Sunday, February 14, 2016

Joel. Michawn. {Part 68 - October on Facebook, 2}

If you are new to this blog, feel free to just peruse the past 10 years (have I really been blogging that long?!?).  But, for the past year and a half, I have been blogging about a specific time in our lives that began in January 2012.  The first post of that series is right here...from October 2014.  Welcome!

The next several posts will be me sharing some of the things I've posted on Facebook that I want to preserve here on my blog.  Good stuff.  I also usually go into more detail about each thing that I posted on Facebook here...more explanation, more information.  So, here we go...

Oct. 12th - This is self-explanatory.  So good.  And so true.

Oct. 13th - This was something that had been shared on Facebook by someone else.  Soooo good.  I had to share it too.  This image with these words...

No more memes telling people not to talk about their problems in the name of positivity. It's not healthier not to talk about your problems. It's just less real. People are unhappy after spending time on facebook because their lives seem crappy compared to the punched up, edited version of someone else's. Talking about problems can bring us closer to those we love or are getting to know. Talking about problems can help many people work out solutions. Talking about problems can help others who struggle with the same things feel like they're not alone. Of COURSE we should talk about our blessings and have positive, grateful habits. But don't shame anyone for sharing struggles. That honesty has power to create communities and heal hearts. Share your blessings, share your curses, and we'll bear the burdens and celebrate the joys TOGETHER.
Others' accusations about being negative when you're just being honest is exhausting...mostly because it's just not true.  I've learned that most people are so narrow-minded that they can't see a bigger picture.  They can't see past the end of their nose, or past the words that are said.  They can't see what the writer of the above words knows and sees.

And the truth is that most people, if they had been listened to and believed and helped in the first place, wouldn't have anything more to talk about.  For instance, had I been listened to and helped by 'church people' and certain 'friends' and certain 'family members' in the first place instead of turned against in my time of need, I would still be sharing my story about what happened in my marriage, but I would be able to talk about how much family and friends and the church, God's wonderful people, had come and 'beared each other's burdens' with me and 'weeped when I weeped and rejoiced when I rejoiced' with me.  Yet that didn't happen.  So, the same people who think to themselves (and also say it out loud) 'man, she sure has gotten negative' are the very ones who could have helped the hard parts of my story to end with struggles between my husband and me.  Yet, these other issues got heaped on to my already very difficult life.

God's people are failing so miserably at this.  At empathy, at compassion, at love.

My eyes have been opened.

My friend told me last night that it's always been like this...I've just never been on the receiving end of it like she has.  So before all of this I'd never seen it before to this extent or noticed just how rampant it is...and what a disease it is in God's people.  And that's exactly what it is...a spiritual disease...killing God's witness and power.

No wonder people hate Christians.  I always completely understood that...but, now I understand it with even more depth.

I've seen people.  I've seen people try to get to know God and try to give Him the benefit of the doubt...try to go to church and learn from others about God and His love.  They try.  Yet, they walk away wondering how the people they know that don't know God are nicer, more loving people.  And they want no part of the church.  

When people tell their story, you listen and you believe and you rejoice when they rejoice and weep when they weep.  You don't complain about them telling their story.  You don't accuse them of being negative just because they have a hard story to tell, even if that hard part takes up a major part of their life at the time.

You can't just 'positive thinking' something away.  There has to be an honesty about what is going on in the first acknowledgment.  Without that, there is no change...there is no growth.

"...don't shame anyone for sharing struggles. That honesty has power to create communities and heal hearts. Share your blessings, share your curses, and we'll bear the burdens and celebrate the joys TOGETHER."

Oct. 13th - Also on that day, I shared the soul mate clip again.  But, I had just had a conversation with someone that prompted even more words about it...
i'm sharing this again, with a little added. just had a conversation about this subject and about this clip with someone else. your spouse really should be your biggest cheerleader ever. EVER. 
as pertains to women specifically though, here's the thing... 
we want a best friend husband. we don't just want's a need. what is needed in marriage is someone who will support you and encourage you and say, "you're terrific." 
we don't need a critic husband.
we don't need a leader husband.
we don't need a 'head' husband.
we don't need a holy spirit husband.
we don't need a 'god' husband.
we need a best *friend.* 
so often, this doesn't happen. you might start off as friends. but, then your husband turns into a critic. he critiques you. and then he invites others in to your own personal marriage to critique you. 
and wrong theology gives him the right to do this. he is the leader after all. the head. he is 'responsible' for you. and if he thinks that something is wrong with *you,* then he has the right to convince others...and they believe him because he is the responsible leader. 
this clip. this clip speaks truth. a spouse is not supposed to be a critic or a leader or a savior. a spouse is supposed to be a best friend. if something goes wrong, as best friends you truly listen to each other and believe each other and work through it. 
no leader or savior or critic needed.  

Oct. 14th - People who stand up for equality don't hate the people they are not yet equal with.  They just want equality.  So, when people say that feminists are's just a bit ridiculous.

