50 First Dates with God or WHY DO I ALWAYS WAKE UP BELIEVING ALL IS LOST AND GOD DOESN'T LOVE ME AND AUUUGHHH!
Do you know what would be awesome? It would be awesome to wake up some morning and be all: YAY! GOD IS REAL AND I LOVE HIM AND HE LOVES ME AND EVERYTHING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT!
Because that is SO not how it goes for me. Nope. Instead I wake up with a heart-pounding lurch and jump out of bed, braced for disaster. Omgomgomgomg what day is it?? Is the world ending today? Have I been left behind? MY GOD, MY GOD WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?
I mean, it's embarrassing. You'd think by age 39 I'd have my spiritual shit together. You'd think by now that I'd awake from sleep with a dreamy smile on my face and the first utterance from my lips would be praise unto our God. And lo, the heavens opened and it was a beautiful Monday.
In my fantasies about spiritual enlightenment, I arise from sleep and talk to God and God is all: "Here is the way, walk ye in it." Everything is laid out for me all pretty and precise. Also, there is manna waiting for me on the doorstep (so I don't have to cook breakfast) and maybe a Gospel-choir waiting for me in the kitchen (so I don't have to listen to my stupid, stinking thoughts). And as I pour my coffee they burst into THERE IS POWER! IN THE NAME OF JESUS! TO BREAK EVERY CHAIN TO BREAK EVERY CHAIN TO BREAK EVERY CHAIN TO—
This is not how it goes.
How it goes is how it went this morning when I woke up and it was a massive struggle through The Slough of Despond. My eyes were crusty and my brain was totally convinced that of two things:
- God is dead and
- why doesn't anybody love me?
Sometimes I worry that I don't have Real Faith™ because I wake up an atheist and it takes strong coffee, 2 psych meds, assorted vitamins and supplements, a fried egg, a bowl of oatmeal, journaling, praying and several jumping jacks for me to start believing again.
By 8:30am I'm starting to come around like hey, maybe there IS a God.
By 9am I've read through my list of affirmations, reminded myself what I believe and why and I usually read through past journal entries to remind myself that OH YEAH REMEMBER THAT ONE TIME when I thought ALL WAS LOST and then I got an email offering me a summer job? See? God hasn't forgotten me! YAY! YAY!
It's truly like I need a "50 First Dates With God" reminder list to read every morning. Do you remember that movie? 50 First Dates? I love that movie. Also, I love Drew Barrymore and the adorable way her mouth moves when she talks but ok, I'm digressing. The point is, when Drew Barrymore wakes up in that movie? She needs reminders. She needs someone to tell her who she is and what happened since her car accident.
This is me. I need a list of reminders that tell me who I am and what happened since the Rapture DIDN'T happen in 1988. Because a lot of awesome things have happened in my life and I don't know why but I TOTALLY forget. As in, I literally forget that God has been REAL and GOOD in my life and I wake up totally convinced it's 1988 and the Rapture is happening and I'm gonna get left behind because I said shut-up to my sister last night.
So this is my new dealy-o. When I wake up in the morning I'm gonna be all gentle with myself and just give myself 50 First Dates of Elizabeth:
"Good morning, Elizabeth! Here are the important facts about your life: #1 You're not 11 years oldanymore! YAY! And you've done a WHOLE BUNCH OF AWESOME stuff in your life! #2: God loves you and thinks you are AMAZING #3: You are stronger than you think you are and so courageous and beautiful and just downright MAGICAL. #4: Go take your meds because I promise by 9am, you'll feel better. #5: Give it to God and go kick some ass."
And all the people said amen, halleujah, BREAK EVERY CHAIN.