Ministry Major Malaise

I wish that I could write a post that fully shows how much depression sucks. I wish that there was a way I could let you take a peek into my world and what it’s like living in this world. A world where you don’t trust anyone, lest of all yourself. A world where it’s like you’re reaching and grasping for something, a shred, a spark, but perhaps it just doesn’t exist. A world where it feels like a game of Jenga, and that you never know if the next block being removed will cause you to wobble, collapse, or stay sturdy.

But yet, I’m taking a break from writing about depression to try and write about something else. Because it all interlinks together. It all fits together, somehow, someway. It all overlaps and it’s all a part of the same puzzle.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t talked a lot about my week at IHOP. How it completely shattered my faith. How in so many ways, it screwed up how I view God. How it completely broke me. How it played mind games with me. How I went on such an emotional roller coaster. And frankly? I feel stupid! HOW could one week, “onething”, affect me so deeply? It was just a week, for God’s sake! There’s no reason it should have shattered my faith so badly, that it should have so badly demented how I see God. There’s no reason, and I beat myself up constantly for it. I know who God is. I know logically, I know all the facts, but convincing my heart to believe what my head knows is a struggle.

I find myself on the brink of self injury. Why, you say? Your scars are fading. You’ve been free for so long. Why would you throw all that away for just a few moments of solace, of false serenity, of bittersweet relief? IT HELPS. It lets me out of my inner hell, my inner demons, for just a little while, and that is help enough. It’s not worth it in the long run, but sometimes we do things that aren’t worth it in the long run just because we don’t know better. But no, how dare I ruin God’s temple. How dare I screw up the gift God gave me. How dare I turn to myself! I’m a pathetic excuse for a Christian because allegedly His blood was enough so I don’t need to shed my own. (You will see how this relates, I hope, and this paragraph isn’t just random).

I’m struggling to keep my head afloat. I’m struggling to keep normal sleep patterns, eating patterns, living patterns. I find myself escaping to books, video games, TV shows, and movies just to try and get a break from my brain, from my crazy self. And what I hate the most? Several years ago, I’d turn to God. Several years ago, I’d pray. Several years ago, I’d find refuge in my faith. And now I don’t. Now my faith, the very thing I’m studying in college, the very thing I desire more than anything to do with my life, is what is scaring me and plummeting me deeper into the pits of despair. I find myself angry at God: angry at Him for allowing that week, angry at Him for allowing all the hellish moments of my life. Then I get angry at myself for getting angry at God because who am I to be so angry at Him? I find myself angry from events at old churches that shook, shattered, and tore my faith to shreds. I find myself furious of what people do in the alleged name of God, the horrible hurtful things they do – some intend to hurt, some because people are just sometimes dunderheads.

And yet, I hurt myself. Because I see how I am not worthy. I see how I am a bad Christian, and maybe all those terrible lies I believe in reality are true. Maybe there’s a reason I went through those various church and ministry-place-related struggles, because they’re the truth. Logically, I know that’s a bunch of bullcrap, but who said my brain is always logical?

And worst of all, I’m terrified. What if I make some mistake in the ministry? What if I totally screw someone up, shake their faith, tear their soul to shreds? How would I ever live with myself? What if I mess someone up as badly as I was messed up? Am I being rational? Am I irrational? Would I have these fears if it were not for how badly I’ve been hurt “in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” What would church pastors say to me? What would fellow Christians say to me? What would atheists say to me?

It’s difficult. I’ve been hurt in so many ways, by so many people. And an age-old saying is “hurting people hurt people.” What if… what if I hurt someone? What if my hurt ruins someone else? Is it just a vicious cycle that will never be ended?

Through despair and hope, through faith and love

Seven years ago, everything was changing. Little did I know that just over a month later, everything would further spiral out of control. Me, the control freak that I am, would be left utterly helpless and shattered. How was I to know that age 18, soon everything I knew would change? How was I to know at 18, everything was going to be different soon? How was I to know that I would soon sink into utter despair, and not know when I would find hope again?

September 28, 2005 was the day I totally melted down from stress in the middle of my College Prep World History class. I remember just bursting into tears during a study period, and my teacher trying to console me. But me, being the stubborn person I am, threw up my walls and refused to let him in. Idiotic move there, Ang. Soon things would change so much. But I wonder how different it would have been had I opened up to the teacher then. But I was scared to death. I was only 18 and while legally an adult, if I told the other people at school what was going on, legal systems would be involved. Kind of funny how just over a month later, my faith in the legal system was shattered as well. Kind of funny how my faith in the church and the legal system both took a suckerpunch, and I still haven’t regained faith in the legal system.

I guess it’s kind of funny now that I’m going into the ministry. It’s kind of my ultimate “screw you, bitches!” to the people who hurt me in the church. It’s the proverbial middle finger to those who told me I’d never amount to anything, I’d never graduate college. Because you know what? I’m going to make a difference. My story of despair was not for naught, and I can turn it into hope. If I can make a difference in just one life, I will have had an effective ministry. If I can help just one teenager, just one child, if I can protect the child that others failed to protect, my work is complete.

I want to help the ones who slip through the cracks. The ones who fall to the wayside. It doesn’t matter if no one else loves them, I want to love them. To turn despair into hope, and to administer faith and love. To be someone they can trust, and not someone who will shatter everything when one of the darkest secrets come to life.

And that is my dream. One of them. The other is to work in a summer camp for disabled children, but that’s another post. Another day. Another night.

It’s bedtime. Alarm goes off too early, but it’s another little sleep night. Been too many of those lately, but not much I can do about it at the moment.

hello darkness my old friend

Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again
Beause a vision slowly creeping, left it’s seeds while I was sleeping
And the visions that was planted in my brain stil remains
With the sounds… of silence. 
– Simon and Garfunkel

I recently came across some details and information that hit me hard. And once again, it traps me in darkness and silence. I don’t want to be silent about it, but for now I have to be. And once again, I’m talking with the silence. Once again, my voice goes unheard. And I don’t know what to do with that. I don’t know how to feel about that.

Details about the past that made me angry, hurt, and confused have left me feeling even more so. While the queestions are answered, the anger rages. WHY is this person still allowed in a position of authority in the church? WHY hasn’t anyone spoken out? The answer is simple – if they do. they will be hurt. And I clinch my fists in anger and rage because, just like I was when all this shit hit the fan when I was 18, I am helpless. I cannot do a goddamn thing about it, and it breaks my heart. More people can be hurt, but I have to stand there wordlessly and watch it happen.

I’ve been asked with all the shit I’ve dealt with within the church, why I am still a Christian. Why I’m not an outright atheist. Why I even want to go into the ministry.

I know that there are people hurt by the church.
I know that there are people who are standing there in the sounds of silence, unable to speak for fear of what might happen.
And I know that there’s another side.

I also have a side passion, but that doesn’t fit with this blog entry so I will blog about it later.

One day… I will leave the sounds of silence.

I said, sometimes I hear my voice and it’s been here…
silent all these years.