“It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe – the creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor – loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.” Francis Chan
One of the ways I claimed my healing in the past was to compare myself to someone crazier than me. I’d think to myself or say it out loud, “At least I don’t … (fill in the blank with their craziness).”
Comparison worked half the time. I tried hard to appear more put together than I felt. I wore coordinated outfits, kept our house in order and the lawn mowed, and cleaned up my family when they’d let me.
The other half of the time, though, I compared myself to people whose lives seemed perfect. I envied a couple of them for their lifestyles as stay-at-home moms until they went back to work, then I envied their careers. They were always doing better than me.
In my mid-30s, I began attending 12-step meetings. In those rooms, I recognized none of us pulls off perfect or anywhere near it. Addiction touched every social class, profession, and race in our town, and drove some of us to do crazy things. We didn’t have to be the one addicted to act out because of the addiction.
Around the same time, I returned to school to earn my counseling degree. The required internships landed me working with some certifiably crazy people. I looked better on the outside, but I related a little too closely to how they felt.
A friend described it best when she compared herself to one of our disheveled friends who went to the 12-step meetings with us. She said, “I put myself together better than he does, but my insides feel like his outsides look.”
In that moment, it struck me that we all struggle with feeling crazy even though some of us won’t admit it … not even to ourselves. When I accepted that truth, I stopped hiding out at least some of the time. I admitted to feeling crazy and depressed and even suicidal, and people admitted feeling the same ways.
What I didn’t know was that instead of trying hard not to be crazy, I needed to find something to be crazy about. I needed to replace my craziness about people with a craziness for something worthwhile. Something that mattered. Something that’d make a difference in the world.
However, I promised myself I’d never be one of those Jesus freaks because those people were especially crazy and annoying. And radical … really radical … you know, radical like Francis Chan said about Jesus’ love for us.
It wasn’t until I heard myself say this out loud that I knew why I now felt saner and more stable than ever, “He concerns me a little bit because if he wasn’t crazy for God, he’d just be crazy.”
I’ve replaced being crazy over people with being crazy for God, and it’s working.
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.