I am really slow with the posting, but I have been doing other things lately and I really have to be in the mood to write a new post.
I guess I am in the mood now :D
I have been following Grace's posts lately and she has me thinking about my own story after I read her post tonight.
She is talking about being more secure in Father's love these days and about honest issues she is still having.
I can completely relate to that. My image of God has changed so much from year to year and I have lived in a space of utter uncertainty for about 4-5 years now.
The thing that made me doubt in the first place ( I was so sure about what I believed a few years ago) was the fact that things were still going wrong, very wrong in my life and in the lives of people I love.
I was assured that when I got my act together things would be better. No one overtly said exactly that to me in the Charismatic church where I used to attend, but the implications were everywhere.
Seems like every testimony I heard was about fasting, praying, getting into the word, living a more Holy life or praying in just the right way and it would all fall in to place.
After hearing about how God had healed diabetics in the congregation probably 200 times it started really getting under my skin. It started making me angry when this was the focus of our message or even a part of it. I have two sons who are both type1 diabetics and they have gone through a hell that you wouldn't wish on you worst enemy. After a while it started sounding like they did something wrong that God wasn't healing them. Lets face it, they were 18 months and 2 years when they were each diagnosed and there was no way they did anything to deserve that.
Those word of Faith people can be so inspiring sometimes. They can really encourage you that everything will be alright. But then you go home, or your teenager decides to cause a scene in the sanctuary after a service where you were an usher.
Suddenly it seems like a bunch of B.S. frankly.
I have come to a realization: my expectations mean nothing. All my expectations do is drive a wedge between God and me. Trusting some one isn't about putting expectations on them, it's about believing that they have your best interest at heart. I can look back and see that God has indeed had my best interest at heart, but I could never see it when it was happening.
Sometimes it seemed( and still does) that He had left me to fend for myself.
Something I am not really that great at, as it turns out.
The really hard thing for me, and I think for a lot of people who are believers is finding a way to start removing those expectations we place on Father God.
I think I am still trying to get rid of some of that old way of thinking, at least in my knee jerk reactions to the daily situations I find myself in.
The one thing that has helped me to begin ( and I mean begin) to remove those is, letting the reality of His great love for me; remove some of the self- imposed expectations of God on me.
How does that song go?Just as I am... There is no hope of self justification, I realize that now. I have always believed that in my head, but I didn't trust that. Surely there were things I needed to do.. a huge pile of shoulds. My family and I walked away from church, pretty much. It was actually for selfish reasons like: I had to work on Sundays this wasn't an option at the job I had.
I also like to sleep in on Sunday because it's one of two days that we could.
So us walking away from a church service on Sunday morning was a source of guilt and shame, briefly.
I still miss going sometimes and every once in a while we do go to a service. But it has very little to do with my walk with God on a daily basis. In fact I would say it really has nothing to do with the daily walk.
I miss corporate worship, I always liked that part of any service I ever attended.
I love to sing praise to God, I think we should; I still do.
what I no longer do is pledge allegiance to a local church or denomination.
I have found that everywhere you go , depending on who you talk to; you will get a different set of black and white answers to a life that is filled with gray area.
I am not as sure of my theology these days and much much more sure of Father's love for me.
I really think it has been a natural progression that I needed to go through( and still need to) to come to this place. I can't pin God down to a set of rules or a mold of my own creation.
As Lewis said about Aslan , He is wild.
I love that, I hate not controlling my spiritual growth( as if) and trying to trust that Father God does really care about me.
There have been things in my life that I know when they happened it was Him. I know. Details that only someone who knows my heart would fulfill out of fondness for me. Little things that seem inconsequential but to me meant so much, like a letter from home or someone making your favorite meal just because they want you to know that they care. He has done those things in my life and I can't deny that it was Him. It wasn't coincidence.
As I think about those things it makes me wonder why He would care so much.I may never fully get it, but I believe it. Trusting my current problems to Him, not so easy.
I guess I still have a long way to go, But that's ok I think..
Any way, I am getting tired and not sure where this post is going anymore.
If you are reading this I hope you will realize today that Father God does care for you , exactly where you are. Like think about someone who has been really kind to you, He cares way more than that and judges you way less than that.
That's what I believe now. We look at the exterior stuff but God looks at the heart. I have heard that in so many churches, but then they will turn it around on you with conditions. Or they will tell you ways to curry favor. I say that's a load of crap. Not the part about God looking at the heart, but the fact that people will tell you ways to improve your life with God when all you can really do is sit at his feet and thank Him.
I think it's a lot less complicated than we make it.
Peace be With You