Saturday, December 13, 2008

Times are a-changin'

My past has been filled with ups and downs. Everyone's is. The recent past seems like it has more downs than ups, but things seem to be turning around. God has recently blessed me with the reacquaintance of an old friendship. This guy is someone I would trust my deepest secrets with. We were friends first just like everyone always recommends. Now I'm sitting here with my best friends at Belmont in my favorite city and I'm happy. Things aren't perfect, but they are getting better and I'm very thankful for that. God has shown me his mercy and is building up a new faith in me. He has provided new people to help me on my journey. There are good guys out there :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

From the Classroom to the Highway

Little kids are adorable. You can say just about anything and they will repeat it. Bible stories are so much fun to teach to these exuberant learners because they have all the makings of a great adventure. You have action, suspense, drama, and romance. Even the little ones can appreciate a good story. We were all one of the "wee ones" once. All of us southern youngsters grew up in a sunday school class where a sweet older lady first taught us the Bible stories we would hear all our lives. From that first moment we were introduced to David and Goliath or Queen Esther we never thought to question. After all, our parents had brought us into that classroom and we often heard mention of these stories at home so mom and dad obviously approved. No, there was no need to question or consider other possibilities. Vacation Bible School in the summers further confirmed the validity of these lessons. Thats where I gave my heart to the Lord for the first time. At a Vacation Bible School altar (and I'm pretty sure with a clown standing over me) I prayed to Jesus at the age of six, asking him into my heart. I knew Jesus would make me a good girl and my dedication to this being would make mom and dad happy. I can't help but wonder if I could understand anything deeper than that.
Daddy's death has massacred my faith. There is no lesser term to describe it. One night I go to bed knowing God is in control and he is going to provide for my future. Knowing he knew the desires of my heart because he put them there. The next morning within ten minutes of waking up and 1 minute of being out of bed, I knew nothing for sure. For a few days, I cried out to God asking him to comfort my brother, mom, and myself. I have discovered that my previous faith stemmed from the comfort of my life. Recently I have reached an uneasy holding pattern in my prayer life. Sometimes I know God is listening and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I don't want to talk to God. I'm angry with him for taking my Daddy. But as I have heard before, you can't be angry with God without acknowledging he exists. Sometimes, admittedly, I feel thats a bummer.
On November 30, 2008 I went to church for the first time in my life with no desire AT ALL to praise God. I didn't even want to be there. I squirmed uneasily in the pew wondering if I could get away with making a run for it. At the very end of the service my Mom suggested we go have the pastor pray for us. I begrudgingly followed. I felt slightly better after that, but I feel like that moment only counted for Sunday. The people at church know me as a shining example of faith and integrity....where did they get that bull crap? I think its that image that is now smothering me. It exists in my family too. Some of my friends are allowed to stay out later if they are with me. After all, Kristen does no wrong and of course I won't let them do any either. Don't get me wrong I have made many mistakes. Some that only I know about. But for once in my life I need space to figure things out on my own. I need to test the limits of my "religion". In the end, I know that I will come out of this with faith like I have never had before. But I need time and space to get there. Let me run around in circles for a little while.
I want to know those Bible stories are true not because the nice old lady taught them to me or because my parents believed them. I want to know they are true because I have seen them proven in my own life. Because God has done the work in my life to prove it. But as I begin my journey I will always remember that I need Jesus to come to my rescue.