I am a bird wearing a brown polyester shirt.

Ben Folds definitely had it right. It sucks to grow up. When you’re little, no one thinks much of you saying that something sucks, but as I’m saying it right now, a lot of you are thinking much of it. Your calculator doesn’t need a logistic function button when you are little. You don’t have the stress of conflicting extra-curriculars. You don’t worry about the babies choking–you’re the baby. You just grow up more and more until you aren’t yourself anymore–there’s just this big person in mascara looking at you from inside the mirror. We don’t think or believe or love the way we used to. Everything has a condition, a back door, a catch. Sometimes it’s like you are being put through more and more but never getting any stronger. You start to hear about the kids who don’t have parents or shoes or food. You learn about the incredible human tendencies to be rude, selfish, inconsiderate, violent and mean. You get sick and you get hurt and you get left alone. And everything just gets so much harder. It’s exhausting. It sucks.

When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed to me. –John Wesley

I’ve come to find that this is true also. I think that a large part of growing up is learning one thing–that you don’t know anything at all. I think that education is just the continuous realization of your own ignorance. Also, anything we learn can be over-turned without the slightest notice. We learn that the things we once believed in don’t exist in reality. And I think that this is one good thing about growing up. As we all go on with our lives, we lose more and more faith in everything besides God. At the end of one of the Narnia books, Aslan tells the kids that they are all grown up and can’t come back to Narnia…and that they must learn to know him by his other name. We find out that the Birthday Fairy is really our mom. We learn that wishes don’t come true because we make them on the right things or at the right time. We figure it out that everything is going to crash around us except for God Himself. Some people say that it is hard to have faith in God alone, but I’ve found that it is much easier than believing in anything or anyone else. I have been wrong so many times, I would be more conducive to the thought that I myself didn’t exist than that God didn’t. I have reached my Wesley Brink, where the only things I know for sure is what God has revealed to me. Everybody knows it hurts to grow up but everybody does. And it isn’t all that bad.

Isaiah 46:3-4

“I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”

The only reason I will tolerate this constant change, this constant growing, this constant falling, is that I am being carried. The only reason is because I’ve had it revealed to me that, even though it hurts to grow up, I am moving toward something bigger.


4 thoughts on “I am a bird wearing a brown polyester shirt.

  1. Another great blog entry, Marianne. You have learned in 17 years what took me nearly 40 – – namely that I don’t know much at all but that, paradoxically, that might be the first step to something better.

    You know what I worry about? People who see their childhood beliefs knocked off one-by-one and eventually wind up believing in nothing at all, not even God. God is harder to understand. You don’t sit on his lap at the mall, after all. This thing turned out not true and then that thing turned out not true. Maybe these others things aren’t true either.

    What do we do about that?

    • I think if you can get the right angle on it, that aspect makes it easier. You don’t sit on God’s lap at the mall, so you know that He couldn’t just be some guy in a suit. I kind of see it as, if you can’t believe in God, why can’t you believe in whatever it is that turns acorns into trees? There’s obviously something that put us all here and sustains our lives here. Whatever it is that does that has to exist, because we exist. And if I person can acknowledge that without thinking that it’s God, then it’s just speaking a different vocabulary rather a difference in belief.

  2. I went to your facebook to tell you that you should update your blog, but look! You smelt me coming from a few thousand miles away.

    Anyway, you ROCK. When you write a book, I will buy it (Morgan Freeman should read the audiobook). Please keep writing and stuff. You have a genuine style.

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