But I really think we're living in The Answer Age.
Everyday I'm bombarded with answers! They blow up my facebook feed, headlines, even my phone line.
Stay at home as a mother.
But don't. Don't stay at home.
Let babies sleep, but wake them up. Make them take naps -no wait, DON'T.
Wear pants to church! But also remember that you should absolutely NEVER wear pants to church, and there's a bunch of meme pics of Elder Holland to back it up.
Give cake to gays! But for the love, don't EVER bake a cake for gays.
There's answers for addiction, for relationships, for marriage, for parenting, for lifestyles!
A few days ago, I began to be bothered. NOT by the insane amount of answers being shoved into my face at any given moment (because we all know you don't have to be online to have someone have answers for you!) but because I felt stupid.
In the sea of answers, I seem only to be on the receiving end.
And that must mean -by default -that I am stupid. Right?
All right, so that's a false belief, but before you diagnose me and give me an answer, please just listen for a few minutes...
I don't have the answers to addiction. I don't have the pathway down. I can't sit here and type out what you should be doing or shouldn't be doing or what to tell your Bishop or which boundary you need. I can't laden you with comforting answers or set you on a path or put you on my back and carry you down my path, expecting you to see the RIGHTNESS of it all as you observe.
Because all I have is questions.
Through this whole thing, I've resigned myself to a few unchangeable truths in my own life.
1) I really don't know anything which doesn't make me stupid -rather, it sets me free.
2) God knows everything.
3) He doesn't tell me everything, and I reserve the right to resent Him for it now and then instead of handling this truth how I feel I'm "supposed" to (which is to stuff my anger down and go to church. Now I shake my fist to the sky and go to church which is different because my stress level has gone down. Follow? No? That's okay. I barely follow and I'm living it).
In the past week and a half, I have bit laid out flat with all kinds of stuff that makes me mad at God, one of which being my brother and his wife who suffered through 7 years of infertility and the eventual loss of their second child to a heart condition have now lost a baby at 20 weeks gestation.
Twenty weeks of development, not only of her frail body but of her parents' hopes and dreams, her older siblings hopes and dreams... gone. Just very, very gone.
That on top of a few other, "are you KIDDING me?"s has brought me and my depression to a place where I'm sort of just moving through it all, not reacting or feeling like myself, but moving from appointment to appointment -gratefully overwhelmed with doing so I can't be overwhelmed with FEELING.
God has given me too much to do because He knows if I weren't doing, I'd simply be in bed, covers over head.
That is ONE thing He's let me know.
"Just keep going forward," He said to me when I asked Him if my schedule was too full. Ahhhh, HE filled it for me. My gift of having things to live for.
But as I got ready for work on Tuesday and felt anger toward Him for not letting me know WHY our family is suffering in so many ways, a good friend a few states away (I think you know her as Jane) sent a poem my way that read:
"I SHALL know why, when time is over,
And I have ceased to wonder why;
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky.
He will tell me what Peter promised,
And I, for wonder at his woe,
I shall forget the drop of anguish
That scalds me now, that scalds me now. "
My answers lie where Emily's lie: in heaven. Even reading that poem minutes after shaking my fist to the sky, I found God giving me my #3 truth all over again.
I KNOW, Alicia. I KNOW, so don't worry so much. Just keep asking questions.
I have no answers for you. I will respect you enough to let you tell your own story and find your own answers while simply sharing my story.
My days are filled with me content to not know enough to participate in online arguments, happy in my question quest, but reserving the right to let God know how irritating it is that He keeps so much to himself even though I truly know what a beautiful gift it actually is.
Not all beautiful gifts are 100% irritation-less.
(*cough* kids *cough*)
I used to have answers. I used to give advice and hand out "HERE'S THE WAY" tickets. And sometimes letting go of that makes me feel dumb.
But abandoning a world where I insist on having answers has freed me.
There's no pressure anymore.
There's only a world of exploring questions and asking God for my own truth.
I won't wear pants to church, but will you?
I would totally bake a cake for a gay couple but don't hold an opinion on your answer to the same situation.
I let my baby sleep, but would you?
I can't walk you through this path of addiction. But I can tell you that God has walked me through it. And sometimes I pretend He sings songs to me... songs about calling and answers.
I smile each time I hear the line, "and if you court this disaster, I'll point you home."
What? Me? Court disaster? Please...
(By the way, it's 8:30 in the morning, and I'm currently dealing with the stench of burned milk. I forgot I let the burner on, okay? It happens.)
This is me coming to acceptance with not having answers and owning that THAT doesn't make me -by default -shallow, dumb, stupid, or clueless.
It makes me free.