Where are we now?

I remember my last 5 or 6 years in the Work making a conscious change in what I preached in meetings.  I no longer studied for meetings with some nice little “line up” in mind; such as a 4 point message or a concordance study on some particular word or subject, or even a particular chapter verse by verse.  I just couldn’t do that anymore because it felt so uphill and forced.  Rather, I had to share where God and I were at that moment in time personally; whether it be about my stuff or a need someone else had brought to me that I wanted/needed to help with.  No longer were there “Gospel” subjects only because I saw everything as the Gospel if it was about Jesus and what He did and does for us.  I felt strongly if it helped me move forward and move closer to Him, it would help others also.

I now find myself in much that same place with this blog.  When I started it, I shared my journal entries from years past and added a current update on a particular subject.  I have long since gone through the journals and now my sharing is based on current needs, thoughts, meditations, concerns, questions, insights and desires all with the purpose of staying true to the purpose of the blog which is to encourage and support those who are either considering leaving the meeting church or who have already left.

The journey that lead up to leaving the meetings and the journey afterwards are both filled with questions, answers, fears, trust, steps of faith, steps taken alone and steps taken with others, longings, desires, and so much more.  The depths of God are unfathomable and diving into them is one of the most rewarding and amazing things I have ever done. When I think back to how little of a box I had God in before and how little I made Him even though I wanted Him in my life, I marvel because over the years I have only begun to see Him as a source of unending depth; the depth I had been searching for since my teen years.  It is this on-going process that I now want to share on the blog with the hope that it will inspire readers to stop and think about their own spiritual journeys and spiritual transformations and want more and more of God as time goes on.

It is scary for me to be totally open and vulnerable on this blog; some of have told me to go ahead because that is what people can relate to. Others have told me that is suicide and very foolish.  I’m trying to find some sort of middle ground and am leaning more towards being open and vulnerable regardless of the risks.

Our spiritual lives have so many ebbs and flows.  When I was considering leaving the meetings it was so terrifying and yet exciting to think about.  Could I really do that?  Would God still be with me?  As the answers came, (yes, I really could do that! And yes, God would still be with me!), and once the decision was made, it was like everything was brand new, the Bible, God, Jesus, prayer, life…everything. I was Paul the Apostle hiding out in Arabia unlearning all my Pharisee-isms and learning all about Christ for those first few years.

Then, after 5 or 6 years, the leaving-the-meeting-high was over and once again life was changing.  God never seems to leave me in one place very long!  I now find it hard to go to church and I’m hardly ever a part of any of the women’s activities at my church.  Instead, I have a core group of 4 women friends that I love and cherish any time with them.  The blog has introduced me to some more amazing people that I now also consider friends.  I can have fellowship with every one of these people and so, they are now my community and I am very happy and content with that.

I read just now from another blog and I want to cut and paste what she writes about her transition/change:  www.chattingatthesky.com/

For the last few months, I’ve shared a little about the fog I’ve walked through. Fog is the only way I’ve come up with describing it, even though I accept these seasons are part of normal life. It’s part of growing up, too. I’m learning more about what it means to have faith without depending on certain kinds of feelings to go along with it. Sometimes faith feels like nothing.

This soul of mine has been churning the transition we’re in, turning slowly, shaking out distraction, seeing what’s leftover now that the dust has settled. Some of the identities and certainties I have held onto for years have fallen gently away.

There is still this ongoing yearning for more and more of God.  I keep discovering more depths to God and He keeps revealing more layers in my heart and life that need addressing.  He also continues to amaze me with His timing of events and evidences of His extreme and personal care of me and my life.  For instance, in just the last 2-3 weeks, He has brought 5 wonderful books across my way that are about subjects I need right now.  I hope to write about a couple more of those evidences in the next few posts.

I often yearn for workers and friends who are stuck in obeying rules of the system that keep them from experiencing rich writings that would resonate with their souls and other Bible translations that would make the Scripture come alive (and not just reading them in the privacy of your own home but freely using them in meetings and Bible studies with others) I yearn for friends who know the workers better than they know Jesus, who live in fear of what the workers will say or do, who “go along” with things they don’t believe in just so they can “keep the peace” all the while slowly dying inside, and who settle for so little when they could have so much. Jesus wants us all to have abundant life here and now.  Do you have it?

 

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11 thoughts on “Where are we now?

