“…relying on God meant I could not rely on myself and I felt incredibly foolish in that place and as if I were on display to all the world. Many times I did find the wonder and beauty and awe and joy in those places…”
I was convinced that I knew the true Jesus and all the rest of Christianity was pursuing a false Jesus. The devil doesn’t begin in blatency and blasphemy. He smudges and nudges and whispers his way there.
“Struggle and triumph. Not mutually exclusive. But often hand in hand. A life of victory AND suffering. A life of power AND weakness.”
I pondered what I could give King Jesus as a gift. I have no song to gift, what can I give him? I’ll give him my heart I thought. In my mind’s eye, I placed my heart on an altar to the Lord Jesus. I had an experience of the Lord Jesus for a day where his presence was so tangible I could clearly speak to him in conversation. It was incredible and beautiful and life-changing.
…I felt ruined to ever go back to anything resembling the teachings or [church] culture of my upbringing.
….knowing him doesn’t automatically erase the pain and the fright, the trouble and the struggle, but …knowing him makes it more than bearable, …even in the hard places there is beauty found in his presence, in his companionship. Knowing that sometimes the path seems blocked, the way seems uncertain and fraught with peril, but all those things don’t mean God isn’t still in the thick of it all with me.
I grew up as a Christian hating the symbol of the cross as an expression of the Christian faith…over the years it evolved into a symbol I truly despised.
Tossing my mattress was another reality check. What was I doing? “God, do you know how much mattresses cost?” I asked. I literally asked God if he’d done this fathering thing before…Talking about trust and believing God and taking a leap of faith is all good and well, but walking it out and putting your mattress into the dumpster is another thing!
I think it’s when a part of me disengages and becomes somewhat passive, somewhat detached, going through some motion, thinking I know where I can find God, I think that’s the place it becomes religion. And the things I do aren’t necessarily bad, but they are no longer alive…..I can step out of religious behavior to receive the perfect portion Christ holds for me. Relationship wins over religion every time.
“In the midst of this I became pregnant and went through the most emotionally painful and lonely pregnancy of my life. But this child kept me living”