MISS MOOX + wonderful


Yet again, this post is going to be on a similar theme as the last few. This may be a difficult post for those who are not Christians or who don't consider themselves to have a faith relationship with God to relate to. I apologize, but this is what I'm wrestling through right now, which is why there isn't much else I feel like writing about.

I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional and even abusive family which claimed to be Christian. My idea of God was of an overbearing, tyrannical, angry, intolerant, judgemental, demanding, impossible-to-please, punishing Father. Kind of like my own dad.

He ruled by fear rather than by love. I was right with God on the basis of my own works, not by faith in the total grace of God given as a result of the death of Jesus. I could never do enough, never accomplish enough, never be good enough, to merit his favour. Rather, I was sure his wrath was waiting to descend on my head.

When I went away to Bible college, this view of God clashed radically with what I learned there. Particularly from a man who became my mentor and substitute father—a man whose relationship with God was strong and committed and who sought to reflect God's love to me.

But I still didn't quite "get" it.

A few years ago, I was drawn into the charismatic movement. For those who don't know what that means, it's basically a belief that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including miraculous gifts such as tongues, healing, and prophecy, didn't cease with the apostles but still continue today. The ongoing revelation and activity of God are welcomed and sought out. It's marked by a hunger for God's presence, a desperation for his power, knowing that without him we're nothing. We need him to speak to us, to heal us, to love us, to "show up" every time we pray or gather together.

I was powerfully touched by God, in some miraculous ways. There's no doubt about it; it was strong, unmistakeable, and real. I was not expecting any of it, and it cannot be said that it was psychological. I won't go into details about it, but it was real. I was set free. I soaked in the presence of God. I worshipped, I found a new love for him, I was set free from bondage, I had a power to talk about God and to pray for people and to see his presence touch them. It was wonderful.

Until, old hurts cropped up. And I found myself increasingly dragged down again into darkness, into shutting God out, into anger at him, into isolation, depression, and desperation. A cycle set itself up: God would break into my life, speak to me, touch me. I'd be on a "high" for a little while, but then would start to descend again. Until, after a while, I got so disillusioned and burned out that there was no "high". Just anger, bitterness, and a desperate wish to die.

I knew God still loved me. I knew I was his child. I couldn't escape that fact, much as I wished to. There were still unmistakeable signs of his care. He still spoke to me through other people. He still manifested love and grace and forgiveness, reaching out to me to demonstrate that he still wanted me. If only I would have him, if only I would let him in, he would do anything that I wanted him to. Set me free from fear. Give me the love I craved. Never let me feel alone.

But I shut him out. Disappointment, anger, and despair were too strong to allow me to yield. Stubbornness and a long history of being alone created in me a fear of being vulnerable, of being in relationship, of allowing him inside me to see what was really there. To deal with it. To love me.

Until. God sent along this boy. Who has a passion for God. Who has seen God invade his life incredibly and deliver him from in some ways worse darkness than I've ever seen. And I can no longer run. I can no longer hide. My alienation from God, despite my belief in him, is being forced out into the open. He, both God and this boy, will not allow me not to deal with it any longer.

It's a good thing. But it's hard. So very hard. Everything in me wants to run away. Everything in me wants to hide, as I've always hidden. Everything in me wants to tell God to "F*** off," as I often have, and leave me alone. Everything in me wants to stay stubborn and proud and alone, not to humble myself, not to admit my need, not to ask for his grace, not to allow him to invade me and take over. I don't want to have to talk to other people and admit my need of help. I don't want to have to humble myself.

But I do. And that's causing a lot of conflict right now.

Fortunately, God is very patient. Fortunately, the human agent he's sent seems very committed to this and has the spiritual vision to see the end result. But I still know it's my choice. I still know that in the balance hangs my life, both spiritual and otherwise. I still know that I can turn either way.

But I don't want to. I want to choose life. But it's killing me right now. The habits of a lifetime, born out of hurt and fear and cemented when this girl was very, very small, are hard to overcome. The fear of being hurt. The fear of being vulnerable. The fear of being abandoned, left alone if I show them who I really am.

What's going to happen? Well, God's pretty strong, so I'm rooting for him in this one. But it's not something that I can lie back and passively have happen. I have a part to play, a part in actively submitting to him and seeking out the means he's given me to be made well. That's faith. That's obedience.

For the first time in my life, I think that I need to do it. Praying, that he is going to give me the grace. Because otherwise, I'll cut and run.

art, family, gifts, god, ideas, inspiration, Jesus, life, love, people, relationship, time, and more:

Relevant to: Confused + wonderful