I have had a rough week. Truth be told, I have had a rough life. As long as I can remember, I have looked at other people and wondered why it is that I can’t be as happy as they are. I don’t really know at what age it began, but I know that I can’t think of one memory where I didn’t feel like I got the short end of the stick in my life. When I was 3 I knew that my grandfather and grandmother loved one of my cousins more than me. I honest to God knew that in my heart at that age. That somehow I was “less than” her. When I started school I felt “less than” the kids who spoke English and had dads and then in Jr. High, I was “less than” the popular girls. I don’t really know how anyone from the outside saw me, but I know how I saw myself and it was always “less than”. I could keep going into every phase of my life and remember exactly how I felt like I was not as good as someone else. There has only been two times in my life when I felt like I was on top of the world: when I worked behind a bar and was at my prettiest and when I married Stacey as a new convert to Catholicism.
As a new convert and a newlywed, I was so sure that all my dreams had come true. I had people who were all cheering me on and I felt unstoppable. I felt like finally, I knew Jesus and was married and my life was going to be nothing but happily ever after. I was so sure that knowing Jesus was going to keep me safe and that I would never again feel “less than” anyone again. I was wrong.
I have learned that Jesus isn’t a fairy godmother in my fairy-tale Who will grant my every wish. But what I have really learned is that knowing Jesus doesn’t make me immune to loneliness, addiction and depression. I really wasn’t planning on writing about my struggles in these departments because I already know how things get twisted. How haters start rejoicing in the fact that I’m not living it up or non-believers start laughing at the stupid Catholic whose life sucks but she still believes and then there are the Catholics who think that I’m just not doing it right because I cuss and listen to rap music so that is obviously why God has not blessed my life with money, joy and all that other prosperity Gospel bullshit.
Maybe there is some truth in that, but let me tell you, if you think that Jesus is the way to prosperity, you shouldn’t become Catholic. The reason that I’m writing about this even though I really hate it, is because of the things that I saw Catholics write about the death of Bobbi Kristina, the only daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. She was found unresponsive on January 31 of this year and has been under medical care ever since. Today (Sunday) her family announced that she had passed away. Two of the comments that I read were: this just goes to show that Jesus is the only One who can make us whole and this just goes to show that money doesn’t buy happiness. Both pissed me off.
Knowing Jesus doesn’t mean that you will not fall to addiction or depression. Knowing Jesus doesn’t mean that you feel like a million bucks every day of your life. I know Jesus. He has stepped in my life many times. He is real to me and yet there are plenty of times when I feel like I will not survive to the next day. As I said, from the time that I was 3 until now, I always feel like I am less than other people. I feel like people don’t like me or that no matter what I do, I am not going to be successful. Even in blogging. There is a whole group of bloggers who support one another and share each other’s posts and use their platform to help each other out when needed and I have maybe a handful of those bloggers share my posts. I have no idea why. I know my blog isn’t about arts and crafts or babies, but whatever, it hurts either way. No matter how much I try to shove that hurt down, it is there and on weeks like this one, it comes up.
So now, Jesus doesn’t help that. Not if by “help” one means that He makes it go away. Why would He? He understands more than I do that friends suck. Look what Judas did to Him, or the fact that all of His friends, except one, abandoned Him and His mother as he was tortured and hung on a Cross. So no, He doesn’t make my hurt go away and He doesn’t make me feel less lonely. He only tells me that He knows how I feel and that I just have to get through it and do what He asks of me even if I feel like I can’t do it.
No, money does not buy happiness, but it does pay the light bill and it pays for an uncle’s truck when he feels like everything has been taken from him. If money doesn’t buy happiness, then why do we hang on to ours so tight? Why do we eat out when people starve? Why do we make sure our shit is paid and tell others that we work for our things and they should do the same? If money doesn’t buy happiness then why do 80 year old women get thrown in the street when they can’t pay the rent? (long story, but this happened to someone in my mom’s apartment complex) and if money doesn’t buy happiness then why the eff do we expect to get paid for the work we do? Because we are freakin’ happier when we can pay our bills…. with MONEY. Is money more important than the lives of the people we love? No. But the person I love doesn’t mean as much to you and they do to me. $20 grand to pay my uncle’s medical bills and truck off would bring me happiness, but that doesn’t mean that it will bring you happiness to help me do that.
I have been Catholic for 5 1/2 years and I know that Jesus is a lot of things. He is my friend, He is my Lord, He is my example and He is the Truth, the Way and the Life, but the one thing that He is not is a fairy godmother who will make all my wishes come true. Being a follower of Christ is hard, it is painful, it is lonely and it is worth it. Even after everything, I know that it is worth it. One day, I will be a saint, if it is His will to make me one, until then, I just have to carry my crosses. I hope to have people to help me carry them.