Doing "good enough" isn't good enough

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ArtsieSteph

Senior Member
Apr 1, 2014
4,756
129
63
#1
I know every title of these posts have been done before but....I'm just trying to deal with this on my own terms I guess.

Growing up in a conservative Christian home, I was raised that certain things were right and certain things were wrong. Don't smoke: I never have. Don't drink: I never have. Don't sleep around: I haven't. And none of these things are bad. God has been awesome and helped me to have examples in my own life that have shown me the fall out from doing these things. And after growing away from the "I'm going to church because my parents want me to" stage that we oft admit never happened, I really made a commitment to seek God out with all I could. Because I wanted to. Not because my parents or grandparents were Christians, not because I went to church and that's just what you did, but I truly wanted to.

God baptized me with the Holy Spirit, I was singing in the choir, I was going to church all the time, I was doing things in our youth group.

Then things happened. Things that were my fault and things that weren't. Part of me still thinks that my dive into mental illness is still somehow my fault, but the more I look back to my early days I can see the signs of it that I didn't realize at the time were there. Jobs, college, all lead to a feeling of apathy. Not that I felt that I had gone away from God, no, no, no, but I felt it was ok not to go to church. And not for no reason either. I had homework, I was tired, I had work. These things aren't bad in themselves, but they added to the feeling of "I'm ok."

Even when I stopped reading every day like I used to, because I would get panic attacks from too much of the word at once. I felt overwhelmed. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder does that. You think you either have to do none or all at once. Because reading just a chapter isn't Christian enough I guess? I never asked God about it. Or any of my church family. I guess I burnt out....so reading less was ok. I heard about working families who could only get a verse a day.

Even when I stopped praying every day like I used to, because I couldn't cope with praying and actually doing other activities anymore. Once again I had overwhelmed myself. My prayers were "Is this ok? Can I eat this? Am I condemned if I drink coffee?" And of course fearing I had committed the unforgivable sin because my OCD and ADD threw my worst fears at me once my emotions were relaxed. So not praying as much was ok. Not to mention the nights I didn't sleep because I prayed all night. Again, didn't ask God if I should do that or other church members.

I knew something was wrong, so I did what I usually do. I tightened. I over focused. And I got tired even though I couldn't sleep anymore. Then came the pills: I still take them. I could sleep. I could eat. I could function. I could actually graduate college and maintain a job. I was ok.

And I think that's kinda what I'm at right now. All I ever wanted to be was ok. All right. Comfortable. Safe. I mean I think that's normal for any human, but for me that insecurity I think dives a bit deeper. Way deeper. Oddly enough it sort of spirals all the way around to pride. Weird right?

I always had this attitude, which I imagine a lot of Christian youth have had, that I was doing good because I wasn't doing what the other kids were doing. I wasn't partying, wasn't watching R rated movies with graphic sex scenes, wasn't getting high, wasn't cheating on tests or failing academically. I kept my room clean (somewhat) and was respectful to my parents (moreso than others) so I was doing ok.

I think that there has been this thing of being "good enough" that I have been under and didn't know. Not the good enough as in "worthy," but the good enough meaning "acceptable." Not good, not great, but ok. And that has gone into my Christian walk. I been ok. I feel worldly lately, haven't been reading in depth for a horrifically long time now, though I do pray internally almost all day, so at least that communication hasn't been cut off.

Complacent. Maybe that's the word. Comfortable. And with my life circumstances it's gonna be crazy hard to get out of that....but maybe that's the point. I had to be here at the point of not being ok AT ALL in life with my dad and my weight and other things that....I could see it. Heck if daddy didn't have cancer, and he hadn't been moved to reexamine his own walk with God I would never look at mine.

All I can say is, only by the power of God through His working in the Holy Spirit, am I gonna start to be not "ok" but humble.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
63,510
2,213
113
#2
You're awesome, Steph. You just put so much perspective on my own situation and certain things. :) This post gets a rep from the crazy orange cat lady of CC. :eek:

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ArtsieSteph

Senior Member
Apr 1, 2014
4,756
129
63
#3
Thank you! Yeah It's hard writing these but definitely needed for me....
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
63,510
2,213
113
#4
They say writing is good therapy. :) I've been thinking of writing letters to my mom and oldest sister. I don't get along with them, it's a life-long issue with alot of resentment and hurt. Anyhoo, at least if I write down how I feel, maybe I'll be able to forgive them. I won't send them, did that before and it only made things worse.
 

ArtsieSteph

Senior Member
Apr 1, 2014
4,756
129
63
#5
They say writing is good therapy. :) I've been thinking of writing letters to my mom and oldest sister. I don't get along with them, it's a life-long issue with alot of resentment and hurt. Anyhoo, at least if I write down how I feel, maybe I'll be able to forgive them. I won't send them, did that before and it only made things worse.
I hope God is able to bring reconciliation with you guys...
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
63,510
2,213
113
#6
Thanks, Steph. I doubt "reconciliation" will happen in this lifetime. I have no choice but to talk to them, they're family but I do my darnest to try and not be around them if at all possible...

I hope God is able to bring reconciliation with you guys...
 
Dec 26, 2017
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#7
I understand exactly how you feel, I was raised the same way..... even now I get OCD about an I doing enough I get insecure when I see Orhers faith and relationship with Christ. When I don't read his Word I feel guilty.... I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety...with God I'm getting through
 
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