As a little girl, I can remember hearing my dad make disparaging remarks about Christians, and little tidbits here and there about why evolution was the only explanation necessary; but when a couple of my school friends managed to talk me into attending a kids’ Bible study with them where I first heard about Jesus and God, I was hooked.
Funny thing is, my dad decided to trust Jesus as well within a couple of years after I did, due to a Christian friend at work. My whole family was baptized together when I was in 7th grade. I’ll never forget it.
Yet, my learning filter was a little ‘off’ due to the lies I had been hearing in my head since a young age. Maybe you’ve had a few rolling around your consciousness too; you know: There’s something wrong with me, or I’m not good enough… They affected my perspective of myself,and how I believed God saw me. Throughout my remaining school years, my belief system was wrought with rules, rules, and more rules, without much grace. Hence, I wasn’t the kind of person that attracted good attention to the Name above all names.
So, when my safe, protected young life began to unravel as a 20-something, the church scene got pretty old for me. My husband and I had a singing career and traveled the country from church to church, but the adventure wore off, and my damaged heart got sick of church politics, the do’s and don’ts of what to wear, how to speak and act… I was turned off of Christians and of church.
But somewhere buried deep I recall there being a tiny flicker of hope that there was more to this God that I had been so enamored with as a child.
Every once in awhile I would come across some genuine people that believed in this same God, who seemed to know Him in a more personal way than I did; dare I say intimately. There was a trust I didn’t understand, but knew I wanted.
So when the other shoe dropped, and my life completely fell apart and I found myself curled up in a ball, completely at the end of myself, the God who loves me and was waiting for me met me where I was.
This propelled me to start asking more and different questions, to look for Him in everything around me, to learn as much as I could, despite my aching heart. He met me and blew my mind.
All those years ago as a child, He was whispering to my heart, calling me to come closer, to let Him into my personal space, but I got caught up in the useless dressing of performance, and how I repeatedly seemed to fall short. So I’d try again, not recognizing that that’s not how it works with Jesus:
- God became a man.
- Paid a horrific price so we could always have access to Him, always walk with Him, and always know how loved we are.
When that truth began to seep into my weary, shattered heart – well, I can tell you that I haven’t been the same since. He has healed my brokenness, and blown a fresh breath of life into my soul.
It was not overnight, and it is not over, either. But it’s in HIM that I have learned to trust, to rest, to listen to and follow. When I get off track, he reminds me and helps me to reroute.
I am not alone.
I no longer care about the scarring scrutiny of closed-minded church-goers, because I now know that God’s grace has taken care of all that gets in the way of Him and me, and that’s all that really matters. And His love, man, His love! Fills me till I can’t help but overflow.
That’s the difference that knowing the actual person of Jesus Christ has made in my life, rather than knowing “of” Him.
He rocks my world.
Tell me: have you ever felt yourself wanting more, wondering if there was more to this whole God-church-thing?
I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment in the section below if you feel so inclined.
– love love