Sunday, May 11, 2008

What I've learned.

I can't recall the exact number of times that I've scratched my head, or fell on my knees asking God "What's happening to me?"
Seriously. Have you read this blog for a year?
Post 1 - God is awesome!
Post 2 - God simply rocks!
Post 3 - God too powerful, majestic for words!
Post 4- Devil, bring it on you stupid #($*!!
Post 5 - Muah, uh, ohh, God, where'd you go?
Post 6 - God?
Post 7 - I quit God.
Post 8 - God doesn't keep promises.
Post 9 - Life, altogether, is rotten.

I've struggled to pray, struggled to believe, and struggled to hope. It hasn't been pleasant.
Then I promised people that had patiently watch me frown at anyone and anything, that I'd plaster a smile on my face.
Then I came on my blog saying that the only way to even fake a smile is to give up hope of God doing anything spectacular. It's just too disappointing a wait.

And then something entirely different happened.
Someone, claiming to know me, e-mailed me anonymously and asked me to sin. Not just sin, but enter into a commitment to sin. I swear, I looked at it for two days, even after I immediately shot back my 'No.'. I looked at it and wondered about the desperation, the shame of hiding that whoever this was probably felt, and I realized I had something in common with them.

We both wanted something to satisfy us. Some people search for satisfaction in common things like money, drugs, sex, and even love. But there's always something that's going to be missing. Because none of that really satisfies you. Not really. Sure it seems like it for a time, you revel in the newness and enjoyment, until you realize that there's still something... something missing.

So I did what I do best. I wrote this anonymous person a letter. A long-winded letter (my specialty) and I told them just that. Sin, might distract me from the dissatisfaction, but ultimately - I knew God was the only answer. Whether I was reaching God right now, whether I could pray right now, whether I could easily walk into fellowship with God right now... I knew He was the only answer that would satisfy. And that I was truly desperate enough for satisfaction, to say no to the distraction that would never satisfy.

That night, for the first time in months, I really read my bible.

It's not that I haven't read my bible in the last months, but that reading it always felt so empty - as though I were reading words from someone who wasn't my friend, writing about something that didn't interest me. Or worse, I read it with doubt tinging every sentence with disbelief.
This time, I was called to the bible. I knew, I was suppose to read, and I knew I'd read again, and it felt like I might survive.

I've had those moments before, where God steps in and does something and you think "I'm gonna make it" only to wake up the next morning to the same emptiness. It's not pleasant. But I've noticed something lately. I'm getting back up faster and faster. Till I've begun to think, "I really am going to make it".

But in all this, I've wondered WHY on earth am I going through this? And here's just a few of the things that I've learned.

I've learned to be less judgemental. WAY less judgemental. God alone knows the state of someones salvation. I don't care if you're sinning, or just not doing didly squat whether for or against God. I get now, really get, that there are things going on behind your doors that only you and God can work out. I'm sorry for you. And hopefully soon I'll be able to pray for you.

I've learned that God, somehow, sticks better than church has always taught me He stuck. In church I learned to behave, and that doing certain things put you on the path to hell and the next thing you know you're separated from God. What they don't mention in church is the thing that I felt. How, even in that separation you can still feel God loving you, even when you're screaming at Him to go ahead and stop because you're not worth it. He holds onto people. Maybe not quite like the Baptists think - but better than us Pentecostals teach.

I've learned that even the best people fail and struggle with God. I'm not trying to call myself one of the 'best' people. But a lot of the people that saw me struggle their first words were "I never thought I'd hear you say that." Let me tell you - that doesn't help. Because I thought I'd never hear me say some of the things I was saying too. All it does is point out how far I've crashed. So here's a tip - don't say that. But still, everyone is susceptible to those evil whispers in our ears. So if you can find them, raise the shields of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the breastplate of righteousness because there's a war going on out here and it's pretty scary.

Here's the hardest part of what I learned. Mostly hard to write because people I know read this blog and they won't understand. But I learned how much I need people. The night I dropped off Little One, as I drove home, I wished with everything in me that there was someone I could go to and just sit in their living room and cry. And I didn't, I don't, have that. And I need to fix that.

I've also learned, because it's easier to understand some things when you see it in someone else besides yourself - that even though I think I believe God is exactly who He says He is and will do what He said He would do, if I add a 'but' anywhere after that, then the problem really is belief.

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