Saturday, January 24, 2015

All That We Don't Know

I write a lot about what I am learning. What I know now. Lessons.

This week I was reminded (AGAIN) of all I don't know.

Hmmm...

My IF:Tribe meets at my loft weekly and what a beautiful, complicated, challenging, loving, gifted group of women. Each week they teach me how to do life a little more....a little better....more and more lessons.

We are currently working through Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker as a group study. For some this is their (and mine) second read and others their first. The book is amazing...no doubt, but the book/study (and this is the beauty of a good one) is a catalyst for deeper discussions into what we believe, our struggles, and challenging us to dig deeper. This week there was a lively discussion about our strongholds taught to us by the church. What does that mean? Well, those of us that grew up in the church (whatever the religion) have those things we have been taught for so long and from so young, that they are simply imbedded into our DNA (or so it seems). Imagine that at some point in your adult life after say 30+ years in the church, you have a crisis which leads to a crisis of conscious/religion/faith/etc. When that happens a natural need to analyze what you believe to be true based on a stronghold and what you believe to be true because it is what you truly believe to your core begins to occur. It is often painful, can be devastating, and most often takes time and patience (with yourself and others with you) to work slog through...

I sat and listened and discussed with these amazing women our various strongholds...what we believed to be true once AND what we believe now...and then some of the things we still don't know. Ahhhh...love it when it just gets REAL.

If I had a million reams of paper and the rest of eternity, I am not sure I could list out all of the things I still don't know about...well, anything....OR the things I simply WANT to know. I am a curious girl.

Yet.

Yet...we make agreements deep inside ourselves, with others, with God...that THIS is it. THIS is what I believe...no doubt. No questions.

Really?!?!?

I am here to confess/admit/own...pick a word....that I don't know...much of anything beyond all reasonable doubt. My walk with God is fraught with stumbling, mistakes, sin, errors in judgment, crisis of conscious, flat out lies, broken commandments, questioning of him, questioning of my beliefs, questioning the Bible, deep hurt, abandonment, disownment, questioning anything and everything...

but you know what....

It is also full of deep prayer, feverish worship, face-planting the ground, weeping, gnashing of teeth, bruised and tired knees, confession, humility (a lot of times forced not beautifully offered), intense study of His. Word., sought-for counsel, immense grace, undeserved mercy, and unconditional love.

So where does leave me? You? Anyone?


This is where I am....

I am a seeker. I am seeking a deeper, more real, much more intimate, and a fully conversational relationship with God. I have an understanding today, more than ever, that my walk is a lifelong journey that will ebb and flow while hopefully growing and deepening as the days go by. It is a relationship that takes work. WORK. God wants my heart...and as part of that, he wants my time. A relationship is a two-way street where there is give, give some more, take, take too much, and give more than you believe you have. The truth is that I didn't grow up learning about relationship(s) and what one/those should look like...at least not a healthy one. {Note: I am referring to relationships in the global sense.} So...imagine a middle-aged woman being taught at the foot of Jesus what "relationship" truly looks like, and you might see a glimpse of what I have been working through and learning the past four years. I thought turning 40 nearly four years ago was going to be the pre-cursor to the best half of my life (because of foolishly where my head and heart were at the time), but the joke was on me....God had COMPLETELY other plans....but now four years later still learning, but near the crest of the most brutal part (I pray) of the lessons being in my rearview mirror, I see his hand all over me and my life as he directed me to what HE wanted for the "best half of my life"....and that is stunning both to imagine and to write/confess here now.


I sit here now with a MUCH shorter list (than four years ago) of what I know and believe to be true. I also more humbly acknowledge the portion of that list that I "know" that is solely based on my deep faith. Everything else, I am just a seeker and a learner. My great hope is that now knowing and understanding better that my Christianity is tied to a walk with Christ (not simply the following of  command and abiding by the rules), there is a deep hunger in me to learn and study the Bible...but just as much, there is a deep hunger for a relationship with God that entails time with just the two of us...My God and I (oddly enough one of my favorite hymns growing up and supposedly one of the hardest to sing). I crave the relationship. I know too that a year from now that relationship (if cultivated) will look different than it does today, and even more so a year after that and on and on.

From time-to-time, I get sad that I wasn't taught/didn't learn these lessons much younger...time wasted and all, but no regrets. I don't have time for that. Neither do you.

So.....there is beauty in all that we don't know. That is the lesson I have learned.

There is a great quote...


Imagine my surprise, in the reading of a book that I first read four years ago, that God reminded me just how far I have come...and how he and I have come...together.

This is not the end though....there is still so much I don't know...and I am immeasurably grateful for the journey.

I hope this is encouragement to you. Let the struggles and beauty of my own walk through the lessons of grace be a testimony that whatever challenge you are walking through...there is hope. God is near. God is sitting next to you in this very moment. You are loved by a God who is patient and loving. Tap into him today. He is waiting. 

 

Life. The Whole (Dang) Box. ❤️☀️  #lessons

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)