My Epiphany-ish Thing

The other day I kind of had a realization. I’ve stopped connecting to God as a father. So…
To me, I think of God as my older sister. Yes–God, to me, is a female. Call me a heretic. Burn me at the stake. Right now, I’m not getting caught up in theology. I’ve been praying, reading my Bible, and trying to do the right thing. And that’s all I can do for now. I won’t, however, call myself a Christian. I don’t think I ever will, even when or if I stabilize my religious views. The stigma (caused by some asshole “Christ-followers”) is just too much.

This is all new for me, and I’m trying not to be overloaded. I haven’t been making a big deal out of this, because frankly, I’ve changed. I’m less showy about things than I once was (a post on that coming soon, I think). Here are things about me that haven’t changed:

  • I’m a firm LGBTQ supporter. Always will be.
  • I’m a swearing machine.
  • I don’t really believe, at this point, that all of the Bible is completely infallible. I may write a more in-depth post on this later.
  • I’m not going to evangelize.

So…yeah. Calling this an epiphany feels super melodramatic, and I don’t want to call too much attention to it. So I’ll call it an epiphany-ish thing.
…Writing this has been kind of awkward, but I kind of felt obligated to put a little blurb about it here. I mean, for reference. Yeah. As I mentioned earlier, some better writing is on the way. This post was really more of a “Coming Soon” poster for the literary skyscrapers I am going to build.

Female Attraction & Lies in the Church

The topic of sex is kind of a taboo in the Christian/church community. Personally, I don’t think it’s discussed enough, but when it is, it’s too often riddled with shame and misunderstanding. There are double standards and destructive lies, particularly against women.

For example: you’re always hearing stuff like, “guys care about sex, girls care about love.” I’m beyond exhausted with this one. I can’t speak for all girls, but love is somewhere next to getting a nose stud on my priority list. Would I like a nose stud? Yes, actually, I would. Do I care about it enough to pursue it at this point in my life? Not really. Sex is probably more important to me right now.

And take sexual attraction. Male desire is always being talked about. Resist temptation, brothers in Christ. Lust is a huge problem you’ll have to face, boys. What about us? Do girls not experience that as well? I’d like to hear people talk about female sexual attraction and its temptations. There should be discussions about the desires we deal with.

Additionally, the modesty demand is almost always placed on us girls. Now, you must know that I’m no modesty advocate (you can read my opinion on that here). But if you’re going to be a proponent of that, at least make sure it goes both ways. I can’t wear shorts above my fingertips or tank tops thinner than two fingers wide, but guys can parade with wet tee shirts clinging to their muscular torsos and trunks halfway down their crotch. It’s because girls are assumed to be “less visual.” I’m sorry, but to be blunt, a guy with a six-pack is hot. This goes both ways. (Of course, as I reference in my linked post, I don’t believe that anybody should dress to avoid “tempting” another person, because we are all responsible for our actions.)

I guess what I’m trying to say is that girls have hormones, too. We get turned on. We care about sex. Hopefully the world, specifically the church, can start to understand.

Ideal Teenager

Hi! My name is Ideal Teenager! I’m a straight A student–no, not one A minus! But of course, I don’t stress about it at all. It just comes naturally. Yes, I do all my assignments as soon as they’re assigned, and I always get them in on time. School sports are my life! In fall, I play field hockey; winter, I play basketball; spring, I play soccer. All varsity, of course. I’m also the head of the Bible club. I make sure to read at least three chapters of the Bible every day, and I always pray at least ten minutes before I go to school, and before every meal–even lunch. I don’t just pray at lunch–I get my friends to pray with me, too! Evangelism comes effortlessly to me, as does making conversation in general. I love talking to people in line at the grocery store, and I always manage to mention my faith. I have a part-time job at Chick-fil-A, but I only use that money for charities and tithing. Speaking of jobs, I’m a babysitter! Children always reciprocate the love I have for them. I also love to exercise. Every morning, at five, I go for a three-mile jog–after I read my three chapters of the Bible, of course. I’m very active at my church. I sing on the worship team, volunteer in the nursery, and occasionally serve as an usher. I’ve only cursed six times in my entire life. I wear a cross necklace and a purity ring everywhere. Yes, a purity ring. I’m even saving my first kiss until I’m married. I never wear tank tops or shorts above the knee. I’m always going on mission trips. I know how to do everything with my hair! I can make a perfect french braid in less than twenty seconds. I’m also the queen of eyeliner–I can make perfectly sharp, even wings every time! My self-esteem is really good. I have just the right level of confidence. I live and breathe optimism. Expect the best, because it will probably happen. I don’t take any medications because I don’t have any illnesses. Even if I did, I could cure them all with prayer and maybe a multivitamin. Everybody at school knows and likes me. I’m always being invited out to parties, but don’t worry, I don’t ever drink anything. I’ll be a teetotaler my whole life. You can forget about drugs of any kind. I always respect my parents and agree with all their opinions. They know everything about me. I have no secrets, and very few regrets. The only thing I regret is spending a paycheck on clothes instead of giving it to charity. I know how to play the guitar, piano, and french horn. I’m fluent in Afrikaans. All my prayers are answered. Whenever I get anxious, I can calm myself down immediately. If I get sad, I talk about it with my parents and listen to upbeat praise songs, and it always makes me feel better a hundred percent of the time. I have a keen sense of what people want, and I’m really good at comforting people, but I’m also very tough. Nothing gets under my skin. My eyebrows are perfect. Every color looks good on me. My room could be in a magazine. I could be a model, but I think modeling is immodest and of the devil. I’ve been in five school drama productions. I’ve been to remote parts of third world countries to plant churches. I always recognize God’s voice, never mistaking it for my own thoughts. I know all the popular songs, fads, and memes, but I only listen to Christian music in my free time. My resting face is a smile. My favorite foods are celery and power smoothies. I’m at exactly the 50th percentile for height and weight. I have 20/20 vision. I don’t need deodorant because I always smell like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I always remember my dreams, but I never have nightmares. I never needed braces. I’ve read the Bible fifty-two times.

