Saturday, July 18, 2009

Going on a journey....

I had a bit of a breakthrough today. It wasn't anything earth shattering, I didn't fall on the floor weeping- but there was a definite shift in my heart and in my spirit. And peace. And anticipation. I am going on a journey. It totally snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting it. I have NO idea what the future holds. I have no idea how this journey will unfold. It will be dangerous. There will be risks and costs. The shift came after I read the following passage in Michael Yaconelli's book, Dangerous Wonder- a read I highly recommend.

"Ironically, our "Christian" nation has become oblivious to a terror that can liberate us. We have become comfortable with the radical truth of the gospel; we have become familiar with Jesus; we have become satisfied with the church. The quick and sharp Bible has become slow and dull; the world-changing church has become changed by the world; and the life-threatening Jesus has become an interesting enhancement to modern life."

Wow. This is very true in my life. And I hate it. So....enough. I'm done. I surrender. SURRENDER. Everything. I don't know how to explain what has shifted in my heart. I think the above passage starts to hit the tip of the iceberg of everything that has been happening in my heart and mind- all the frustration, all the angst. I really want to know the crazy, wonderful, terrifying and all powerful love of Jesus and of God and I want the Holy Spirit to feel free to run amuck in my life. I want God to TAKE OVER. Sound easy? Highly spiritual? A bit trite? Ah, here's the hard part...

I don't think it can happen at church.

I think I need to unlearn everything I think I know about God...well, maybe not everything- but close. Marty and I talked about taking a break from church last night. I had very mixed feelings about it- because it is ingrained in my consciousness that if you believe in Jesus YOUMUSTGOTOCHURCH. ITISWHATCHRISTIANSDO. DONOTFORSAKEGATHERINGTOGETHER. Everyone at church has told me that all my life.... I do believe we are supposed to gather with other believers...but.....
With this "shift" in my heart came a very freeing peace about the decision to take a break. I don't know how people in our church will feel about it. I don't know how our friends will handle it. Will we lose them? Sadly, it's possible. We have a hard enough time getting together with people we do go to church with- what will happen when we are "out of sight, out of mind?"
I'll probably have to have a chat with my employer to make sure they understand that this is not us becoming...whatever...backslidden? I don't know. I fully expect to go back to church at some point in the not too distant future. But whatever this shift is, I feel like it's from God. There is a yearning to pursue Him in a way that I am completely unfamiliar with. I want Him to blow me away. I want to see my childlike faith restored and even made stronger. If that means church-folk have opinions about that and issues with be it. There is an anticipation and expectancy in my soul and spirit. I have no idea what I'm doing. HA!



Thursday, July 16, 2009

What the???

So, I had an art show several months back. It was fairly successful. I sold a few pieces. The coffee shop kept one piece on "hold." And then, I flat forgot about it. So I remembered when I was looking for the piece for another show. I have had a note for the past month or so at work to remind myself to ask about it. Well, when I asked today- it turns out that the new manager cleaned out the office and gave everything to Goodwill, including my piece of art. What does one do? In answer to "Your contact information wasn't left for me." Well, the contact info was on the back of the piece. I'm pretty hacked off. I know this coffee shop struggles financially- they're really a non-profit agency. But I mean, what the heck? Obviously, the new manager didn't know about that piece of art. She didn't remember seeing it, didn't know what it was, why it was there. So what can I do? I'm angry. But I can't get the piece back. I feel like it would be pointless to be asked to be reimbursed since the new manager doesn't even remember the piece. And I wonder where it is. It's a huge BUMMER. I really liked the piece. Hopefully, it'll end up in a good home. I am going to choose to let it go and hope my emotions can catch up to that decision.

It's just been one of those weeks. The main server at work died- you know, the one that has ALL the info for the theatre on it- including all the archival photos of my lovely work. Suffice it to say, tensions are running high 'round these parts.

I've still been cranky. I think it's because I'm...."growing." As I delve deeper, I find myself restless and frustrated. Longing for something I can't even name.

