Thursday, August 22, 2013

720 Hours or 30 Days

You have 30 days in an average month. 720 hours. How are you spending all of those hours? 

You see I have asked the following of a friend: One 10 minute phone call per week, one in person quality time visit per month. In the grand scheme of things, I have asked for a little less than 2 hours of time in one month. 2 hours of 720 hours. That still leaves him with 718 hours to do the rest of everything he has to do with his life. 

But he basically said no. He said he doesn't have time. Doesn't have time to be my friend. Doesn't have time for friendship with me. 

The struggle I have considering what I consider to be a very REASONABLE request is that he has essentially said he has no room for me, no room for a friendship he and I fought so hard for, no room for a friendship he fought harder to keep than even me. 

The message I got was that I am not wanted anymore. That I am expendable. That I am not loved. That I am less deserving of friendship with him than anyone else. 

I understand he has work and family and maybe other friends. Well good for him. But of 720 total hours in 30 days, he cannot find less than 2 full hours a month for me? 

It hurts. And yet again, I am left wishing I was normal and that God hadn't created me the way He did. I am left wondering why God hates me, why my friend hates me. 

720 hours, 30 days. Are you too busy for friends? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Why I Don't Want or Need More Friends Right Now

Because I'm tired of being hurt. Especially by some of the ones I already have. Maybe it was not their intention to cause such hurt, but they did. I don't want more because more means more hurt.

Because I cannot handle a lot of people. I like the friends that I have and I am expanding my social connection by working hard to establish a community based social group that will hopefully incorporate volunteers from area churches who get right beside adults with special needs who are higher functioning. This approach would put adults with special needs right where we are expected to be-in society. It will also foster building natural mentoring relationships and friendships and build bridges between an underserved population that is ripe for the ministries to reach out to. 

Because it's too hard and too scary. Especially when schedules change so much that some friends become too busy to remain friends with me and we then lose the quality of the friendship which is what friendship should have regardless of who the person is. 

Tom told me the other day I need more friends. To some degree, I agree, but not if it means losing quality with the ones I already have and am already fostering. But it's because of what he said that I now feel really sad and hurt because it honestly feels like he doesn't want me anymore, and if that's true, if we lose the quality of the friendship we do have, I don't want to try anymore. I will gladly give up a lifetime of phone calls and texts with him to have quality time in the friendship with him.

He said tears can be good because they can reveal our heart's desire. My desire is to have what everyone else wants and needs: quality friendships. Friendships that don't need frequent phone calls or texts but rather one long phone call every so often and even once a month sit downs where the two (or three) talk, and that time is when the rest of the world amazingly stops so they can enjoy the conversation. 

He said he wants to set a good example of what healthy friendship, healthy relationship, and healthy marriage is like. So I'm asking him to step up to the plate and meet me halfway. By making my willingness to make substantial sacrifices so public, I am opening myself up to having others hold me accountable to my end. But he has to meet me in the middle. 

Because here's the thing, if he sets a good example by his actions for me, I can then turn around and do the same for others. And if I have success in that, then there is definitely still hope for me. 

And right now, these next two months, I need all the hope I can get. A lot of big things are happening and we need positive outcomes on as many of them as possible. 

But my tears are telling me I need a healthier friendship with Tom, one that has quality to it. After all, I have another friend who came along when he did, and she and I don't talk as much, but we do have quality. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Why I Can No Longer Be "Pro-Life"

1. Extremists - These are the people who scream the loudest judging women who have abortions as being murderers not caring about why the woman chose abortion citing inaccurate things against birth control except keep your legs closed but then don't give a care about the person after they are born because they don't want to pay taxes and have them feed the hungry, heal the sick, or help the poor (which means I feel sorry for Jesus).

2. These extremists have earned a new name: pro-birthers.

3. I am not pro-choice except that I DO believe a woman should have access to birth control and cost should not be a deterrent. On grandfathered insurance, I pay $80 a month just to prevent life threatening iron anemia which can happen if I bleed too much. 

