Sunday, October 25, 2009

If I could tell you what burns inside of me and knew it would make sense I would. Even as I write this I have already forgotten a thought. My heart aches for you all. Watching the struggles you go through, the aches and pains; yes, I know in life it is unavoidable, but I also know for some of you it can get hopeless. There are some people who say this is just how it is, but that answer always brings me pain and frustration I cannot explain. I want to shout at those who say it, telling them that answer is not good enough. Kids are dying without knowing the truth, without walking in it-I’m not OK with it.

But, I’ve never known what to do. A part of me believes I need to start here-

I’m so sorry for ever making you feel as though you don’t have a voice, as if you wouldn’t understand. I’m sorry for being hypocritical, religious, judgmental, critical. That is not how it was supposed to be, I never meant to hurt anyone. I’ve judged you by the way you look, what you say, the music you listen to. I’ve judged you by your sexual preference, by how much you drink, by the drugs you use. I’ve been critical of things that really don’t matter and because of that I caused you pain. I have made it seem as though if you didn’t look a certain way or listen to certain music that you weren’t the “right” kinds of people for my children to hang around. I’ve been critical of my own children and some of their choices too, yelling at them when what they needed was my love. I am so sorry for yelling. I’m sorry for the church not being there for you in your time of need. For the time when it was the church that condemned you. I’m sorry that we didn’t offer help when you needed it, even if all you needed was someone to listen. I’m sorry we have not been the example you needed to see; for the marriages that have fallen apart because of bad counsel. For making you think if you didn’t serve in a ministry, you weren’t “in.” Please don’t base your opinion of Jesus and Christianity on all you have seen, it has not been the best example, no, far from it.

So what do I say now? I long for you all to know and love Christ. It’s not what you think. But, unfortunately because I haven’t been the example you needed to see, many of you have questioned the very existence of God, some have even turned away. I so wish you would come back and see it is so different then what you saw before. What you saw before was a human trying to be perfect. But that’s not what its about. It was never supposed to be so complicated. I know I acted like I had it all figured out at times, I didn’t. I still don’t and never will either. I never meant to act that way. I am so sorry for making you feel as if you were all wrong and that the choices you made weren’t good. I’m sorry for looking at you as if you weren’t good enough. I’m sorry for looking at the way you dressed and thinking you were trash. It’s not what I wanted to do, I mean, I did it, but I didn’t mean for it to be a critical look.

So now what? How do I help you see that there really is truth out there? That there really is a hope? A future? A purpose? I know things can suck and seem hopeless. I know sometimes it feels like this is all there is and that it will never get better. But please, just listen; please hear what I have to say.

I read this in a book and believe its something I need to share- “God wants you to know Him. God isn’t hiding and He isn’t unreachable. He’s been waiting or you. Why? Because He wants you to find Him. He wants you to know that you’re the object of His affection. You were created in His image, made by Him for Him. And, He wants you to know that rooted deep inside of you is a longing for Him.” It’s why you are searching for something, because life demands an answer and God truly is it.

It may not make any sense. But it’s the truth. You really were made for so much more. But the purpose you were created for takes trusting; some even call it a leap of faith. It won’t be easy. You will face trials. But even without following Christ there are trials. Walking with Him was never supposed to be about religion, or how you look or what kind of music you listen to or rules, you know “do this” “don’t do that.” It is supposed to be about love, about family, about relationship. It’s supposed to be about being there for each other, helping each other out in times of need. It’s supposed to be about working together, lifting each other up. It’s supposed to be unconditional. No matter what.

I’m sorry it hasn’t been, and I’m asking you to take that chance. Please know, however, that I will fail you. I am not perfect and I don’t ever expect to be. I cannot let you think that all you’ve seen, heard, experienced is what being a Christian is. There have not been very many right examples out there for you to see.

Just know that it is one step at a time, one day at a time. Don’t give up, even when the difficult times come. And, when people fail, don’t blame it all on them. Hold on to the truth, the truth that God really is there. He really wants you to know Him. He really loves you. He really is the answer. He’s waiting, with arms open, ready for you to follow Him. Take a step of faith. Trust God and His word. Let go and let God lead. Follow after Him one day at a time. Forgive. Love. Trust. Not perfection, yes, mistakes will be made. But that’s when you get back up again, forgive again, keep walking forward, trust God for the answers. Reach out to others, it’s a risk worth taking. Even if it’s been the people calling themselves Christian’s that hurt you, even if it’s been the church that has failed you, realize something else – it wasn’t God. God will not fail you. I know you might be thinking “But, where was He when…” all I can say is I don’t know why the bad stuff happens. But I do know life with Christ, life trusting His way is better then doing it without Him… There is an unexplainable freedom waiting for you; an unexplainable joy; an overwhelming amount of strength and peace. It’s waiting, grab hold!