I've been praying and seeking God...I've got lots of "deep thoughts" swirling in my head.....probably many people who read my blog wouldn't want to know what I'm really thinking. Which is a shame. Because I'd really like to share. Just a hint: I am REALLY, REALLY struggling with church right now....not God, not Christ- just Church- and it's a very deep issue for me. I keep hearing "surrender" and wondering what it means. Do we just give up on church and call it done for the time being? That would be a risk and it would cost a lot. Do we give up something good for an unknown something great? I just don't know. Surrender. Give up. It kind of feels like that, to be honest. But then what? And for a girl who has loved church her whole life, this is really HARD. But I feel like....when I read my Bible and meditate and pray- I'm grounded, centered, at peace, full of God's strength and joy. I'm learning, my mind and my heart are expanding. When I go to church, I feel like life gets just sucked out of me. It's not like that for everyone at the church. But it is for me. And for Marty. So what does that mean?

I just don't know.

I'm not interested in playing church. I am becoming more and more convinced that what God intended church to be doesn't even exist today. Jesus was the rule-breaker. He scolded all the "church" folk with their rules and expectations...He broke them all. And I wonder. I wonder, what has happened to awe? What has happened to the joy of the Lord? I am not talking about shiny-happy B.S......When did meeting Jesus become more about becoming nice than having your life turned upside-down? What has happened to us? Why can't we be real? Why must we be so nice? Does loving someone mean you are always "nice?" What if you need to tell them hard truths for their own good because you love them? Why can't we confess our doubts and struggles? Our sin? Why is everyone so complacent and content to just sit there on Sunday morning and listen? Why don't they pursue God? He pursues us. I am really wanting to crash into Him. Really. I don't want to follow Jesus' rules, I want to follow Jesus. I want to know Him more, as a person, as my Savior. I want the Holy Spirit to talk with me- to know He's welcome to hang with me..... I want to KNOW God. As much as my tiny mind and understanding are able to....

And how can people who have pretty much denied the person of the Holy Spirit for YEARS expect Him to "rain fire" down on them and flow in their midst without acknowledging that they have denied him and apologize to Him? Is that how their relationships with each other work?
"Hi, I've ignored you and denied your existence for years, come and be my best friend."

Sorry. These are some of the thoughts swirling and whirling in my head. I've made some choices lately in my life. To slow down. To listen. To meditate. To be still. My desire is to be able to hear. If I can hear, it'll probably be easier to obey. But these lifestyle choices just seem to flow in the opposite direction of the culture. Everyone is soooo busy. How can you build a friendship with someone you never spend time with? You can't. We live in a world of acquaintances that people think are friends. It grieves my heart.

See? I told you that you probably didn't want to know what I was thinking. And all that is just the TIP of the iceberg.

So, I'm all stirred up. Does it show? I remember someone praying over me that "What God is doing in you is too big to be contained within four walls." I think I thought that meant I would go out on the mission field (which I did) but I really think NOW, what that prayer meant was about my understanding of who God is and it can't be contained in a church. And for that, I'm thankful. But boy, I still miss loving church.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'm grouchy

Yep. It's true. So beware. Back off. GRRRRR.... I'm not really sure why I'm such a grump. I don't think it's hormones. It is tech and there have been a few last minute bumps along the way, but nothing we can't really handle in the grand scheme of eternity. But man, I can't handle it! I am GROUCHY. I prayed about it last night. I prayed about it this morning. When something came along to test how I would handle my grouchy attitude...I totally FAILED. The person who I fussed at, fussed back and we made up and we're fine. But I still hate it. I hate that I wasn't "Grace under pressure." I could rant and carry on about the situation, it's a valid recurring issue- but I don't want to. I mean, I do, but I won't.

And to deal with that today? On a day I can't even stand myself. OY. So, I'm not sure what's up. I know I'm tired- it's tech, it's a given. Duh. I just don't know why I can't handle life at the moment. But I hope I can get over myself SOON.