Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Seven years ago today I asked Jesus to come into my life. I was reading a booklet called “Why Jesus?” and within it there was a prayer where you could invite Jesus into your life. Being familiar with the Christian faith I knew the prayer was coming so I stopped a few pages before it in the book. I knew I was going to pray the prayer. Being ever pragmatic I decided that since I didn’t know what would happen once I said the prayer I would run a few errands first. After I came home I said the prayer. I remember stopping for a moment and waiting. Nothing happened… or so I thought.

I remember about a year later I felt like part of me had woken up and found out that the other part of me had become a Christian. I was confused and somewhat angry. I had heard that God was present in all the things I had experienced but what difference did that make? How could God allow me to go through everything I had as a child and still blame me for my sin? It didn’t seem fair and I acted out my anger in destructive ways.

I was blessed to have people around me who supported me through that process. What brought me out of that was to write an article for our church’s newsletter about my involvement in the ministry that had lead me to say that prayer. Remembering what God has done for me has been a powerful catalyst in my life over and over again.

When I left the church I was going to three years ago I didn’t think my faith would ever recover. I lived cynical and bitter for the first couple of years. As I look back, even in the cynical and bitter years, I know I was being asked to make my faith my own. I have grown a lot. I am starting to see why God allowed things to happen as they did.

So as I look back at this past summer I have to wonder how God is using it. I have been burdened and made weary by life’s challenges. A trip on a mat has left me struggling at home for almost two months now. I will be wearing a splint for at least five weeks more. At first I thought it was just a sprain. I thought it was just God’s way of slowing me down for a few days. Now it turns out to be more serious I have trouble understanding.

This morning in our pastor’s teaching he said something like, “Some of you are carrying loads you can’t carry yourselves.” I looked at my arm and thought about all of the things I can’t carry right now. Basically anything you need more than one arm to lift or push I can’t do. I don’t know if God’s lesson to me is that I need to ask for help (I’m still working on that.) I do get a sense that God was sending me a message. I do know that God works all things for good. I have learned to trust in that in the darkest times.

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