Sunday, June 3, 2007

Today's Realizations

I realized today that knowing about God and knowing God are 2 separate issues.  I have been reading through the Gospel of John this week and cross-referencing many of the Scriptures.  I am amazed. 

I have grown up attending church regularly, went to a Christian college, married a Christian man, try to do the "right thing" but when asked last week if I felt confident that I was going to heaven my response was vague and passionless.  I don't know when or how I lost my way or if I have ever been on the right track but I feel as if the layers of self-protection are slowly being pulled away and I am actually eager to see where the Lord is leading me.

I also came to realize that my life has been centered around fear rather than centering upon God. 
For as long as I can remember, I have always felt ultra-responsible for all that occurs in and around my life. 

I fear disappointing others. 
I fear being a disappointment. 
I fear getting hurt, abandoned, or rejected. 
I fear being hurtful. 
I fear living authentically yet I fear continuing to live according the standard or expectations of someone else.  
I fear being "seen" as much as I fear being "invisible"!!

Scripture says that "Perfect love casts out all fear" and that "God is love". 
Fear no longer has a place in my heart. 
I will no longer listen to the lies of Satan. 
I will trust in the Lord.

I was raised among faithful Christians in an imperfect but loving congregation and I, obviously, held onto the teachings of "Study to show thyself approved..." and the like but I have allowed myself to negate the grace of our Almighty God. 
Jesus DIED for me and instead of me. 

What has made me think that I could ever "earn" my own salvation? 
His sacrifice was enough. 
I am saved.

I have been motivated to follow the commands of God out of fear of going to hell. 

I am now motivated by love. 
How could I want anything more than to wholeheartedly love, serve, and honor Him after such a sacrifice was made? 

I am also motivated by gratitude.

This past year has been incredibly difficult. 
Issues of life hit me head-on and hard. 
The depression became almost tangible. 

I shut all, including God, out of my heart.
It hurt to simply breathe much less share the air with another. 

I thank God for guiding me (by His people, His timing and circumstances) through the dark times, where death seemed like the only answer. 
I cannot count the hours spent in prayerful tears wondering why He wasn't "healing" me.

All things according to His plans have brought me to a whole new outlook on life. 
My compassion for other and for myself is increasing. 
I am no longer sitting in judgment of others or myself. 
That's not 100% accurate.  I am no longer sitting in judgment of others...still struggling with what to do about me. 

My foremost goal is to live according to the will of my Father and to love others as He has love and is loving me.