My Faith Journey

My faith journey has been filled with lots of joy, a whole bunch of tears, and more questions than I can count with fewer answers.

Mom and dad told my sisters and me in our most littlest days that Jesus loves us.
It is the most simple message…that carries such profound weight behind it. I’ve held that promise close to my heart for over 60 years.

I’ve always had a strong need to follow the rules. {Well…that was probably more true in my younger years.} Following the rules has kept me out of more trouble than I could have had. But when you add that tendency to your faith journey, faith can become more focused on rules than on knowing Jesus. Faith can become an attempt at doing the right things in the right way to get to know God, rather than just being with Him.

Way back in the day, I remember how some of my friends would talk about their prayer times. They prayed boldly. On their knees. In their closets. Speaking loudly. I would always seem to get stiff on my knees, and when I would try and pray in my closet, all I could think of was the dust bunnies on the floor and how extremely hot it was in there.

We each walk our own faith journey.

My friends who met God on their knees underneath the skirts and pants and tie racks? That was part of their journey. A very sincere, authentic, and life-changing part of it.

A rocking chair with a pillow on my lap, a notebook, colored pens, and a Bible,  whispering my deepest thoughts and cares to Jesus? That has been part of my journey.

In the first few months of our dating relationship, my husband Steve and I had many discussions about our faith journeys. How we got to know God. How we meet Him today. Our stories were different. Through those conversations I came to love God even more. I understood more deeply how He meets us right where we are. That He knows our hearts. That each of us is unique in how we get to know God – just as we are unique in how we get to know each other.

But here is the one thing that my dear faithful praying friends and Steve and I have in common…

It is through Jesus that we know God. Jesus is the common denominator in all of our journeys. We may choose different words, prayers, postures, routines…but we cannot choose to leave Jesus out of our journeys.

As we prepare for Good Friday and all the darkness and pain that come with it…
We know that it is only because of Good Friday that we can experience Easter Sunday.
It is Jesus’ death and resurrection that frame our faith journeys and change our lives.

Easter weekend brings the depths of our sinful nature and sinful choices and gazillion ways we have failed God and each other and nails them to the cross. Death. Despair.   And then it brings the cleansing and forgiveness and freedom that can only come from Jesus’ resurrection. Life. Hope.

Oh, don’t you just love what Calvary stands for?

Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty at Calvary.
(From the hymn At Calvary)

Dear God,
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for loving me so much. May I never stop being amazed at the magnitude of your love for me, or for the breadth and depth of your forgiveness. Thank you for your grace—the favor I don’t deserve and could never earn. Thank you for your mercy—for not giving me what I truly deserve.

This weekend I want to meet you humbly at the cross and then meet you joyfully at the empty tomb. I want to remember your sacrifice, your forgiveness, your love.

My life is yours.

 

You are Extraordinarily Significant!