Thursday, April 19, 2012


Dear God,

I don’t like myself very much right now. Who do I think I am anyway, making such a big deal over something my pastor said? Am I actually cut out to be an activist, a shit-disturber as my husband Wes likes to call me?

Somehow I don’t think all this disagreeing and fussing over things makes me a very attractive person. Why can’t I just be sweet and easy to get along with? I worry that some people are getting tired of me, especially my pastor. I write him far too many emails. What a nuisance I am! I’m embarrassed, but can’t seem to change. He's one of the people to talk to about spiritual things.

I’m not the person I used to be: quiet and submissive, respectful, not getting too upset about things. What happened, God? Is the person I am today the person you intended me to be? I’ve changed so much from what I used to be!

Looking back I can see I became a different person 25 years ago when I decided I couldn’t do life on my own anymore. I made you part of my life. That’s when all the changes started to happen. It’s all your doing. Amazing all the things that have happened!

Lord, without you I would not have had the courage to start my writing career with Sick, But No One Brought Me Flowers for the Vancouver Sun. In one fell swoop everyone in my church – everyone who knew me – learned I had spent time in a mental hospital. You made it possible for me to start writing honestly about things people had for far too long kept silent. You took away my fears. You made me the teacher I always wanted to be, educating the public about mental health issues.

In you I found someone I could trust and lean on when things got tough. I was always unsure of myself, shy, but you made me into a leader. How encouraging it is now, during down times, if I can remember that I don’t live life for myself alone.

I became healthier. I don’t remember too many psychotic episodes since that time. Of course, that’s largely due to improved medications too. But didn’t you make those possible as well?

I thank you, dear God, for all you are. I thank you for your boundless love. I thank you for giving me a life worth living. It’s really you doing all this work I’m part of now, isn’t it? It’s not me at all. I’m only your instrument – your pen, your voice, your hands and feet. And I hope I have a bit of your heart in me too. How can we work for you without your heart?

Maybe I should not dislike myself so much. You, God, made me into the person I am. I guess it’s ok to get angry about injustices. You do that too. It’s probably ok to disagree with my pastor. He’s wise but not infallible. Maybe I should be proud to be a shit-disturber. Not a very polite handle, I know, but wasn’t your Son one too?


Anonymous said...

None of us says anything perfectly, and we all sometimes say too much - but you are, indeed living a life worth living, and saying *much* that is needed and helpful and that is blessing many others! Your faith and activism are inspiring.

marja said...

Thank you so much, Anon. You encourage me.

Hein said...

i like the word shit-disturber, i think it should be incorporated in the dictionary.
marja we all are work in progress maybe we are more a work in progress than the usual people out there.
you came a long way nothing can take it away from you and don't you take it away from yourself either.
I listened to a song once and a line was like this' God you know what You let yourself into when you made me' and that is the truth.
the heart of God is inside all of us, each one just has a different part in us than the next person i believe.
You are an encouragement to a lot of people and to me too.


marja said...

Hein, Yes, maybe some of us are more a work in progress than others. Could very well be.


Anonymous said...

You are brave to take on this work.

Don't beat yourself up so much.

Rest in the fact that it is our God who will slay the enemy, and it is a marvel that He uses the likes of us to bring about His purposes.


marja said...

Thanks, Steve,

Actually, you know, the feeling I portrayed here didn't last very long at all. It's amazing what expressing yourself through writing can do to a person.

Yes, it IS a marvel how God can use us. Hard to believe.