  1. Well ,I don’ t know what brought me back to read some of these topics again,but I am here.I just returned from 4 days of convention…and as usual I am energized…this is what convention does for me.I value the time away from everything to just think about God. This year however,it is a very timely experience .I just knew that I needed to put everything aside and get closer to God. Not that I cannot get close to God on a momentary basis( HE is omnipresent after all). It helps when you are with others who are seeking the same.
    So where am I now? Well ,I feel that I am not where I would like to be ( I am a work in progress!,after all), but I feel a sense of hope and well -being because The Lord is speaking.I feel that The Lord is with me and I need not be afraid of the future or of what man may think, say or do.I can just be ME before God, because he knows me through and through…. I do not need to pretend before HIM…..sometimes the enemy tries to deceive us and put negative thoughts about many things, but God is saying …Do you have any doubts about who I Am? And what I am capable of doing? Great is His faithfulness!…..I can say that with much gratitude….and so I learn that I can trust HIM in All things, even when the answer is “no”. The Lord is just saying ” Trust in ME with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding (don’ t try to understand everything)…In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your paths.

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  2. Where am I now? Not where I would like to be. I’ll keep reading if you keep writing. Your worker friend life isn’t much different than where I have been in the religious area of my life. I appreciate the scripture you share and the links you provide. Do I have an abundant life? That is an interesting question. What do you mean by yearn?

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    • I really appreciated your honesty…thanks. What do I mean by yearn? Good question. It is this strong feeling of care and concern I have for them. A wanting for them to experience something new and different. Something richer and more meaningful than they currently are experiencing or knowing. Even though I am far removed from their church, I still love and care for many of the people still there.

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      • Do you have this yearn for other people or mostly for the people in the worker friend life? I do think it is easier to care for those whom you know personally and can pray for by name.

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        • Yes, I do yearn for anyone stuck in legalism to be free from those systems, but of course, my heart goes out to those I know personally even more.

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  3. WHERE ARE WE NOW!?
    I already hear you groan and sigh: “Not him again!”

    A long time ago I was in Saskatchewan for special meetings (I still do not know how I endured some of that stuff mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually).

    The crew I was traveling with was scheduled to visit an old lady in a rest home. Suddenly, that crew needed to be somewhere else, so they left me off to spend time with the little old lady! Quickly I saw there was no capacity for a visit, so I decided I would not be totally defeated and put this little old lady on my arm and headed down the long wide corridor for a walk! (Exercise during special meeting rounds was often the last thing that was available.)

    About every five steps the little old lady would pull me to a stop, and with the most amazed expression and glee would say: “Oh! This is where we are now!”

    In my journey with God, that is about the most enlightened statement I can make at this time: This is where I am! More often than not, God is the only one who knows where that it, but I find it in my heart to trust Him – that trust is not a possibility of mine, but only and totally from Himself.

    Another long time ago I saw my spiritual journey like this:

    I am with some other people inside a totally dark room and outside this totally dark room is a massive parade going by and the only view of it is through a keyhole! I am the only one looking out the keyhole and am so impressed and amazed at the view and finally I turn from the keyhole to the others to try to describe what I see.

    Then, after I have finished describing what I saw, I get back to the keyhole only to find the view totally changed and even grander!

    I think I understand: If I feel I have maxed God out, I never did have Him!

    In my quandary at times I have tried to relate to some in the Bible. Correct me if I am wrong: More and more I feel that often our faith leaves us with nothing to say! Sit down with Abram and ask where he is going…how long will you be gone…who’s going with…what are you going to do when you get there?.All I know is that God spoke and I am leaving!

    Then, listen to what Abraham and Sarah have to say a day or two after they learned they were going to have a son…nine months later…three years later…ten years later…twenty-four years later! Do you think they ever talked among them selves: “Where are we now?” Is it possible that they might have hung their heads if twenty-four years after the promise was made to them that someone would have asked about that son you talked about!

    Yes! by faith I know where the journey will end, but: Where am I now?

    Because of the speed with which things are taking place now, none of us will stay where we are very long – we will either rapidly move closer to Him or further from Him.

    May the destiny of every soul be closer to Him!

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  4. Yay for you Darla! there is nothing stagnant about spiritual growth! I love the synchronicity of letting go, having the right books/teachers/mentors/friends appear at the right time, how right everything feels when one is paying attention to Now. It’s doubtful you will regret doing what feels right. Peace!

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  5. I marvel at how often your posts are addressing what I am thinking or wondering about but had not talked about yet. I’m grateful for your transparency and vulnerability because it’s real and true and resonates with each of us.

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  6. I love your “wanting more and more of God as time goes on”. Your blogger friend “yearning for more and more of God.”
    Though few share zeal for The Lord we can’t let it suppress our walk. I give up feeling vulnerable and sounding foolish. This God that loves me is the Almighty the demons tremble at!! The God the angels sing “Holy Holy Holy is The Lord God Almighty” to!! Once our physical bodies die we will forever be singing praises to Him! Our eternal souls are already singing “to God alone be the glory, to God alone be the praise…..”
    Oh the day He fully sheds our sin so that nothing hinders our sight of Him. Until then it’s an honor to boldly and lovingly share the Good News that has saved us from a past of bondage.

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