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I missed church last week so I listened to the message while at work and amidst the half-listening while a million other things were going on, a specific part stuck out to me. My pastor is speaking about shattered dreams over the next few weeks and what happens “when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would.”
If you have 30 minutes, listen/watch this message. If not, fast forward to about 26 minutes. I think this message is pretty universal but it hits me deeply in relation to what I’ve struggled with for the past 10 years now.
There’s a point where he says he knows that God could basically snap his fingers and make his unborn baby’s heart beat. That he knew it wouldn’t even make God sweat to breathe life into that child…but He didn’t. In the same way, I’ve had so many fights and screaming matches with God knowing that – in an instant – He could make these feelings, these thoughts, these dreams, these addicting highs just go away. He could completely change my heart and my mind so I wouldn’t have to deal with this anymore.
But He didn’t. And when he didn’t, I assumed He didn’t care. That’s because I put my faith in God’s ACTIVITY instead of His IDENTITY. Pete says your response in a moment like that matters. I think this idea sums up a lot of why I’ve made the decisions I have over the past 2 years. I’ve decided to put my faith in who God says He is – in the promise that He has not left me and will never forsake me. I am learning to “trust that You are God and I am not.”
I’ve been holding this tightly over the past week and it has given me a little more confidence. As if maybe I’m hearing God speak to me more clearly and continuing to lead me in my journey. My thinking now is not that He didn’t show up the way I wanted Him to because He didn’t care, but because He had a better plan all along. Because, really, how strong would my faith be now if I treated God like the vending machine I sometimes act like He is – push the right buttons and get what I want?
I think we all have our “one thing” that we know God could fix in an instant but he doesn’t. My encouragement to you (and myself) is to focu56s on God’s identity and rest in the fact that He’s God and you are not. 🙂 If you want to share, what’s your one thing?
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For some reason or another, today has been a busy day in the way of conversations and thinking about this. I think it was sparked by the Jennifer Knapp buzz. (If you haven’t seen, she’s a popular Christian artist from several years ago who has confirmed rumors that she’s in a same-sex relationship.) I’ve read several comments about her coming out and it’s unsurprising but still amazing to me how much people go back and forth on this topic.
I had a very good conversation with a friend who has the same beliefs that Jennifer Knapp does – that he feels like he’s finally being who he really is now that he’s freed himself to be in a same-sex relationship. I also had a good conversation with a friend who believes the complete opposite – that God says its wrong and He did not make us to be this way but it’s a choice (however subconscious) that we can change. Having conversations like this and responding to comments on this blog (sometimes I just reply in my head) somehow continues to strengthen my convictions and add more swirling questions at the same time.
Because it’s been a busy day of this type of conversation, I’m about ready to take a break but I felt like something needed to be said. I started this blog to document my struggle through this incredibly complicated, confusing and gray area of my life. I started this blog because I felt (and still do feel) incredibly alone and thought surely someone else felt the same way I did. And if my writing this blog could help one person not feel so alone, then it would be worthy of something. I am still tired of it being unspoken of in church and I hope, in my own little way, I’m helping change that. Regardless of how I feel about Jennifer Knapp’s choices, etc., I do think she’s made a big step in closing that bridge and I am thankful for that.
I did not, however, start this blog to defend my choices or prove anything to anybody. I say this because some of the comments I’ve read have bred a lot of insecurity in posting my struggles. I’m afraid if I post that I’ve had a hard day or am questioning if this is right for me, you will see the crack in my convictions and pounce. Hell, even if you don’t see a crack, you’re still pouncing and attacking. So if I haven’t felt strong or solid, I haven’t posted. Surely, by seeing my lack of posts, you’ll see I haven’t felt very strong or solid this year. I’ve decided that trying to be strong and invincible isn’t going to do me or anyone left who may be getting something out of this any good.
So my message to those of you who like to pounce and attack (shall we call you tigers or kittens?), please stick around if you’d like but I’m not here to hear your negative feedback. I’m all for being fair and seeing the other side. I’ve learned lately that spirited conversation is one way we learn and grow. But I will not be intimidated by your critiques anymore and I hope that I do come across as flawed and imperfect and weak. Because in my weakness, He is strong and it’s a good thing I feel out of control…because I am. He is in control and I’m resting soundly in that.
Stepping off my soapbox now… 🙂