It’s going to be awfully hard to write a blog when you have no words… would be the next logical thought… instead, I’m staring at this blank page waiting to find the words, because how can I NOT blog about the most influential thing that has happened to me in a VERY long time!
If you’ve been keeping up with my Blog at all in the past few months, you are becoming keenly aware of my adoration with the church home we’ve found. If this bother’s or offends you, or tends to illicit what I’ll call ‘hater’ thoughts… you may want to check out now, cause this one is gonna take the cake!
I was raised to “Believe in God”. Why the quotations? Because to me, for a long time, it was always that way because someone else ‘said so’…. I quoted the prayers that were written for me to say, I gave the right answers in Catechism, I followed the rules… well…. most of them… or tried to anyway… most of the time 🙂 And I thought that was it…. despite the fact I was never satisfied, and had incredibly low self-esteem… but I figured who doesn’t have low self-esteem in H.S, and didn’t think much else beyond that.
I started going to Young Life in H.S., because that’s where the cool kids were going, and I desperately wanted to be cool…. The weird thing was, I listened while I was there, and started making friends with some of the leaders, and went to some of the camps… and couldn’t help but think… hey these people are different…. I wonder why? I didn’t really pursue the thought much further from that because, well… my hanging out there, or my growing out of my DESPERATELY Long awkward phase… FINALLY resulted in me getting pulled into “The cool crowd”, and I promptly forget all other aspects of life in general (including being a good friend/person/etc). The remaining 2 years of H.S. and college passed in a fun blur, and despite having a large network of ‘friends’, I moved to Texas, with really only Kevin as my best friend, and had fallen out of touch with essentially everyone else after there wasn’t a party scene keeping us together.
We found our church in Texas, and friends there, and I was reminded how different life looked for a group of leaders I had met long ago, and how those camps during the summers would change my life briefly to the way I wanted it to be. So we started to attend, and slowly my heart started to change… the have to’s, and should’s started to fall away and were replaced with the want to’s. The friendships lasted LONG past Saturday night, and they became part of my life. The long held belief that faith was just a hypocritical sham, started to chip away, as I realized it wasn’t at all about PRETENDING to be perfect… it was embracing the fact that we aren’t, nor ever will be, and living happily with the imperfections that surround us.
Then we moved here. Since we’ve arrived, my carefully crafted comfort zones have been pushed, probed, and stretched to what I originally thought would have been a breaking point, and I’m elated to discover that I’m growing into the room all this stretching has made!
The biggest jump yet, was when one of the leaders at the church asked if I wanted to be a co-small group leader…. I thought that was rather hilarious… and told her my concerns… “Um, I’ve never done something like this. I don’t really have that great of knowledge of the bible. Don’t people have to be better than me to be asked to do this kinda of thing? You really want ME to lead someone?!?” I obviously have/had some serious reservations, and I thought she was a little/lot crazy, but I banked on the fact I was only a “co-leader” that took enough of the pressure off that I stumbled through an ‘uh, sure, I guess’.
Tonight, ALL of the above, how I ended up at this Starbucks on this evening made sense. One of the girls in our group, who’s been asking questions, and just hashing out life with us on our Wednesday evenings over cookies, explained that while she still has a gillion questions, and doesn’t understand it all (who does?) 😉 said she wants this to be her way of life too….
I was THERE for that!!! It was the BEST reminder in the world of how much my life and outlook have improved since I dropped the quotations from believing in God, and actually decided to figure out what that means, rather than quoting what someone else said it did!
It’s messy… it doesn’t always, or even that often, seem to make sense… people let you down…I still let people down… I question myself constantly…. but I’ve never felt anything more REAL in my entire life… and that’s what I want… what is REAL!
Talk about a kick ass way to start of the Lent/Easter season…. That little comment was for those haters that may have made it all the way to the bottom… Yes, amazingly enough you can say all that, and still say its pretty kick ass… and I’m pretty sure God would TOTALLY agree! Like I said, pretty sure… don’t take what I’m saying as the truth… figure it out for yourself! 😉