Hi, I’m Ideal Teenager. What’s your name?

Just the Cool Girl

Everybody likes me–most everyone, that is. I’m nice to people. I’ll smile when I make eye contact, hold the door, apologize if I accidentally step on the backs of shoes or interrupt. I’m passionate. I’m always trying to find ways to inspire people, brighten their day, and make them feel better. I’m funny. I’m unique. Yes, people really like me, and they say so.

I’m everybody’s pal, but nobody’s best friend.

Doesn’t everyone have a “person?” When you hear best friend, that one person appears in your mind, don’t they? The texting buddy. The one who calls you and the one you call when days are rough. The one with whom you share a whole lot more than just your time. Countless inside jokes, fun memories. Going out shopping, taking selfies, trying out new restaurants, inviting each other over to watch stupid movies and make prank calls. Your best friend.

Maybe I’m lonelier because most people have already got that person. I’m just the cool girl at school. Just the funny one you’d laugh with in class, the nice one you’d smile at in the hallways. But I’d be a good best friend–not before, but now I think I could. I care so much, even about those I don’t even know that well. Call me in tears, and I’ll stay on the line until it’s one in the morning. Need a pick-me-up, and I’m there with some ice cream and hugs. I care, god damn it, I care so much. I wish they could know that. I try and try to cultivate relationships, but there’s another best friend for her/him. I make an effort, but there’s some unspoken roadblock. Am I the only one who just doesn’t know what that is? Is it something obvious I’m just absently passing my focus over? Because there’s always this little room of loneliness in me. It’s empty, door ajar. Yes, all they’d have to do is knock softly, and I’d answer. But, I don’t know. I guess some doors are more for looking at. Some friends are more for small talk.

I’m just the cool girl.

Our Lives vs. New Phones

You gently run your fingers across your shiny new iPhone. It’s smooth, unscratched, grease and dirt-free. This is your holy baby, and you will treat it reverently. Nobody can touch this. Somehow, you feel that not even you can touch it.

Do we care more about our phones than our lives?

Think about it. How would you handle a new phone? (Admit it, we’re all a bit overprotective of them–especially at first.) You’d put a case on it to protect it from damage–and to give it your own personal flair! You’d notice every new smudge, scratch, and fleck of dirt. You’d get some great apps, use it, and charge it when it’s low on battery.

Now think about yourself.

Do you take care to protect yourself? Do you express who you are? Are you aware of your needs, quirks, hopes, and fears? Do you spend time cultivating yourself and being the best person you can be? Do you know what drains you and how to revitalize yourself? Chances are, you don’t do all of those things. Actually, none of us do every single one of those things. We’re hard on ourselves. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle, we completely ignore what we need. Self-awareness and introspection take the back seat when there are piles of homework to get done or a stack of bills to be paid. Self-esteem can be difficult to gain or maintain when we feel completely inadequate. And so, we break. We run out of charge.

What can we do then? There’s no quick fix. There are, however, some things to keep in mind that I think could really help us in our journey to a better self.

  • Password. Or passcode, or whatever the young ‘uns call it these days (I’m fifteen, and I honestly don’t know). Be guarded. No, not in a way that shuts everybody out. I mean, listen to your gut. If you don’t feel right sharing something with someone, don’t. If something feels off, be cautious.
  • Case. Surround yourself with a good support system with multiple people included. One person can’t be your everything.
  • Backgrounds. Your lock screen is the self you show to the world. Your home screen is the person you are inside. Reflect on both. Who do you make yourself out to be? Is it how you really feel? Compare and contrast.
  • Apps. These are your traits that help dictate how you think and what you think about. If you’re hardworking, you may be thinking about the best ways to get your work done. Work on installing character traits that will help you. Delete ones that are damaging. And, as always, take time to clear your head. Too many apps running in the background can drain you and slow you down.
  • Camera. What’s your view of the world? Try using different filters, or looking at things through other perspectives.
  • Screen. Let this represent your confidence and self-esteem. If treated poorly, this can break. Be kind to yourself. Remember, your case–support system–can help you when you fall down.
  • Internet connection. How engaged are you right now? Sometimes we’re spaced out, scattered, and “not all there.” When we’re distracted, things get done much more slowly–or not at all.
  • Charge. This is vital to our health as human beings. Be aware of your immediate needs. You’re hungry, sick, overstimulated, or sad. Revitalize yourself as soon as possible. In the meantime, don’t overextend yourself. Know your limits and adjust your plans accordingly.

Those are just a few of the ways you can take care of yourself. If you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them!

P.S. This is all from an iPhone user. Other phones might be different–I don’t know. I’ll never have anything to do with anything other than iPhones.