The 3 AM Rants

The car mutters as his foreheads leans on the steering wheel, with a heavy sigh of nerves on his lip. He hasn’t step foot into a building like this since he was a kid. Both good and bad memories come to mind as he rest there. He decides he might as well, he’s dressed for it. He walks up to the church building, where his heartbeat keeps a quick rhythm to the song playing in the sanctuary. His face is flushed and his palm sweaty as he reachs for the handle to the lobby. He’s made it in…

“Just raise your hand and close your eyes, no one will ever know what’s going on” she tells herself as she stands for worship. She is careful not to raise her left hand, because that is where she bears the proof that she wants to hide so bad. She knows every song by heart, she knows all the right gestures, and knows when to do them. No wonder church was so exhausting to her…
“I’m not moving, I don’t care what he says” says the young man in his pew. He can feel their stares into the back of his head as their moans of prayer and grief deafen his ears. This will be his fifth service in a row with a pretended victory. That’s what people want right? An hour of sobbing and for a moment we all believe he’s free but he leaves just as bound as he came…

Then there’s the couple on the second pew, with kids crawling all over them. They are doing their best to worship. He steps out and raises his hands, and she sheds a tear or two. I wonder if anyone can tell where he struck her the night before. Probably not, they blend in perfectly well…

And just like that, the service is over. The congregation gets up, some remain to talk but most move on to get their afternoon meal. Some leave with full hearts, others with hearts emptier than they could’ve ever imagined. And if they can, they’ll make it to Wednesday night service and probably still leave empty. But they pray! They worship! Why aren’t they made better? Why does it seem like no one cares? Is this why some of them leave? Did they not want it bad enough? We’re they not surrendered enough? 

I could feel their warm hands on my body, supporting me and letting me know they were there. My head was burrowed into my elbow as I cried out to God. Occasionally the pastor would come by and place gentle hand on my head and pray. I would pray in tongues, I would sob, I would sit still begging God to help me. More times than none I can remember me being this way. Always crying out for God…

What’s the will of God? Call me into your ministry, oh lord! Help my family God! Deliver me from evil! God deliver me from pornogrphy! Deliver me from bitterness! Help them to see how much we need you! Mend my family! Give me strength! Give me strength!

Give. Me. Strength. 

3 years of bible school, with the exact same moaning and groaning, except now with added parts. Now I had to have a daily prayer life that I could brag about (although I wouldn’t, because pride is sin). I had to have longer skirts, longer sleeves, longer hair. You want to go on ministry? Be asked to testify? Be asked to sing? Well you better pray the hardest in the alter, in prayer meeting, and worship hard! Show up to every single class, never late, and no late assignments. Because if you’re faithful in the little things God will bless you in the big things. But Stephanie, these things aren’t required…oh no? Well if you wanted to be taken seriously, especially as a woman, you bet your dollar these things are required. Consider it your “Woman of God starter pack. ” and as if none of that was hard enough, you have 100 other people wanting that spot in choir or on that ministry trip. Then add crazy parents, and you’ve got yourself a busy year. Not to mention youth camps in the summer and there’s like 8, if you’re trying to be superb. 

And here I am sitting in my bed boggled to death about this last year. I can remember my first time in a church. It was in California, it had a school and it was just so cool to me. I can remember missonettes and stars and always trying to get badges! There are two memories that are vivid and come to mind: the first is the missions services. Doesn’t matter which one but they were always so clear in my mind. All the cool tables with neat things and the colorful flag hung around the church. I always loved the pictures that would be projected and I always had a place in my heart for missions. The second is also just as vivid, but a lot sadder. I can remember every year, every service, every time that any one prayed the sinners prayer I would say it. I said it at a Stars crowning, I got a phamplet with it in it and would always try to read it. I guess I just hoped it would one day be like magic pixie dust and God would love me instantly. I’m sure you can guess how that turned out.

We stopped going to church, and I tucked that paper away. Some days I wish I still had it, especially days like today. I then went on to live an eventful life. I’ve watched porn everyday of my life since I was in kindergarten, the only time I can recall not is when I was in middle school and I self harmed. In my mind it made more sense to choose the lesser evil. I never drank, I never did drugs but my parents did. I can remember all the times my parents were too drunk to recognize me, or the times I’ve had to help them into bed, or the times where there were not enough pillows to drown out their yelling. Porn seemed to be my only true idea of intimacy – if you can’t see it it doesn’t exist. I was a hoodlum in school and got into a bunch of fights, that all stopped the day I got arrested. I still had a rotten additude but at least I wasn’t hitting anyone in the face, right? 