4. Pro-birthers have lost their argument against the ACA and between Scripture and theology classes, I can find at least 10 reasons why the ACA is the most Christian law we can have. But maybe that's because I have what are deemed pre-existing conditions now and can't get a more comprehensive plan until next year, so I see things through a different lens. But pro-birthers lost their argument when the FDA decided to allow Plan B to go over the counter. Because by going OTC, insurance no longer pays; tax payers no longer pay.

5. Plan B. What is it really? Not an abortion drug. It is 3 days worth of regular birth control in one pill. It is best taken within 72 hours. And let's see, biology and human physiology classes told me it takes 24-72 hours for an egg to fertilize. It even says right on the package that it does not end existing pregnancy. I'd be more worried about other OTC medicines or chemicals in the food causing a spontaneous abortion than I would about Plan B. 

6. The ACA covers preventive care. Birth control is preventive medicine. Between increased access to birth control and education, abortion rates can be significantly decreased!!! Duh!!! But the pro-birthers REFUSE to see it that way.

7. So I am no longer pro-life because of extremists but neither am I pro-choice because I really don't like abortion, but I will not judge a woman who chose abortion because for the last few years I was infiltrated with messages about grace and I heard a very influential pastor  give a message titled SWOOP in which he opened some eyes and hearts to the plight of the least of these in Matthew 25 and told about the woman who chose abortion so she can afford food for her already living children and how we have no right to judge before we have heard their stories. Then I learned Pennsylvania either still has or very recently had a law that essentially forces a woman to choose: If the woman receives assistance to feed her children then gets pregnant again (and let's say she was abandoned by her husband and raped), she can choose to either continue receiving assistance to feed her children and abort the baby or carry the baby full term and lose all assistance for feeding her children. It's sad that this reality exists. 

8. Let's define what pro-life really is. Pro means for. Life means anything that is living and breathing. It is typically self-supported because many creatures lay eggs and until those eggs hatch, the creatures are just that-eggs. Eggs are not self-supported. Now let's go back. A human baby may in fact be life. It lives and breathes through a sac inside of the mother. And God even says He knew us before we were born, He knit us in the womb. But if you take the roots of pro-life, it means you are for life at all stages of life, from conception until death and not just while in the womb. So if you claim to be pro-life but support letting government take away or reduce food stamps which could lead to people starving, letting government take away or reduce welfare and social security which could mean more homeless people, and repealing the ACA which will finally let people with pre-existing conditions get insurance so they can receive preventive care which costs less than treating illnesses, you are not pro-life. You are pro-birth. And hey, I know I just stubbed some toes, but maybe those toes need stubbing. Mine got stubbed as I got hit with a reality stick this summer. 

9. Under the current direction of the pro-life movement, it goes against my own Christian convictions to associate with pro-life if all pro-life is is pro-birth. But nor am I able to associate fully with pro-choice except to say that I support increased access to birth control which by the way is not unbiblical because it is in the grey area and therefore any religious entity saying it is is just being a bit legalistic. Not that I'm against a non-profit tax-exempt religious institution exempting itself from the ACA coverage for women, but I do feel Hobby Lobby should be required to provide because they make a profit and pay taxes. Big difference!!!! 

10. Oh, and I know where I stand in my faith in God. I struggle just as any other Christian does. And I know He pursues me even while I have been in a funk. So before judging me for having different viewpoints and beliefs, look in a mirror at your own heart. If you are without sin, you may cast stones at me or at the woman who chose abortion, but if you have any sin whatsoever, even just a heart sin, put that stone down and stop judging. 

I am going to add a couple more points: 1. Planned Parenthood is NOT just about abortions. For women who cannot afford insurance, these clinics are where women go for care and for birth control. 2. Making abortions illegal will NOT stop abortions. All it will do is force women who seek abortions to go find another less safe means of getting one. Like the back alley behind some bar in a slum.