Blogs really provide me fodder for my own blog. Something I read each morning in my goodle feeder will instinctively prompt me to write something. Here we go for today’s:
I read a blog called Makeunder My Life by a Chicago girl named Jess. I really enjoy her design tips, views on living on purpose and with intention, and her blog design. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and posted on that yesterday. The hurt and pain was real in her post as she shared with her readers a part of her life that had ended. I’m thankful for honesty. Today, was a follow-up to that post with her sharing how she is able to forge ahead in life and with her business in spite of this relationship ending. I post this in saying nothing about Jess personally – because I do not know her. I only know her relationship with God via this post. And I only know that there are probably many more in your sphere of influence and friendship circle and community at church that also blend spirituality to make their own religion.
After re-reading yesterday’s post, I realized that it might appear as if I’ve glided through the last eight months on a cloud of understanding and ease; maintaining a sense of well-being and big picture perspective every step of the way. But in fact, the opposite was often true. I struggled with this. A lot. Privately. I never expected this to happen. And though the pain and hurt was overwhelming at times, I characteristically did (eventually) start asking myself, what am I meant to learn from all of this?
So basically what I am trying to say is that I’ve felt the whole range of possible emotions about this mutual decision – just like everyone would. But what is deeper than all of my pain was the faith that has served me in growing Jess LC and MML: I deeply believe that everything serves a purpose in my life. And over time, I started to seek out wisdom and grow as much as possible in this situation. And boy, did I have a lot to learn! Take a look.
Though I tip-toe around the idea of God here on MML, I cannot honestly explain what I’ve learned from this experience without touching on this subject. I think each person has their own evolving view on God which is entirely personal. My understanding of God is primarily spiritual, and I expose myself to teachings from a variety of sources including college courses and books on Confucianism and Buddhism, Anthony DeMello’s teachings, A Course In Miracles, Joyce Meyer, my Catholic childhood, and the local Lutheran church I go to on Sundays. I find that the universal truths inherit in all of these teachings create a broad base for my personal beliefs. Throughout these past eight months, I’ve exposed myself to some form of spiritual teaching everyday – whether it be in the form of a book, podcast, or tv show. This habit helped me to keep a bigger picture perspective even on the toughest of days.
I also began to pray. Though I have always been very philosophical about spirituality, my prayers have now become very active – I need help in each moment to remember the greater purpose this is serving in my life. And though it’s not always easy, prayer has helped me realize that I don’t need to have all the answers. But I can have faith that things are working out in my favor and that God is going to make this happen for the best. I’ve learned to give God control of my life and learn to follow his lead.
Universalism is anti-God. How do I make such a strong statement? God, Yahweh, I AM, the one Sovereign Creator of the entire universe, the Trinity, 3-in-1 (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) can’t be confused with the teachings of Buddha, or Taoism, or any other religion. It can’t even be confused with a religion that emphasises works for one’s salvation.
1. I am the one true God (Deut 6.4-9)
2. I am the only God and I will not give my glory to another (Isaiah 43 and 48)
3. I am the way, the truth, and the Life. (Jesus in the gospels).
4. I am the one who can destroy in hell (Matthew 10.28)
5. I am the one to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess (Phil 2)
6. I am the one whom the angels sing to: holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty (Rev 4 and Is 6)
7. I am the one who died on a cross to reconcile man to God and offer grace (Eph 2)
So…how did I deal with hurt and pain and disappointment yesterday? I preached the gospel to myself. I am so glad that I don’t have to rely on my good works, my perfect (ha) relationships, or the teachings of Joyce Meyer or the Koran to help me get through life. I am glad I have the One who will never leave me nor forsake me (Heb 13) and the one who calls me to Abide in His perfect grace and love and mercy. Nothing I bring to the table is worthy (Is 64). God is gracious and in Him alone I rest. All others will let me down. All others will fail me. I will fail them. I am a sinner – but I have Jesus. And in that, I rest. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.