When I got into to high school I did a lot of things like theatre, soccer, and read at the library. (Haha, not a nerd nor popular just one of the mass produced drones.) I had one boyfriend for a couple months and that was it. I’d like to believe it was because I was too gorgeous and intimidated everyone but really I was cold. I’ve always been cold towards people, I always wanted them to prove to me that they were worth what Little intimacy I could give them. That’s why friends I invest in mean so much to me, because it’s like I literally gave you a piece of me, I learned fast though that that was not going to work. 

So basically I’m a depressed, ignored, self abusive, emotionless, angry teenager. (You can call me for a sitcom anytime LifeTimeTv) then my parents got divorced, and I have no words to describe what I felt. I would sit at the stairs as they would argue about how hard this will be because of me, how helpless I am, how this was my fault for weighing on their marriage so much. So when they began to file I was beyond devistated, I felt like I single handily brought down a 22 year marriage and I was a monster for it. This was the first time I attempted suicide. I turned the shower on, took my blade a sliced deep into my arm (I have a scar that reminds me daily of His grace) but I didn’t do it right and instead I bled profusely. I wore a huge knee bandage and my parents never once asked me why, they were too involved in their own lives…

Fast forward to today… I am a broken hearted, abused, depressed, anxiety ridden, angry young woman. My dad has shunned me, and my mom is finally working on our relationship. I wear pants, I wear makeup, and I cut my hair but I still love Jesus. 

…so why are you writing this blog?…

BESIDE the fact thats its 3AM, I’m writing due the current events of everything that has happened in this United States and my frustration surrounding them. So I wanted to write this for a couple reasons…

1. Everyone is fighting a battle. This phrase has become cliched but I yearn for a day for when people look at people they see souls. Because it’s a sad time when people are so self focused that they judge you on first glance and treat you that way. If you’re gay -disgust. If you’re tattooed – feared. If you are colored- gangster. If your Hispanic – illegal. If you’re holiness – skeptical. I get it, everyone wants to judge, but when you look at me you don’t know the hardships, the battles, the pits I have had to crawl my way through. And how dare anyone make comments about people, towards people or too people based on first glance. It’s rude, it’s hurtful, and it can be deadly. Those intro stories are people I’ve known personally, all battling but not a single person in the church knew. How different things would be if people were genuine, heartfelt, and real. 

2. I want to be understood. I don’t want pity, I don’t want to apologize, I definitely don’t want you “praying” for my soul. I want you to look me in the eye and treat me like a human. So I dress different then you, and I act different then you but who gave you the monopoly on truth? I want love that’s not based on conditions. Love that isn’t based on my appearance, my contribution, or anything else. I want the love that God has promised me if I’m in a relationship with Him. And I want to be so filled with that love that I can share it in these sad times in America. 

So I can love my gay brother (because we are all Gods children) so that for once he can know true love, and maybe open up long enough  to learn about the real God and what it really means for love to win. 
I want to be full enough to take it to the streets and let it pour out of me into the cracks of the sidewalk, and into the crack addicts house so they can build a relationship with me and I can show them Jesus. 
I want to be so full that when my feet touch down in India, although a language and culture barrier exist, love will do all the speaking because we are friends.
 I want so much love that when God looks at me He will be able to say well done my good and faithful servant. And I want so much love so that we can love one another, as Christ loves us. 

Go fourth. Spread love. Spread His Word. Spread God. 


One thought on “The 3 AM Rants

  1. Steph, I love you because you’re so real. And we need more genuine people in this world. People that are open with who they are and the struggles they go through. I love when people share their testimonies, even if God hasn’t completely delivered them because it gives me hope and increases my faith. God understands but people don’t always. Pride gets in the way of true confession to God and men. I’m so tired of the fakeness, the shallowness of so many people. We’re afraid to show who we really are, what we really go through because we get so wrapped up in pleasing men and women instead of God. Life is a battle…And even the strongest soldiers get knocked down sometimes. What matters is that we get back up and keep fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

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