I am starting this blog for all of you out there who have, at some point in your lives or for your entire lives, have had an overwhelming feeling that you just don’t belong in this world. There are many reasons we feel this way but, after 50 years of trying to figure out why I just wasn’t connecting, I found the answer. And everyday I am told, directly or indirectly, that the answer I found is a) ignorance, b) naïve, c) unrealistic, d), e), f)…. fill in the blanks with whatever “reason” people choose to ignore Jesus.
I spent most of my life making up what I wanted God to be. It worked fine as long as life was going pretty smoothly or as long as I didn’t think about it too much. But whenever someone, including my own daughter, would try to talk to me about what God is REALLY like, I felt a surge of anger rising inside. I did NOT need to be told what to believe about God. I had made up my mind what He is and how He fits into my life and she just needed to leave me alone. But I would listen because I love her and admire her. And, I had to admit, there was a certain peace about her, even when she was facing struggles. She seemed to be at peace living in this world even when everything about her contradicted what our culture told her she should be.
I always wondered why I struggled with everything in my life: with relationships, with jobs, with money. You name it, it was a struggle. I knew what the world told me I was supposed to do so I did it. Dressed the right way, spent money on my hair and diets to insure I was a size 6, went to college, got a Master’s degree, went after high-paying jobs, married several times until I found my “soul-mate.” But there was always a conflict inside. I was never settled. I didn’t really fit in with any group. I explained it away: I was always “painfully shy,” I suffered from depression and anxiety, I rebelled against society, my parents raised me wrong, “nobody understands me.” I just knew, deep within me, that for some reason, I didn’t get the world.
In December, 2009, I gave up the fight. I was tired of being afraid of everything, tired of feeling like a failure at everything. In the world’s eyes, I suppose I wasn’t so much of a failure – I had a job that paid 90,000+, got a 3.7+ GPA in my Master’s degree program, wasn’t beautiful but could turn some heads. But, as I experienced some significant financial problems and feared losing my son to alcohol or suicide, I knew there was not one single person on earth who could help me. So, in my bedroom at the foot of my bed I said, “OK, God, I’ll try it Your way. But it isn’t going to work cause I love my son and You can’t ever change that.” I made a conscious decision to obey what the Bible told me as I began reading it clear through for the first time. Even the parts I didn’t like. I saw no point in marrying my live-in boyfriend of 10+ years, but I married him anyway. I disagreed with giving God some of my money consistently, but I did it anyway. (Later, I would read that obeying God comes first, then we understand – how true that is!)
Life slowly became meaningful. I hadn’t thought about suicide since the 70’s, but I often told myself that it would be OK if I died, that would be preferable to living. Over a month’s time, I didn’t want to die. I still struggled with life, but after studying the Bible, I learned that we are eternal beings. I wasn’t here to live 30, 50, 80 years. I was here because I will live forever. God made us to live forever! Nobody ever told me that. How great is that?! I never saw much point in making lots of money to worry about and sustain me for the years I was here. I never could figure out why 10% of my life was happy and 90% miserable. I was looking for happiness, but found joy.
I wish Bill Maher would sit and just LISTEN to me for a good hour. Or any other person claiming God is hogwash. Religion should not be the goal. Finding out who God is is the goal. Christianity is not a religion – it is finding out who God is. All other religions are belief systems made up by man. True Christianity is finding out who God is and how much He loves us. I had to go directly to God – remove all of the people and things that got between me and Him. Then I found Him and I discovered why I don’t fit in here. This is not my home. I belong to God and this world despises Him – in particular they despise Jesus because they can’t put aside their pride to understand why we need Jesus. You can talk for hours about God with just about anybody, but bring up Jesus and the conversation stops. We who know what Jesus did and why He did it are Bible thumpers, narrow-minded, bigots… I’ve heard it all. Funny, I love all people – no matter what their struggle. I may not like what they DO, but I love them. The hate comes only from those who don’t know Jesus.
So, tune in and see my weekly struggles with living in this world that has rejected Jesus for centuries and how I am working to understand it all, to get others to see who He is, and my questions about how to get through the day living like He wants me to live. It’s the most exciting thing I’ve ever experienced!