I don’t write much about God here at LWSL. I know I’ve mentioned my church in passing once or twice, but since this blog is about living well on less, about coupons and DiY projects and frugal recipes and throwing fabulous parties on a tiny budget, God just doesn’t seem to come up very often. And if we’re being honest, writing about religion isn’t something that comes easily to me.
My journey as a Christian has been rocky, to say the least. I grew up in a religious family, went to church all through childhood, attended a Christian elementary school, high school, and then college.
And then, my senior year of college I sunk into a debilitating Major Depression that cost me almost everything–including my life–and lasted almost 3 years. It was during that time that I gave up on God. I recovered from the depression, but stayed as far away from religion as I possibly could.
But God didn’t give up on me.
Kids seem to change your perspective on pretty much everything, and after my girls were born it became important to me to raise them with some sort of moral compass. We started attending church, occasionally at first, but then, as the kids began participating in things, more regularly.
By that point I figured God and me had reached an understanding. I would try to be a good person and live a good life, and even take my kids to church, but I certainly wasn’t going to get all Jesus-crazy. I’d put in my time on Sunday morning, and the rest of the week I’d still be able to do my thing, whatever that was.
God had other plans.
As I sat there in church, Sunday after Sunday, despite my resistance, it began to have an impact. Then last year our pastor retired and a new one took his place. This new guy, to be perfectly frank, seemed just a little over the top to me. He was telling us to bring our Bibles every week, for goodness sake! I mean c’mon, really, what kind of a Bible-thumper did he take me for? I strongly considered not going anymore.
But my pastor has been blessed with the gift of preaching, and God plunked me in that pew and kept me there for a reason. Over the past year his sermons have rocked me to the core. Sometimes I literally felt like he and God were tag-teaming me. Is it possible that they were in cahoots? Finally, after so many years of doing it on my own, I just stopped trying to resist.
God can have me.
I gave in and prayed, literally for the first time in many, many years:
I can’t do this on my own, Lord. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. You want me, you can take me. I’m far from perfect and I’ve made too may mistakes to count, but YOUR will be done.”
The peace that I have felt since that moment has been overwhelming. Giving up control is a little scary, especially for a girl who really likes to be in control, but mostly it is just like being home.
This past Sunday my pastor preached about being a servant, and how the true measure of greatness as a Christian is not wealth or power or success or even nice things (like shoes), it is a life of humble service. He ended with the this question:
Will we live our life to be self-important, or will we live our life to hear the words, ‘well done, my good and faithful servant.’”
It got me thinking a lot about my own attitude. Humility isn’t always my strong suit, I know that. Am I doing what I do for my own glory or to serve those around me, and those who read this blog? I hope it is the latter. I pray it is the latter.
It also made me question the things I am striving for. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like nice things. I started using coupons so that I could afford those nice things. And to a certain extent, I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to dress well or have a lovely home or drive a nice car, but it can’t be the main goal. Because no matter how pretty, ultimately, those things are not what’s important.
My faith journey is far from over; in fact, it has barely just begun. I’m quite confident I’ll continue to make many mistakes along the way. I’m pretty darn good at ’em. But this I know for sure: God is good, and God is love, and despite how horribly imperfect I am, God still wants me.
I know this post is very different from what I normally write, and I promise I’m not suddenly going to suddenly go all “God-Ho” on you and become a religious blog. But part of being a blogger is writing what’s on your heart, and today this was it. I needed an attitude adjustment.
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