It’s no secret that I have been struggling lately. It is a deep, dark struggle at times. My physical body is being ravaged by a beast of a thing and it’s leaving my already battered emotions bruised and pushed around. Looking towards Heaven for hope seems like an impossible task. I don’t want to at times because it feels useless. My prayers feel like they are bouncing around some sort of dark, empty chamber. I feel so alone most of the time. As if somehow God has just left me here, in this mess, to figure it out myself.
“Still when I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache (funny God, for those that know what’s going on will understand that) Until I entered the sanctuary of God……
Then I saw the WHOLE picture” Psalm 73:16-17 MSG
I can’t figure it out. It hurts too much to try. I don’t see the whole picture either but I am willing to enter the sanctuary of God where things tend to be clearer.
I am wrestling. Like Jacob. I’m not going to stop wrestling either. I believe in this God, this Jesus I chose to follow almost eight years ago but right now, in the midst of this shit I do not see Him. I know He’s there but the air is thick with doubt and dread and there is hardly any light.
I have been thinking a lot lately about this thought of the somewhat mystical “accepting Jesus into our hearts” Like He’s not there; then we say this magical prayer and BOOM He jetpacks His way into our hearts. I am not trying to be a smart ass, this is just my way of fleshing everything that ruminates in this squished up brain of mine.
My thoughts this morning as I was journaling this out is, we are ALL children of God. Born into His image, even before we make the choice to be His. The verse even says that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. I started thinking that maybe sometimes that the salvation experience gets played up into this mystical, emotion driven experience. But what if it’s really built up over time?
What if it is a more steady, solid and built up over time knowledge that we live our lives in, around and through the very Spirit of that God, that Jesus who did in fact die for us? Something way beyond:
“Say this prayer with me now, so you too can be saved and have Jesus come into your heart”
What does that really mean?
Maybe this struggle of mine lies more in trying to balance my internal identity with Christ with some sort of label or phrase. I’d rather rest and meditate on the assurance that I am not in fact by myself. That this mess of my life isn’t pushed from God’s mind. If learning to walk completely enmeshed in the spirit rather than some idea that my two handed befuddlement is what I am learning rather than focusing on “Jesus is in your heart” than I’d rather be here.
I don’t doubt that I have the Spirit of the living God taking up residence in every area of my being, my core, soul, spirit, mind and even (hopefully) my physical body. I just have to learn to flesh out this idea that salvation and Jesus entering my heart as a BOOM emotive and mystical idea. At least for me, for right now.
A lot of the time what I have seen happen is people run forward to that alter out of pure emotion because they are empty and desperate and they hear about this Jesus who wants to live in them. That’s what happened with me. When I “went forward and got saved (I really hate and struggle with the vernacular)” I DID NOT know what I was doing, really. Looking back I do believe that the Holy Spirit was pushing me but there were also a lot of emotions involved. Yet after that moment it was like, Oh now Jesus is in my heart everything is cool. There was no fleshing out what it meant to abide, rest, grow and allow the Spirit to take up every.single.part of my me-ness.
If this teaching or theology is incorrect, I don’t know. I have had it with theology at this point. In fact my therapist even told me that I should stop reading all the theology blogs because at this point I just need to rest in God’s abiding love and the true gospel.
For right now I suppose that means fleshing it out here on what it means to follow Christ. What it looks like in my life, my parenting, my healing and the very inner workings of my heart.
I am going to keep wrestling with God. Like Jacob I will walk away with a limp. I already have a few, with the literal scars to prove the battle. It’s not bad, it’s not good. It’s messy.
The Spirit fleshes out and sits in the messy and I thank Him for that.
September 7, 2013 at 3:07 pm
I imagine our life in Christ like a marriage. At some point you stand up and say “Me with Him, forever.” And then you go about your life figuring out what that means and how to live it and find that it is way harder than you imagined, but it’s worth the struggle even if it doesn’t feel like it plenty of days. I believe that moment is less about Him coming to us and more about us choosing Him.
I like the “jet-packing” image. Had me a little chuckle, so thanks.
September 7, 2013 at 10:12 pm
I would I have to agree. It’s work because it’s a relationship. But it’s a relationship worth fighting for and wrestling with/in.
The jet pack Jesus came from Abigail. She came up with it one morning after she started first grade. She was nervous about school and had this idea that Jesus wore a jet pack and flew around her school protecting her.
It’s a good image sometimes 🙂
September 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm
Oh, dear one. Lifting up a prayer for grace and healing for you tonight.
If ya want to spin a story of what “fleshing it out” looks like in this season, I know a place:) I’d be honored to host you.
September 11, 2013 at 9:17 pm
Wow! Your words here are huge. I’d love to spin it out for your corner. Shoot me an email and lets talk details. Bethany.firstname.lastname@example.org