Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hope, Love, Faith, and my rambling

Today I want to discuss values and beliefs. I seem to struggle to know myself and sway to what others tell me. I have been very passive my whole life.

 

I got very upset this weekend when I discussed my decision for baptism with a friend. See, there are two ways of viewing Christianity, Baptism and faith. I personally do not believe in guilt, shame, and requirements of perfection in order to be saved. Baptism in many religious circles is looked at as “Regeneration” where you are leaving the old person behind and vowing to become a new person and strive for perfection and to give up sins. Yet God knows we are sinners, died for us while we are still sinners, and accepts us where we are. I’m learning in my recovery class that we are powerless to change our sinful habits on our own. If the matters of your heart is the most important thing to God, and He doesn’t require us to be sinless to be saved, why would baptism be any different? It’s an outward show to the church and others of faith in God. I do not believe I must vow to be perfect or give up all my bad habits before going thru with Baptism. Perhaps that’s what I’m discovering. I got all upset and almost lost a good friend over this subject, so I took time to dig down deep into what I believe and perhaps disagreeing on subjects is making my beliefs stronger.

 

I don’t have to change on my own or at all, God will love me just the same. In time, I find my mindset slowly changing on things and finding the will to do better slowly appearing. Life is a journey, and religious places that condemn people, judge them, require them to follow rules and codes just to be a good person are turning people from God. My faith is not about good works, it’s about something so much bigger than that. People are missing out on life and happiness thinking churches are judging them and that God is telling them to change in order to avoid hell. It’s just not like that. I will be going thru with my baptism but on my beliefs and I will not cave to religious demands for perfection.

 

I actually really feel good lately, despite the insomnia, stress, kids, and being really sick. I’m having a wonderful day just simply knowing I have my ideas and the guilt and judged feelings are going away. It’s really nice. I feel bad for the people who over complicate things. It’s so simple that it’s overlooked. There is peace in knowing love is enough after all. My situations remain stressful but my mindset towards them is changing. It’s really neat to watch it happen.

 

I know many people have been hurt by religious leaders and churches. I have been too. The church I attend is where I first was attacked by a youth group boy 10 years ago, it took me awhile to stop taking it out on God for mistakes of people around me, I trusted them to lead me but it’s not their place to be perfect either, I was looking in all the wrong places, even searching church for faith is the wrong place sometimes. I’m not saying don’t go, I’m saying challenge your thinking towards who is supposed to be leading you and who you should trust. People fail, people sin, that’s because we are human, everyone is imperfect and that won’t change with being saved. It’s not saying you’ll try to be perfect and feel horrible for failing, that’s not the intent. It’s so simple, lights on today. I can’t even explain it fully. It’s just simply desire and admit Jesus died for our sins and is God. Sins don’t disappear with faith, they are forgotten but we will still sin. Simple. Powerless to change on our own, that means it’s not all me. If changes are to happen I must rely on God to change my mind towards them as I’m not able to change on my own.

 

I’ve been thru deeply hurtful things. Places, people, and circumstances I thought I could trust weren’t always safe. Growing up feeling like nothing was safe has left its mark on me. Gripped by broken ideas of what life is about, I’ve often gotten myself into bad situations. I have made my share of mistakes. Divorce is my current grief, I look back on what I did wrong from the day I started talking to him. Hindsight is 20/20 right? I see myself way better now after this. I’m on a better path now. I value friendships, family, and my kids way more. I’m working hard, love my life right now. It’s hard to explain but I’m just way more relaxed. I have my bad moments, days, and weeks, but that’s not the point. I just don’t feel like I must be the only person figuring everything out. Faith is allowing yourself to believe in God who cares for you and will direct your life for you. Letting go of micromanaging my chaos is a relief. It’s no longer my job to fix it.

 

Haha Idk, today I’m just happy. And perhaps a certain best friend is to thank for this as well. Chances, forgiveness, and having someone to talk to, that’s what life is about. Relationships matter, even spiritually. I will not judge others. It’s not my place. To each their own. Perhaps tomorrow has hope after all and this is why I’m able to face today without being dragged down by depression. Hope and love are what life is all about.

 

*~*Jen*~*

 

 

 

*~* "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw *~*

 

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