Facing My Personal Idols

An extended silence here on the blog indicates one of a few things. Either I’m too busy living life to blog about it, or we’re going through something that weighs on me, so I feel like I can’t blog, or someone has been sick. Well, no one has been sick, but those other two things are definitely happening. I’m still wrestling with this situation, and there may be some unintended implications here, but this is where I am right now.

What I have had to face in roaring technocolor the last seven days is the tearing down of my own cherished idol. I have faced it, as it crumbled, and come to the shocking realization that it is me. The short version: after a year of trying to sell our house in Georgia, with three deadline extensions, and two potential sales falling through, we lost it to foreclosure last Tuesday. I was angry with God and with myself and for the first time in my adult life I could not see a hopeful glimmer in the future. In fact, I felt as though I had spent a year pushing toward the light at the end of the tunnel, just to have that tunnel suddenly dead end and then collapse behind me.

This was the last straw, and suddenly I became everything that not that long ago I would have claimed to be wrong with America. Not that long ago, I was an angry conservative who could be heard to rail against deadbeats. Now I am one. I have become the “they” I despised. No matter what the pundit might be saying, when a talking head (or headless voice, in the case of radio) begins ranting about “they”, it is always me they are describing. I am the uneducated woman who birthed more babies than I can afford to support right now. I am on social assistance, and our house was just foreclosed. We don’t earn enough to pay taxes, but we get a “refund” every year from the redistributive policies in the tax code. We are “they.” Those people I often described as parasites who are sucking up the resources of this country and putting small business in jeopardy.

On the other hand, we could also be described as “bitter, . . . clinging to guns or religion”  and teaching our children to believe the same things. We are “they” who have recently been irrationally re-titled “pro-rape” because we don’t believe in punishing a child for the sins of his father.

Fox News and MSNBC would be united in their distaste for me. As our friend Ben so aptly phrased it, there is not a single political candidate on this continent who wants us voting for them (or even voting at all.) Of course we can’t vote, because we’re immigrants who are working jobs that Americans should be working. Oh look: another they.

The very fact that I have been so completely devastated by becoming all of these things reveals first, that I have been thinking of myself far more highly than I have any right to. I have been finding my value in doing the “right things,” and making the “right decisions,” instead of being known by the sovereign creator of the universe. For three days I said to Jonathan, “How is God glorified in this?” when what I meant was, “How am I glorified in this? Because if people think poorly of me, they cannot think highly of God.” The logic is flawed. Secondly it reveals that all  my big talk about grace and how it changes people hadn’t reached the political layers of my heart. I was the worst kind of judgmental bigot: the kind who thought I was defined by grace.

I still do not completely know how God can be glorified in this situation, except to know that the humbling of His people always brings Him glory. What I do know is that the Lord still reigns and while my credit rating may be decimated, my union with Christ is eternal and unshakeable. He clothes the flowers and feeds the birds and has promised to provide my daily bread just as He promised last week.

About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (PCA) seminarian and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

4 responses to “Facing My Personal Idols

  • Mary Beth

    Wow! I am so sorry to hear about your foreclosure. Ah, yuck, I know this is so hard right now. And I totally feel you on the political confusion. I have been the non tax paying yet refund receiving, government assistance receiver who morally agrees with the people who would totally disagree with assistance. It is confusing. David and I really struggled through all of that during this election and are still trying to figure out where we belong. I am glad to know to whom I ultimately belong to though! Praise the Lord!

  • Flyaway

    The rain falls on the just and the unjust. You are doing what is right by crying out to God. My husband and I had some pretty slim years when the government paid us money. We were unsettled by it as we depended on our church to help us out. They also prayed for a good job for my husband. He got a wonderful job and others wanted the same prayer after they saw how God had provided for us! At one point I told the Lord that I was willing to live in our car which was paid for. We never had to live in our car and we never missed a meal because of the family of God. We did not have a refrigerator for awhile but finally decided to charge one at Sears. Maybe if we had waited longer someone in the church would have had an old refrigerator they could have given us. Sometimes we are too impatient. I pray that the Church will pitch in for you.

  • Wendy Robinson

    Coralie so sorry to hear of your financial difficulties. I have listened to late night radio and in my world I don’t like what people say and to be honest am offended by that kind of talk. People who receive refunds spend their money, not save it as they need it to live and hence businesses benefit. I am not conservative and believe my tax dollars should be re-distributed to those who need it. I think I am lucky to have enough income to pay taxes and am happy to do so. Don’t get me wrong-I don’t like to see wasteful spending but I believe everyone should have physical needs met and a leg up is what society should do.
    Now as to your description of yourself-I do take umbridge with you. You are one of the smartest women I know and am in awe of your brain power and your ability to express yourself. You have the most important job in the world-raising a family and being a supportive wife.
    You and Jonathan have had “your house” issue hanging over your heads and I know you have been praying about it. Maybe this is the chosen way to have the burden lifted. The economy is not yet back to what it was so chances of selling were pretty slim. It is difficult in Canada to get a mortgage so I think it must be the same in the U.S.
    You will get your credit rating back. This too shall pass and will become a memory. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger.
    There is nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to regret, it is only money, which after all is just a tool to achieve other goals.
    Hang in there my darling girl.
    Love U
    Your Somewhat Conservative Left of Centre Canadian God-Mother
    Wendy

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