Monday, October 24, 2011

Epiphany...

I was talking to my dearest friend for life, Erika, today about some things in the works in my life right now. These were my words: "I keep thinking this could be the answer to many, many years of prayer, but I am waiting on something to go wrong..."

How sad. How pitiful of me. I realized how awful it sounded the minute the words tumbled out of my mouth and after my friend made a bold statement to me... "Why don't you just expect the best?"

So, my question to myself is exactly that. Why don't I expect the best in any given situation, especially in one involving a petition to God for a positive life change? Why am I so surprised when God answers a prayer favorably? Why does His unyielding, unrelenting, undeniable love and power still completely blow me away? It's nothing new, but perhaps my acceptance of their existence is still so fresh in my being that I automatically go back to my pessimistic approach to my Creator.

How timely that I am reading a new book entitled {w}hole by Lisa Whittle. When I read the first chapter on her website last week, something bubbled up inside of me. I can't explain it. I identified with what she was saying, and I found it refreshing that she identified with me. I am not alone is a powerful feeling that we all crave to find true throughout the pathways of our life. When it comes to my spiritual walk, I often feel isolated, not only because I have no direct affiliation with an organized church but also because I feel like I've experienced a lot of disappointment from the church that most people don't see in their lives. The only person who knows all the ins and outs of how I feel about organized religion is my Heavenly Father, and it's definitely a subject that I try to stay clear of with most people, including the two people who have been most influential on my faith, my parents.

My book arrived in my mail box on Saturday. I wanted to dive in immediately, to hear another believer's account of their journey in finding closeness to God through Scripture, but Scott's birthday party was that evening, and there was a giant "40" to make out of chocolate chip cookies, icing, and black candles. So I placed the Granny Smith apple green book on my chair for Monday morning. I devoured the first three chapters this morning.

I walked away from the beginning of this book with the awareness (for the first time in my life) that I didn't grow up viewing myself as God's creation. In my little mind, the Church was God's creation, and, if I was good enough along the way, I could be a part of the Church. In other words, the Church was my direct link to God. I can't say where this belief came from; perhaps it was my rule-following, conservative, people-pleasing personality that formulated this mental approach to God. But that doesn't really matter. However this completely explains why Psalm 139 made me weep the first time I read it. It was the first time I viewed myself as being directly created by God, known inside and out by Him, and loved despite my imperfections.

I look back over the past several years, over my journey with the Lord, over the way He has lovingly worked on my heart, my hurts, my misunderstandings about Him. He has revealed Himself in the strangest of stories in the Bible, painting a more accurate picture of who He is, was, always has been, and always will be. This picture is more grand, more encompassing, more overwhelming that I ever dreamed God could be in the days of my ignorance, and I am gratefully placing in all the missing pieces of God's personality one by one.

I'm still not perfect. Never will be. But I do have this enormous zeal for Him. I want to know Him. Not just open Him up and have quiet time with a few pages several times a week and then place Him back on the shelf. I want to know Him on a level I never believed possible until I read Psalm 139 and believed it deep down inside. I want to draw closer to a Jesus that endured torture so that my soul wouldn't have to, and I want to help spread that around so that others will know it, too. I want to be the woman He knew I would be even in the midst of bad choices, hurtful life experiences, and rebellion.

There are just so many things going on behind the scenes these days that I can't openly discuss or can't properly put into words that make any sense. But I love a day full of the beauty of one single realization. Nothing is better than having an internal epiphany, especially when it helps you learn something about your past and pushes you closer to where you want to be. Head on over to Lisa Whittle's website and check it out... she's an amazing writer and magnetic Christian! You will be blessed by her words!

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