Sunday, April 20, 2008

I become convinced

your final statement in this post practically made me write my last post, I was compelled by something. thank you for that.

Last night, talking to a friend, I relayed the dream I'd had three days prior to friday March 28th, the day we got the keys, and it got me thinking about how when God shows up in my life, it isn't everyday, it's never really quiet (it isn't hard to know it's Him) certainly isn't loud (there's never been literal writing on the wall) but it is sooo Him.

I have to go back a bit and say a little something before the next thing I want to share...

I grew up in pretty charismatic churches and I loved it. I loved it when God showed up in my day, I loved worship and outward expressions of love and adoration for Him. But as I got older, I felt a distaste for church, by this I mean for people, "christians". I didn't want to be associated with people I had come across, the hypocrite*,

*I'm a hypocrite, honestly aren't we all in some way? I'm not getting holier than though, I'm just saying I recognize my sin and don't deny I'm an evil wretched human that needs to be saved by grace, I just kind of have a distaste for "christians" and christian culture that tells us we're perfect now because we were saved and we don't have daily work to do on our natural human nature.

Then there's the tel-evangelist, the sunday christian, the Thomas Kincade scripture coffee mug holding...okay I'm getting carried away.

But then there's the "prayer warrior" that tells me I could have "changed the outcome" if I had just prayed harder, longer, better...believed...trusted God. Long before this day I had gone through the phase of "don't call me a Christian, it's a dirty word" but after we lost our son, this was too much.

I had prayed without ceasing.
I had called the prayer chain.
I had cast demons out of the room, away from my womb.
I had more faith that God would save him than anyone...

I don't deny that to some these things may seem silly. But I still don't believe they were. I believe I had done what I was asked to do, it was what I belived at the time and it has taught me so much more...well, that's a whole other can of worms.

I just know that it wasn't my fault, it was the plan and I can't say God doesn't know what He's doing. Christian's can say hurtful things, especially to one another, in times of crisis and pain. I don't understand it. I don't like it. I actually really detest it. I don't want to be associated with that, if that mean denying I'm a "christian" than so be it.

Ok. Now that I've said a little bit of my opinions of modern american christianity, and you know a little bit about where I've come from in my relationship with God, I'd like to get to the point.

I've seen things in my life that can only be described as supernatural. And, on March 25th of this year, I awoke early in the morning and had a waking dream. I describe these as the kind of dreams when you lye in bed and you know you're in bed, and you're dreaming, and it's not reality, but you're okay with it and you let it proceed. These dreams aren't usually supernatural, and for me mostly they aren't, this time it was.

There was a little boy. I couldn't see him clearly. No one called out his name. He didn't come to me or speak to me, he was busy. Busy laughing, playing, living. And I knew it was him.

I heard God speak to me in that moment. It wasn't like a loud booming voice. It wasn't an audible thing either, but it wasn't completely quiet, or in-audible. I can't really explain it and that seems fitting.

He simply drew my attention to my son and said, "I love you."

I woke with the knowledge that this was the anniversary week. I had this clear view of the week in my head all of a sudden. Today was the day we were signing the papers at the Title Company. Friday, the day seven years ago that we went to the doctor and she told us that his heart rate was slowing and it was a critical time for him and it could go either way, was the same day (and time of day even) that we were going to be handed the keys. Then all day on Saturday, the day that seven years ago we had labored all day only for it to end in tragedy, was the day we were going to be moving all day, ending in the complete opposite emotion. This was unbelievable.

Last year was the first year that his birthday had come and gone without me falling into a deep depression. I was finally healing. And then this year, life was so crazy, well, I just hadn't really looked at the calendar. See, everything had all just been happening to us, it felt like we weren't really making the decisions, things were just so easy, so clear, we didn't really have a "choice", it was clear what we were supposed to do, what God was giving us.

I couldn't really understand, wrap my brain around it. I didn't actually believe it could really be happening like this. I had to find the calendar check the dates, and then double check.

God shows up, usually it isn't when I've begged for a sign, I think He knows I didn't really need one. It isn't when I've thought I needed it. He shows up when He wants to. And it's undeniably Him.

I think this is the reason why I'm such a terrible missionary. I was never able to lead anyone in the sinner's prayer. I don't believe that I can actually "convince" anyone of God's existence, or His love. For me it's my experiences that prove to me His love and that's not really convincing to anyone else cause really, He has done it for me and only me. You'll have to be convinced by your own story.


Marianne Elixir said...

This was a really beautiful post. Thank you so much for being willing to share so much.

Andrew and I just finished "The Horse and His Boy" by Lewis (in the Narnia series), and the emphasis of that book was this whole post, especially your final statements about being convinced by your own story, and about how God shows up. If you guys have not already read it, I think you would love it.

Thanks for driving those messages home for me today. I guess church came to me through you today even though we skipped it this morning.

Anonymous said...

I need to tell you about my dream too. and you, you are a missionary of the best kind, the kind that shows love of the deepest kind. I believe that the tears we have and do shed are captured. And I don't understand why it had to happen, I only know on that heart-wrenching day a part of my heart was cut away. I too miss my grandson, so much. thank you for sharing and giving me the courage to open up a little bit.

Anonymous said...

When you share things like this you become more real to them. Unbelievers are more affected by how much we trust God in the tragedies of our lives than when things are beautiful and easy. People see the great pain of your loss. They also see that you still love, trust and have faith in God. This makes you an amazing missionary. When we tell others things will be great if only they live for Jesus we are being untruthful. God wants us to trust Him in all areas of our life, even in our most heart wrenching times

Beth said...

I am in awe of this blog post, but I would like to save my response to a face-to-face conversation.
But something I want to say now, is that your last paragraph (about why you would be an awful missionary) is simply inspiring-what a silly Christian word, eh?
But it is. And for now I can say as simple as that.
I think you are great, I really loved that last paragraph.
And also,
thank God you are not a missionary! Id feel sketchy about you and wouldnt come to your house to play games and watch movies and eat with you and say "ecuador!" in a not-nice tone. haha
no, but really, thank God you are not a missionary. you are much more honest and good this way :)
and I dont like missionaries....
what? I never said that. :)

Anonymous said...

she must know some really sad missionaries... maybe ones that don't just live and love whoever they are around. maybe they are all pushy and judgemental... that is sorry.

Beth said...

Yes sadly I have not been around the best missionaries, and so I have a jaded view of all of them, which is very immature, but hopefully with time I will meet missionaries that are honest and like them more :)
and meg, if you were a missionary, then I would like you, because you would be a great and honest missionary...
I was mostly joking on my previous comment.

meg said...

mostly joking, but honest just the same. I've known a lot of missionaries too, and let me just say, at least half of them are not true missionaries.