Posted by: zephaniah317 | September 24, 2007

Truth

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

-1 Cor. 13:  1-7, The Message

I promised in my last blog that I’d do better at being authentic and not write for the purpose of receiving (or perceiving the reception) of accolades from my blogging brethren.  Here goes:

My life up to this point (OK, until about a year ago, when all these revelations from my marriage and divorce started happening) has sucked.

Why?

I’ve got a nice job (actually a great job at a great place to work with a Christian boss); great friends; a great church; a nice house (a rental, but nevertheless); my car is paid off; even with my divorce and all that pain, I’ve learned so much about myself and God, it’s been a hard but overall good experience.

So what’s the problem?  Why are my days filled with restlessness, worry, fear?

Because I’m the creaking of a rusty gate.  Love is a trickle in my heart, not a river.

I’m just being honest.  It feels like it.  Drip, drip, drip…

I feel like I’ve been betrayed.  When you grow up in church, and you’re taught that God is like “this” and “thus” and “thee” and “thou”, that should cover it, right?

So why did I turn to porn all those years?  Why have my days been filled with fear, restlessness, and worry?

Why does God looks a lot more like my emotionally and verbally abusive earthly father than the benevolent Creator of the universe who loves me unconditionally, just for who I am, and encourages me daily to find my purpose that He created me for?

Why?

And then, last week, God turned on a light.

I’m paraphrasing, but the feelings/thoughts I’ve felt/thought go something like this:  “What if the environment you grew up in, with all of it’s trappings of “rightness” and “correctness” and “this is how life and God is”-ness, was in fact so toxic to your heart that there’s nothing you could’ve done as a child, teenager, or young adult to avoid the pain you feel right now, deep down inside?  What if your household, family, and friends were/are dysfunctional at best, and abusive at worst?  What if your family, friends and everything you thought was good and proper is in fact the farthest thing from…<gasp>…love…in this universe?  What if the “buckle of the Bible Belt” that you grew up in is more fake than Pam Anderson’s chest?  <hang with me here, I’m paraphrasing, remember?  I couldn’t think of anything more fake, that’s all…>  What if…<gasp, again>…you DIDN’T grow up in a Christian home?  What if, all those times you were trying to argue with your parents about life and love and how things should be, and got slammed to the turf emotionally and verbally…you were RIGHT?!?!”

“What if through a carefully orchestrated process of the last 15 years of your life, I’ve finally led you to a Bible-believing church that teaches the opposite of everything you have learned in your childhood about who I am and what I’m about, for real, not the Pharasaic counterfeit of image management and performance-based acceptance and significance?  What if it’s taken this long (7 years), attending this church, learning about unconditional acceptance, for it to finally get through to you, not because you’re a bad person, but because your perception grid has been so mangled by events in your life that there’s no way you could’ve dug your way out of all that crap before now?  What if your marriage wasn’t the breaking point in your life, but just another event, even though it was pretty big, in my plan to bring you closer to ME?”

“You keep saying that the process of life is (1) young boy is born, (2) Mom rears young boy in early years, (3) At some point, Mom gives growing boy over to be taught by Dad, and (4) Dad gives boy over to God.  Well, your Mom didn’t let you go, and your Dad doesn’t know Me all that well, and isn’t going to give you to me, either.  Please believe these truths, give yourself to Me, stop getting acceptance from humans, and let Me turn on the river inside you.  PLEASE!”

So, there it is.  The battle inside.  Old, fake, mean, demanding God vs. new, loving, caring, too-good-to-be-true God.  There’s days I’m angry at being betrayed by the church and my parents, there’s days I feel like I’m betraying my parents, and other days where I’m filled with gladness for God delivering me from all that He has.  I may not be moving fast, but at least I’m moving.

And, lastly, some days, I feel like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive.  Remember this exchange?

Richard Kimball:  “Do you remember what I told you in the tunnel?”
                 
Gerard:  “I remember it was noisy.  Well, I think you said something like……you didn’t kill your wife.”

Kimball:  “Remember what you told me?”

Gerard:  “I remember you were pointing my gun at me.”
                  
Kimball:  “You said, “I don’t care.””
                  
Gerard:  “Yeah, Richard, that’s right, I don’t care.  I’m not trying to solve a puzzle, here.”

Kimball:  “Well, I am trying to solve a puzzle.  And I just found a big piece.”

Bingo.  I just found a big piece.

I’m listening, Father.  Keep showing me where the pieces are.

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Responses

  1. A good reminder that you don’t have to move fast….just keep moving. I like the simple truth of that.

  2. I’ve been ‘away’ too long! Spent some time this am catching up.
    Wow. Really, I’m not sure what else to say. You and God have been working through some pretty intense stuff. Thanks for your renewed honesty. This post moved me to tears. His love is the most beautiful thing. Getting to witness Him fighting so fiercely for you is beyond encouraging.

  3. Sweet.

  4. Hi there…..I admire how you can tell us sooo much of what is in your heart and thoughts and I feel sorta like I’ve known you forever yet we barely speak to eachother at church…other than Hi…( I didn’t mean that in a bad way )I think it’s awesome how much God is working in your life….things are going very well for me now that we started up in a small group ..we are reading the book called BE REAL……and I am finally… hopefully…prayerfully…starting to learn about how to take the next step and not ne a BABY CHRISTIAN anymore and to become a MATURE CHRISTIAN which means to listen to God’s Word and obey it simply because I love Him….in the past I have struggled with fear and doubt and it’s so difficult to have someone say Oh, you just have to trust and obey ……( if you come from an abusive childhood )…but like you feel ,our church and our Pastor and leaders have opened my eyes and heart …sorry I seemed to have written a letter….anyway thanks for sharing and listening.

  5. ditto everything
    I love you, brother.


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