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Tue, Aug 05 2008 - 06:35 PM

The Faith Certificate

I used to believe that you get to this point in your Christian faith where you "get it".  You hit the mark.  You please God.  You reach your Christian potential and then you go on with your life at that level of peace and joy, connected to God while living your life.  That is it.  You become "faith certified" and you are graduated from the school of learning to be a Christian.

I've come to realize that it isn't like that at all! 

I've been a Christian my whole life.  I officially made my personal proclamation of faith about the age of 12 after being at church camp and having experienced God in a very personal way. I was raised in a Christian home with 2 loving parents and 3 siblings.  We were always at church.  I had a strong faith and thankfully stayed very close to the Lord all through my teenage years.   I was blessed with strong Christian friends.  We all loved the Lord, had strong morals and always had each other--so peer pressure didn't matter that much.

Through my adult life, I always loved the Lord and for the most part always attended church.  I guess I thought I "got it".  I thought I had that level of faith, peace and joy that you grow to as a Christian.  I thought I understood what having a relationship with Jesus was all about.   I thought I loved Him, trusted Him and lived the way He wanted me too.  I prayed often.  I worshiped and I saw God's hand in my life during tragedies and major events.  I gave Him credit and readily encouraged others to trust God in their own situations.  I obeyed the "rules" and I was a "good person".  I just knew God was proud of me!  

Boy, did I have it all wrong!

The last 2 years of my life, oddly beginning at the age or 40, have been eye-opening for me.  I liken it to the 40 years in the desert!  I have come to realize that although I did love the Lord and He was a part of my life.  He was only a small part of it and there is so much more to it!

Through what I now affectionately and painfully call a "Series of Unfortunate Events" ranging from my own serious illness, to financial problems, to multiple members of my family experiencing major crises, to my own daughter's contemplation of suicide I got knocked to my knees--repeatedly.  The breath got knocked out of me.  I couldn't see a way out of the valley because something else was always "falling" on and around me.   God was allowing Satan's attacks to "break me".  I don't believe God caused all of the "unfortunate events" to happen but He definitely used them.

Through the "breaking" process, I battled with myself and my "fixer" mentality.  I tried to make things right.  I tried to "be strong".  But, all I could really do was PRAY and read God's Word and PRAY some more.  I cried many, many tears--but always in private--rarely, if ever,  in front of anyone.  I cried out to God and I said.... "I cannot do it anymore!"  And, as you know, He was right there!  I called His name and He was there.  Oh, it wasn't easy.  It didn't happen in one "ah-hah" moment, but I came to realize that I needed to be totally dependent on Him and not just have him as a small part of my life.  For those of you who have regularly followed my Blogs, you have been on the journey with me!  And the journey continues minute to minute!

In the last few months, my thoughts have changed multiple times about my relationship with God.  How is "supposed" to look?  How is "supposed" to feel?  How do I make Him my very best friend?  How do I experience joy and peace no matter what?  When will I reach "that point" where I get it?  How do I learn to "let go" and "let God" deal with all of my stuff?  

I am slowly coming to realize that there isn't "a point".  There isn't a level of faith that is the ultimate.  There isn't a feeling  Ithat you get and then you know that you have finally made Him your best friend.  You don't quit making mistakes.  You don't stop being human.  You don't get your "faith certificate" and then have nothing more to learn about Jesus or your relationship with Him.

It truly is a journey that doesn't end until we run and jump into His arms when we enter Heaven's gates.  I have much to learn, much to let go of, much to offer and much to gain in my ever-growing, ever- changing relationship with Jesus.    With each book I read, blog I read, scripture I read, experience I have, people I meet, my relationship with Jesus changes.  My perceptions of Him change.  My desire to know Him more and more grows.  Sometimes I scratch my head and say , "I don't get it".  Sometimes, I am not sure how I feel or what the next step is.  Other times, it is crystal clear to me and I feel great relief, great peace and great joy.  Satan usually steps in right about that time to throw me a curve ball--but that is another story! 

But all of it is about the journey.  It is about my ever growing, ever changing relationship with Jesus.  I know He wants to be at the very center of every aspect of my life and I am slowly learning to put Him there--piece by piece.  The more I look for His work in my life, the more I see it and the more I want to see it.  The more I get to know Him, the more I want to know. 

All of our lives we are taught about Biblical rules and God is presented in a certain way that makes Him seem too important and busy to be involved in little things.  We are taught that we don't deserve blessings and God doesn't care about those things anyway.  

But I just don't believe that is just true.  We absolutely have no concept of how much He loves us.  We cannot wrap our human brains around that kind of love because we haven't experienced it--it isn't human love with limits.  It is Godly love with no limits. It is so hard to believe He loves us much less to "feel loved".  It is hard to believe we can talk to God about ANYTHING and He actually has the time and WANTS to listen.  He likes to see things through our eyes.  He likes to hear us tell about our day.  He likes us to ask for His help.  He likes to hear us say that we love Him.

In our lifetimes, we could never reach an ultimate level of faith/relationship with God, because He too complicated, too amazing, too wonderful, too involved, too Big, too "not human" to ever know enough of Him.  All we can do is meet Him each morning and focus on interacting with Him that day.  We have to look for Him in everything and expect the unexpected.  

We have to realize it is a journey not a short trip.  We have to realize that we are going to mess up.  We are going to slip and fall.  We are going to pull away without even realizing it.  We are going to let things get in the way sometimes.  But we must never stop working at the relationship.  God always does His part, we have to make a conscious effort to do ours.

I almost erased this blog several times.  I feel like I've just rambled, but I guess that is sort of how I've been feeling lately.  My mind is jumping all around and all of my old ideas about God are battling my new ideas.  I'm sure Satan is throwing in an idea of his own here and there.  It is like I am beginning to see the light but the room is spinning around me and I just havent quite got my bearings yet.  That probably doesn't make a bit of sense to anyone but me!  In anycase, God wouldn't let me erase this blog.    

Prayer:  Lord, we so often misunderstand You.  Even more often, we ignore You or just fail to include You in our day-to-day lives.  We have merely touched the surface of who You are and who we can be in You.  Please break all our paradigms and destroy all our bad perceptions of You.  Allow us to draw close and get to know You in a way that we've never experienced before.  Let us never forget that there is always "more of You" to know and love.  Thank You for loving us beyond our wildest imagination.  We love You and Praise You.

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Name: worknmom

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About: I am a married, working mother with 2 children a daughter age 17 and a son age 14. I have a passion for writing and feel led to work with pre-teen girls. I blog mostly about my spiritual journey as I seek God's perfect will for my life.

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