Dear Christine,

I have a feeling that this post’s gonna sound random and all over the place, but bear with me? Probably very repetitive too.

I don’t really know where to start. I think I had some things in mind just earlier when I was helping mom cook dinner, but I have a horrible memory, as you know.

I’m lazy. Proof? I have a bunch of relatively important emails in my inbox that I haven’t replied to. One is from April I think. A few from about 2 weeks ago. I wonder if the people who sent them are still expecting a reply. 

Or maybe I shouldn’t use my laziness as an excuse for everything that I do (or in this case, don’t do). I’ve also promised a lot of people that we would hang out this summer, but I haven’t followed through in them.

I’ve turned down lots of offers to hang out with people from my fellowship too. Lazy? Perhaps. I think at this point, they’ve mostly given up trying to contact me. Which I completely understand. I’m not exactly reciprocating.

What is my point in mentioning all this? Let’s think.

I guess we can start with why I haven’t been on top of replying to emails or hanging out with people. I think I’ve told you pieces here and there before.

I don’t find anything exciting anymore. A lot of times, I question why I do the things I want to do. Like hang out with people. Sometimes, I find it tiring to carry on a conversation. Or maybe I’m just too lazy to get my butt out of the house.

Actually, scratch ALL of that. I think the main reason that I haven’t followed through with staying in contact with everyone from my fellowship is that I’m a coward. I really really don’t want to face my parents’ wrath and disdain for whenever I go outside for whatever reason. Mom and dad think that I’m at a stage where I’m rebelling (doesn’t that sound familiar? Did I tell you why my mom didn’t want me to be Christian?) and wasting money. They also think that i throw myself at Michael because they assume that every time I step foot outside the house, I’m meeting Michael. It doesn’t help that that’s mostly true, and it also doesn’t help that when I am out with Michael, I tend to lose track of time or any desire to come back home. 

Sorry for the tangent. I’ll come back to it at the end, I promise. 

So yeah, my parents think I’m wasting money. Interestingly though, whenever I’m out with Mike (which, like I said, is basically 99% of the time), I rarely spend any money. He takes care of it all, even my metrocard rides sometimes. 

To my parents, I waste money, which is relevant right now because my family’s in a relatively bad financial situation. And I mean, RELATIVELY. We have enough money to cover our monthly expenses, but I guess we’re kind of using up our savings. The other day, I found out that my parents had used all of my savings from high school to pay the mortgage and other stuff. I didn’t mind that the money was used, but it made me realize that maybe my family’s finally feeling the effects of the recession too.

So my wanting to go outside doesn’t really fare well with my parents. They also think I spend Sundays just chilling with Mike. That church is where I go to have fun with friends. My parents have a lot to say about me. Lots of insinuations about my moral character and my values that’ve made me cry a lot of times. It really really hurts being called a liar by your own parents every time something goes wrong.

I know that I’ve lied a lot growing up, but it was mainly because I was really afraid of my parents. I’ve told my mom that too, one of those rare nights when we had a heart to heart you could say. She wishes we weren’t all so afraid of each other in this house. I’m afraid of angering my parents and my mom’s afraid of being too controlling and thus incite hatred from me.

That’s prob why I have chosen to stay home a lot. Because I don’t want my parents to criticize me. I don’t want to ask them if I could go out. I want them to know that I care about this family too. So I help out with chores without being asked to (which sometimes backfires because my dad is very traditional (i.e sexist) so if I don’t do the chores one night for whatever reason, suddenly I become useless and not caring about this family, according to my dad) and I stay home so I can show them that I’m not all about hanging out with friends. 

Interestingly, that’s exactly what Lewis told me NOT to do in an email about what it meant to honor my parents. I’m still trying to decipher what he wrote, because I guess I was hoping he’d tell me exactly what to do, but of course, many things he says are in broad terms, or maybe they aren’t. Maybe my heart’s just refusing to listen.

On a seemingly random note, Mike and I have prayed out not worshiping each other, which is becoming more and more apparent through our inability to be away from each other, among other things. We’ve kind of shut ourselves off from the rest of the world, and most importantly, God. It scares me. So when you talk about transparency, yeah, I agree. But I really don’t know where to start.

When you said Christian Mike and Christian Sisi don’t seem much different from non-Christian Mike and non-Christian Sisi, I had to agree too.

I told Alan once that whenever Mike has his withdrawals, he stops caring for God and Jesus stops making any sense. I can only get him to talk to me again by appealing to his emotions, if that makes any sense.

Me, on the other hand, I wonder a lot if I’m actually Christian. I question myself a lot about whether I truly believe God exists. I have to, right? Because I always give thanks to him to whatever happens. It wouldn’t make sense if I didn’t, no? That’s probably flawed logic but still, God HAS to be real. Otherwise, nothing that has happened since I came to Cornell makes any sense at all.

I really don’t act like a Christian either, though I’m still wondering what that even means? What does it mean to act like a Christian? Do I always pray before meals? Do I always read my Bible? Do I always try to evangelize? Do I fund mission trips? Not care about money? Am always happy? Are those marks of a Christian? 

How much does my upbringing affect me and my relationship with God? So theoretically, I’m supposed to be new person? God should have given me a new heart, right? But am I still supposed to be me? And if I’m me, how am I supposed to shy away from my upbringing? For instance, I’ve never been comfortable just talking to people about myself because that’s just not how things are done. How am I supposed to approach Lewis? or anyone who cares, for that matter? I can share my testimony, sure. But now, I need to pour my guts out. First of all, my pride won’t allow it. Second of all, I’ve just never done such a thing before. Definitely not to an adult. 

If this post makes no sense, I apologize ><

I have to write those emails. I just got a new one, and I realized how selfish I’ve been by not responding.

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