with wrestling with the concept of being Christian and queer. Am I just wrestling with the concept of being queer? Is it internalized homophobia? No, I don’t think that’s it. If anything, all of my life I’ve been a radical, in-your-face butch dyke.
If I try to follow my heart, I know His word tells me that so much of what I am internalizing are just the lies of the devil, but the bipolar keeps getting in the way. I can’t keep all these racing thoughts straight in my head. So, I end up not knowing what’s real and what isn’t. It’s information overload. I am drowning in the sea of “oughts” and “ams.”—who I should be vs. who I am. Am I who I should be? Why can’t I answer that question?©2009