Perhaps leaving my job might have been a bigger deal than I thought.
How else to explain why I was sitting in church yesterday, tears streaming down my face, Merriweather falling asleep beside me, while there was at least ten people standing at the front of the auditorium, waiting for people to come down so they could pray for them.
And all I could think of was, well, two things:
#1 – I should’ve brought Kleenex.
#2 – Fuck them. I’m not going down there to pray.
Which obviously means I’m not getting blessed, right? Oh SURE. Come on, now. Amy Was So Stubborn That She Couldn’t Put Aside Her Pride To Go Down The Aisle And Get Prayer And That Is Why Her Life Is So Irretrievably Fucked Right Now.
If ONLY She Had Gone Down The Aisle So Everyone Could See The Blubbering Mess She Is, ONLY THEN Will She Have Officially Hit Rock Bottom, And Everyone Can See And Only THEN Can God Work His Woo Woo Magic And Fix Everything. Because Apparently There Needs To Be An Element Of Public Humiliation To Restoration.
This is why I have never liked an All Call To Prayer. I’ve seen it done in so many churches. I hate it whenever I see it for this very reason: in order to get “Blessed” the way they’re talking about, you have to publicly admit it. If you can’t walk down the aisle in front of everyone, then you’re not really admitting you have a problem and you don’t get prayer, not really, not the way they’re talking about. They’re always right, you’re always wrong.
Because the church will say:
Um, Amy, you didn’t have to go down the aisle. If that was too public for you, you could’ve grabbed someone off to the side. They even opened two new prayer rooms by the elevator in the lobby
To which I say...We have an elevator in the lobby? Since when!?
No really, to which I say – you could have shuffled everyone off to the sides, and have had nobody standing in front. I bet then you wouldn’t have had six to eight people standing in front of the auditorium with nothing to do. Looks like I’m not the only one who doesn’t wanna publicly admit they need prayer. You have six to eight people wanting to pray staring at a good thirty to forty people in the audience who don’t wanna get up, and don’t wanna leave, what do you think needed to be changed?
It's SO not hard, church. Shuffle everyone off to the sides. Honestly.
You know, before I even got to church yesterday morning, I was in prayer.
But it was more me slumped against the side of my bed, my head resting on my arms resting on the mattress, trying desperately to feel a sense of comfort of some sort, as if I was crying in God’s lap, and as if He was stroking my hair. Kinda like this:
Except God wasn’t there, and neither was a Fairy Godmother. And while A Dream May Be A Wish Your Heart Makes, there’s zero truth to No Matter How Your Heart Keeps Dreaming, If You Keep On Believing, The Dream That You Wish Will Come True.
Because there’s work involved. On both sides. Yours and God’s.
Do you remember what Cinderella’s dialogue is just before the Fairy Godmother shows up and decides the mice and horse and dog are collateral damage in granting Cinderella’s wish to get to the ball?
Cinderella’s sobbing, and she says this:
“It’s just no use...there’s nothing left to believe in. Nothing.”
I’m pretty sure the reason why I’m currently hopeless is because I don’t have a plan.
I don’t do well without plans. I’m a Type A Pisces. I’m dreamy AND organized to a T. There’s not a lot of Type A Pisces out there, which is why you need to treasure us when you find us. We’re extremely rare, we are.
And there is nothing worse than a Type A Pisces Without A Plan. Because we will tell you EXACTLY why our plans have failed in the past, and why it’s kinda silly to make a plan for the future. And then we cry and stare at the sunset for awhile.
I left my job. On my terms. My boss couldn’t make a decision (most men can’t), so I made it for him. Yay for my professional integrity! Boo for the future!
I turned in a new draft of Striped Tiger to my producer! Another producer took Purple Monkey in to a network! None of it matters! Because nothing will come of it! Because nothing has! Been working on both these projects for over five years now! Nothing has changed in the past! Nothing will change in the future!
It’s exactly a year later – I’m working on the same exact projects, I have bounced out of a job I thought I might be hired in, and I’m back to temping. I am in the exact same hamster wheel! Stella and I coined the term last month: Failure To Progress.
I have Failed To Progress. Yaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!
And the church will say:
Um, Amy. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Because God couldn’t work with you until you hit rock bottom. Welcome to rock bottom. Now God can do something with you now. And by the way, get your ass down that aisle and fucking pray with the fucking elders at the front of the auditorium. Your fucking pride is meaningless.
Oh really? Really, God, really? Last year wasn’t rock bottom? Because we’ve Failed To Progress, see. How could this year be worse than last year? Why didn’t You act last year? Why would You wait to act this year?
Because I STILL didn’t go down the aisle. I left.
And the second I left the auditorium and hit the sunshine on Hollywood Blvd, I felt worlds better. Maybe I don’t have a plan. But I got away from that strange cesspool of pressure and guilt and stares and that automatically made my day better.
Dear Church: Pressured Prayer Is Meaningless. Please Go Back To The Drawing Board. Feel Free To Ask Me For Suggestions. I’ve Got Nothing But Time.
Amy The Writer