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?