Even when people say things like this, it isn't as a hater of men.  It might be in hate of the idea that men and women aren't treated equally.  But, not in hate of men.  So...stop making that accusation too.  ;)

I shared this though is so very true.  Man's rationales are so very often not rational at all. Correct?  This wonderful, strong slave woman speaks truth unapologetically.  And I love it.

Oct. 14th - I posted these words with this video...
1. one comment on this video starts out, "I used to believe that I wasn't the victim of sexism..." i can *so* relate to that. it was all around me, always, constantly (i lived with it in my home). but, that statement was how i believed too. looking back now, i see how it affected me more than i realized, my whole life. and, in the past 3 ½ years, there's nothing that can describe me in my situation (or describe my almost-killed marriage) other than 'a victim of sexism.' 
2. i have identified as a feminist before...and was continually shamed. i didn't un-identify because of that shame, but because of the bad theology i was eventually fed and bought into. but, there are so many connotations that come with the word 'feminist.' first and foremost in my world, as a *very* pro-life Christian, feminists are so often lumped into the 'pro-choice' category. but, that is just simply not accurate. so...feminism does NOT = pro-choice. that's the first lesson. there is nothing about feminism that is emasculating (truthfully...'emasculation' shouldn't even be a word in our vocabulary or a concept that is thrown around). that is the second lesson. and for some further points, check out the video below. it's really very simple. 
nobody has to use this word. but, if you choose to use it (or condemn it), be sure you know what it means.

It's interesting to read the comments to that video post...not on my page, but the original post on another page.  One girl says:

"I am not a feminist. I do understand what the term means. And I don't identify as a feminist because I don't see the point. I actually feel privileged to be a woman in this country right now. I have had all the opportunities of my male counterparts, and where I haven't succeeded, it's because I didn't try hard enough. Men have not held me down -- I have. And I'm woman enough to admit that."

Of course there were several replies to her comment.  But this man's response basically just summed it up:

"Why does the fact that you don't feel oppressed imply that women as a group are not oppressed?"

Other replies went into how it was great that she didn't feel oppressed, but...

1) She was privileged and terribly nearsighted since soooo many women the world over are blatantly oppressed...and not just in the world at large, but women right next to her in the United States and her region (which is true of all of us...esp. in what is referred to as 'conservative Christianity');  another man said to her:

"I gotta say, that's pretty self-centered of you. 'I got mine, so who cares?' I can celebrate your successes, but your lack of empathy for others who might not have been so fortunate is disturbing."

2) Even if she as a woman has escaped oppression for most of her life, you never know when it might strike.  She might still experience it in her lifetime personally.  As you can read in my #1 up above the video, I would have said the same thing...that I didn't believe I was a victim of sexism.  This huge blatant event in the past few years just shone a light on my life as a whole...and just how held back I was in many areas, all because I was female.

There is a belief that people who are oppressed should just get themselves out from under that oppression.  It's up to them.

That is not how it works.  Are these people supposed to use every opportunity that comes along?  Are they supposed to be good stewards of the opportunities that come along so that they can get out from under the oppression?  Definitely.

But, not everyone has those opportunities come along.  The ones who have escaped whatever oppression they are under did so because they were provided with a very specific escape route.  They had a teacher take special interest in them and help them.  They were provided with someone else in their life that believed in them and helped them out.

It is impossible for one to do alone.  Oppression isn't escaped alone.

The oppression I was under, very heavily starting in 2012...a few would say "You're responsible for matter what others are doing." Well, if you are being oppressed, you aren't free to make decisions and carry them out.   You don't have the means.

And very specifically in my case, you can't just do the right thing for you and your family when you are yoked to someone else...and that someone you are yoked to believes you to be inferior in decision-making skills and reasoning and rationalization...and your yoke-mate has brought others all around you and told them all that you are depressed and have gone crazy and aren't dependable and can't be believed...and the theological belief system that you and everyone around you is a part of looks at you as inferior and not credible and untrustworthy because you are the 'weaker vessel.'

When everything around you is working so hard against you, you aren't free.  You might know what the right thing is...but you aren't free to do it.

Oppression is a very real thing.  And you can't escape it alone.

That's one of the reasons God wanted His people to come together and be love and be hope and bear each other's burdens.  He wanted us to truly see each other.

Oh yeah...but God's people are too busy being irritated by people who have negative parts in their lives.

And how dare you speak about it if you do.

You're oppressed?...suck it up, buttercup.  Do something about it if you don't like it.  But stop being so negative and stop talking about it.

That is the attitude of the church.  And that is the exact opposite of the attitude of Jesus.
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." (Luke 4:18-19)
The Amplified Version states...
"To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy)"
I cannot tell you just how downtrodden, bruised, and crushed by tragedy (back-to-back Level 10 traumas) I was.

Yet, no 'Christian people' came to provide relief or an escape from the oppression I was under...they only came with more accusations.

As usual, I share my story to bring about change.  I tell the truth in order for change to happen. MUST do better.  You're doing it wrong.  So very, very wrong.

Turn to God and His ways.  Being His hands and feet (a phrase you love to use) doesn't just involve going on week-long mission trips or donating money or praying for widows and orphans.

Being His hands and feet involves freeing the oppressed.  And they are all around you.

No comments: