Coming back home…

I recently purchased the book Loved by Rebecca St. James…It’s a book filled with stories about prodigal daughters of God, something that caught my attention as I had moved away from God since I moved back here, (that is to my home country Sri Lanka, for those who are new).

I knew there was the possibility of that happening. I can normally foresee the likely outcomes of things. What I can’t do is avoid them it seems.

There was no sudden decision to move away from God, it had been happening for a while, even before I got here. Coming here just acted like a catalyst and I spiralled right out of His presence!

I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour when I was 13. My family life was dysfunctional, I was lonely, I wanted protection and who better than God to watch over me? He is after all, all-powerful!

I spent my time listening to sermons on tv and radio, writing down the lyrics for all the latest Christian songs and sticking them on my wall. Reading the Bible, trying to memorise scripture…I tried very hard to be a good Christian, with no guidance and my background that wasn’t easy. I always felt like I fell short of God’s expectations! Everytime I sinned – told a white lie, said something mean to my mum or sisters, even if I sneaked a sweet or something I was not supposed to eat – I felt utterly horrible! I could not believe I allowed myself to fall into temptation and could not believe God would forgive me! When I failed to memorise a Bible verse or didn’t pray when I should have or didn’t read the Bible it was worse! I felt like I didn’t love God enough.

I’m the kind of person who thinks a lot, and I thought about my ‘sins’ A LOT! I spent days dwelling on them, making myself feel guilty, punishing myself mentally and emotionally for not being ‘good enough’. No wonder my relationship with God was so fragile to begin with. I felt I needed to be perfect to win his love! I knew that was not the truth but having always craved for affection and always feeling like I needed to earn it, I guess it wasn’t such a surprise.

That same need for affection and wanting to feel loved and wanted, led to the beginning of the end. Those needs overwhelmed any other logical or sensible thoughts I had and built a brick wall between God and I. It was slow at first, but soon the wall started going up even faster. Before I knew it, I had through my choices and actions made it impossible to let God in. When you do something that is against God’s will, a relationship with Him kind of becomes hard, cause your sin is ever present between you. Unless you accept your sin, you cannot have fellowship with God. I couldn’t accept my sin, it was easier to pretend it never happened and live life without God, or so I thought…

After  reading the stories in the book I finally realised I can’t live life without God. I can’t do things by my own strength. I need to admit my sins to myself and Him and ask for forgiveness! He’s not going to punish me, He never needed or wanted me to be perfect! He loved me broken as I was and I needed to trust Him, I needed to realise I will not be perfect, but He doesn’t hold that against me, in fact He loves me even more for it! I needed to humble myself and let go and let Him!

For the first time in my life I feel free, I feel like my heart is soaring and it’s because of Him! I don’t have to hold on so hard to my life, I have to give it into His capable hands and rest. After all, ‘I’m just a vapour in the wind’. Him, He’s forever!

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4 Comments

  1. I was raised in a fundamental Christian church and can relate to much of this. I don’t relate to your resolution and return, though. However, I heard an attractive sermon of the Gospel. It wasn’t just Jesus, son of God, on the cross. It was GOD. And our final judgement was uttered from the cross, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    My summation of Christianity has been that we are wretched sinners until we can be self-righteous saints. All the guilt and fear of this dichotomy is so cruel and disabling, so I chose to leave Christianity but I still wrestle with disabling fear and inadequacy. I am glad you found some comfort in your epiphany.

    • Is it okay if I ask a question? You left Christianity? Did you leave God? Two different things I believe. Christianity is a religion, from my experience different people interpret it differently and sometimes that gets confusing. But God, He’s always present, before the religion ever came to be! So you can leave Christianity but can you leave God.

      You also said that you still have disabling fear and inadequacy…I don’t think ‘Christianity’ could ever help you deal with that. But a relationship with God would if you let it.

      I don’t have all the answers, but I think this one is the right one. 🙂

      • God and I are okay. I realized that when I almost drowned at age 17. I went down three times and blacked out. Of all my “last” thoughts, fear of God wasn’t one of them.

        I think under oppressive patriarchy, God was anthropomorphisized into an oppressive patriarch. I reject that God and the Christians who dogmatically insist God is sexist and racist, like them.

        I wonder about the “relationship with God” concept. I think God has plenty of close relationships and can handle me as just an acquaintance. I dunno. I don’t have any of the answers. I just know that I never could wrap my brain or soul around “relationship with God.”

      • Well, God is exactly that, God, I’m sure He can handle as many relationships as He wants. Rather anyone who wants a relationship with HIm is most welcome.

        I don’t have the answers as well. Sometimes it is easier to keep God at arm’s length. But when we let Him hold us in His hands then life becomes more meaningful I think, not any less hard, but all at once the things on this earth are not as paralysing. 🙂

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