Oooh feeling the pressure from that last comment I made!
I kind of set myself up with that one didn't I!!
I can't actually sit here and tell you I have all the answers. Like I said, my testimony is messy and it's still happening. But I will tell you what I do know. Its something that I've actually known for a while and have even written about in the past.
"People can really let you down can't they? So many people have turned away from their faith, from God, from the TRUTH because of the actions of someone else. And then we have the crazy nerve to blame our misfortunes and bad experiences on God. Well NEWSFLASH it wasn't GOD that hurt you....Just like it wasn't God that developed the atomic bomb, or bring about global warning. That was us. People. We did it, we continue to do it, and while on the subject of people hurting us - we also make the choice to trust certain people in our lives. There are always going to be nasty people out there. People who pretend to be something they're not. Yes even people who claim they believe in God and follow His ways. It stings even more when those people infiltrate your life and turn it upside down, but that is simply par for the course. It is the world we live in and NO ONE said it was perfect. In fact it is the very opposite and there is absolutely no basis to be surprised"
So - Same principle, different drama.
Point is - none of this is God’s fault. And if you’ve been "hurt by the church" then chances are this truth is the same for you to.
That’s the simple answer. God did not, and does not condone this kind of abuse, especially when it’s done in His name. He's still the same loving Father figure we were inspired to believe in, have hope in, and have faith in. He is still our Daddy God and this has probably hurt Him more than us.
Fact: WE make our choice to believe, and to craft our thinking, attitudes and actions around that belief.
Belief is a powerful powerful force. After all, we were created to believe in a God we cannot see, touch, or smell. He is by all intensive purposes invisible to our eye and yet we BELIEVE in Him.
We were created in His image and likeness, and asked to believe THIS. And millions do…..that’s the power of belief. Crazy, beautiful stuff.
If I truly believe something to be so, I will go to extraordinary lengths to pursue it or protect it. That’s just who I am. Not everyone has that same level of conviction, but we all have a little bit of it in us. I think God may have overdosed me (and many others) with this capacity to believe, and live our lives by that measure...that’s the only way I can explain how someone like me (and anyone else like me) could be so blind to normality.
The trick is not to beat ourselves up too much for being that person. I’d rather live passionately and die for something I believed in, than live a mundane uninspired life. Yes? So if that's you, or was you: LIFT YOUR HEAD UP! You're still here, still breathing, still YOU. Don't let that part of you die with the bad experience you've had. Imagine for a moment if you were given another chance to apply that extraordinary power to something that was truly worth it. If you're reading this and feel yourself getting just a tiny bit excited (just a little is all it takes) then chances are you're on the right path.
So the only thing left to do is say Thank you. Thanks be to God who created you and me this way - even if it has got us into a bit of trouble lately. I look forward to the day I get it right and truly do some (good) damage in His name!
Truth is my life has resembled somewhat of a rollercoaster. Just when I think it’s all clear to get off the damn thing and walk on solid ground - Boom!! The thing cranks up again and away we go. It’s nothing if not entertaining, and many people have likened it to a very bad episode of Days of our Lives. Personally I think that’s giving it a bit too much credit (the tv programme, not my life).
I decided to embark on this blogging journey to help me reach my bigger picture. You see, I know what my big picture looks like. I can see it clear as day, waiting ever so patiently for me to get my stuff together. Waiting for me to make the right and necessary steps to reach out and grab it. It’s beautiful yet frustrating to say the least.
I realise – deeply – that not everyone has this luxury. So many people can’t see past their own feet - such is the weight of the world on their shoulders. Looking up and around at a world of possibility seems like a simple enough concept, but that’s easy for people to say who aren’t in a headlock. For those who are faced with this right now, I want you to know that I get it. I’ve been there and experienced a devastating loss of vision and hope for my life. For those who know me, being without vision and purpose is at bad as it gets for someone like me. The last 13 years of my life has a lot to answer for, put it that way. Obviously some things have happened lately – life altering, thought shattering, belief challenging things. I’m not going to delve into it just yet, but if you’re wondering what would inspire me to start writing this – well there it is. I have to believe there is purpose behind even these things, and this right here - is my exploration diary.
If there was a purpose or an overall theme to this very first blog, it would be to tell you that headlocks can be broken, and this blog is my personal reflection of such a process. They say that testimony is the most powerful way to reach people in their darkest place. The reason why testimony has this effect on people is because it's proof that “it” (your impossibility) is possible. You can’t argue with someone’s testimony, even if your heart is determined not to believe it. And if it can happen for someone else, then that’s proof of possibility.
Suddenly HOPE quietly knocks on your door again. The question is….will you scrape up enough courage to let it in?
My testimony is a work of art in progress. Its messy, imperfect and it's still happening. This blog is destined to help with that process and maybe your's. Filtering through my thoughts, feelings, conclusions, beliefs and a lifetime of blessings and challenges is part of that process. The old saying “better out than in” has never been as true for me as it is today, not just for myself but for the benefit of others. Because out of these ramblings will come a book – painstakingly put together with YOU in mind. So I guess you could say my blog has multiple agenda’s.
It’s not intended to deliberately offend anyone, much less illicit a response from those who are. For those who genuinely connect with these words and want to continue with me on this journey; Welcome. The ride might get a little bit bumpy but I believe it will be worth it. My hope is that along the road you find some answers for yourself. If you want to talk, ask questions or connect further please feel free to email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindest thoughts and love
I live near the beach and every now and then I like to take a walk along our beautiful shoreline. Sunrises and sunsets at the beach are a favourite time of day for me. There is a quiet sound amidst the waves rumbling in, that resonates peace, and often a gentle breeze which reminds you its the beginning of something new or the end of something amazing. It stirs the soul and ministers to my spirit every time.
On one such morning I was walking along the shoreline and I couldn't help but think about what I was actually walking on. In Psalm 139 it talks about grains of sand when illustrating the sheer amount of times God thinks about us. Which is mind blowing really. Just the beach I walk on alone must have trillions of grains, let alone every other beach in the world. And then there's little old me living in a world with billions of people whom God thinks about just as much. The math is incomprehensible!! Its no wonder people struggle to believe that God can even see them, let alone think of them that much. Its no wonder people feel like they are just another faceless grain of sand in a sea of much the same.
But I have discovered something about sand that has reinforced my belief and faith in Gods thoughts toward us. Psalm 139 also talks about us being fearfully and wonderfully made. In other words we are all created unique, different, and beautiful. The funny thing is we aren't too much different from grains of sand. WHAT??! You say. Have you seen sand?? You scoff. Well yes - yes I have seen sand. I've seen sand probably much the same way God sees us. Up close and magnified. And it truly is remarkably and surprisingly beautiful. You see one thing with your natural eye, but if you look closer its amazing what will be revealed.
All I want to encourage you with is this;
If God can put as much thought, tender care and stunning creativity into a grain of sand - imagine how much more He has put into you. YOU who are made in the Creator's likeness and image. Think about that next time you feel inconsequential.