Pretty much immediately after hitting "publish" on this post yesterday, I had a number of additional thoughts.
Then I read some of my comments, and those sparked some more thoughts.
So, I figured, what the heck, I'll keep the conversation (monologue?) going.
First off, I have made the conscious decision to stop censoring myself here at Candid Karina...hello, the name of my blog is CANDID Karina. So, no more holding back, no more censoring, if I'm thinking it, and I want to write it...it's going up on the page.
So, if that means one day I talk God, and the next I talk shoes, and the very next I talk nonsense, well...that's just me being Candid.
Also, I should clarify something, not that I feel I need to explain myself, but you know, for clarity's sake. I am perfectly at peace with the person I am today. In fact, I like being a misfit. I get real pleasure out of the fact that I, along with my unique and varied group of friends, totally don't fit the "mold" of whatever it is society has deemed a "Christian" is supposed to look like. Not that there's anything wrong with fitting that mold (whatever that mold is), but I've always sort of prided myself on my differences, and that hasn't changed.
To be truthful, I really think that it is in embracing our uniqueness that we also embrace the true spirit of what it means to be a follower of Christ. I think Jesus would have enjoyed our company and felt right at home among us.
We are welcoming, and open, and able to see past those "labels". I think those are good things, all of them.
That being said, my buddy Frigga made a good point that it is the media who puts these labels out there, and perhaps I'm buying a bit too much into those labels (she didn't say that part, I did). Maybe I'm worrying too much about what I'm "supposed" to be, and also about what I have let others tell me "Christians" are supposed to be, so I myself am guilty of putting those expectations on others. So, in a sense, I'm doing exactly what I don't want done to me. It's time I let go of all of that, and just let it be. You know?
Also, about my comment on being politically liberal and a Christian all at once, Beckie said: "Why is politically liberal and praising God all in the same breath bad? That's one I have never understood". Exactly! I completely agree, and I've never quite understood that either, and that's, I think, where a lot of my hang-ups with religion have been in the past.
I battled organized religion for years, although I had a strong spiritual core, because I couldn't reconcile my political beliefs with those I was being told I was supposed to have by the church. But again, is it not the media playing exactly off those thoughts that creates the dissent between those two sides? So, in essence, wasn't I, again, letting the media control my behavior? I'm smarter than to let that happen.
I'm pretty sure I won't find a solution to all my questions any time soon. I've no doubt that I'll continue to disagree with somethings, while still believing wholeheartedly in others. And I'm confident that I've finally found a balance for myself in this.
I am, indeed, a misfit. But that doesn't change the strength with which I am experiencing my faith.
And, I may have my moments of insecurity, or doubt, or self-consciousness about what others think of me. But don't let that fool you into thinking I can be swayed from what I think of God. And don't think for one moment that having others disagree with how I practice my faith can make me step back from continuing to do it anyway.
Because take the human element out of the equation, and I'm left with one simple truth...I believe.