Being mere mortals

Clouds over tombsIt took me 35 years to come to terms with the inevitability of mortality.
After Elliot died, death became real…tangible.

Many things changed that morning in May.

It has been my experience that Christians are afraid to admit their fear of the unknown outside the walls of a counselor’s office and sometimes not even then can we come to terms with the truth that we have this one area of doubt in our lives where we aren’t 100% sure God will come through.

Sounds presumptuous doesn’t it?

It isn’t meant to be. It’s the way I lived my life for over 3 decades while claiming to be a “Christian.”

I am now a Christ follower, which for me, is different. It’s personal.

When I think of faith, I picture Jesus. I see Jesus instead of a steeple touching the sky. Instead of perfectly pressed black robes and intimidating marble columns. I think of Jesus…in sandals. Bearded face, dusty clothes, tousled hair. I think of Jesus.

When I think of him it’s impossible to be afraid. As soon as I take my eyes off of him, it’s impossible not to be.

Unlike the wrath of man, Jesus is the perfect balance of grace and truth.
Giving up his mortal descent to be born of a commoner, live with little and die a brutal death beside criminals. He experienced mortality to remove all of my excuses.

When the anxiety of the unknown creeps in, I must remember the Savior, who intentionally came and died as a man. He could have decided it was too difficult and called down the entire heavenly host to zap his adversaries and escort him back to paradise in a cloud of glory. But he didn’t.

Instead he chose to be misunderstood, ridiculed and put to death. He experienced the ultimate betrayal and physical pain beyond human comprehension. I can’t help but think part of the reason he walked the human path was in pursuit of me. Maybe it was to calm my heart when I don’t feel like an omnipotent God of the Universe can relate to my everyday struggle. It is then I am reminded that he too struggled with “life.” He wore human skin and felt all of the emotions I have questioned.

When I remember this truth, there is no argument. The answer is clear. Be not afraid. It adds not even a moment to my life. Be not afraid. The days, at times, seem long while the years grow ever shorter. Be not afraid. The road ahead, though wrought with uncertainty, leads to the everlasting. Be not afraid. Evil lurks, but love has won.

So
Live with intention
Love extravagantly
Be slow to speak
Quick to forgive
Eager to learn
and
Be not afraid.

Does this resonate with you? Talk to me? Why are we so afraid of what waits for us on the other side of this life?

As a child of God, we crawl before no one

 


“We must be entirely honest if we expect to live long or happily in this world.

We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up, we ask God at once to remove them…

Love and tolerance of others is our code.

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone… For by this time sanity will have returned. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we have been placed in a position of neutrality – safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is our experience. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.”

~ Taken from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 84-85 ~
AA is a group of individuals from all walks of life, who share the same ism. It is a program to which I owe my life.

 

Even a Girl Like Me

JCP-9884I am amazed daily by the truth that God can and will use a girl like me…scarred and wretched. But on the mend.

I grew up a P.K. You know…Preacher’s Kid.
I was pretty darn “holy” and “good” until around age 13. With boys, hormones and the fact that I was filling out my bra, well, things changed.

I began to dream of living somewhere other than my small town. No one ever left that town! They grew up and worked for their dad. They all played the same part and I wanted to break away. I didn’t know exactly what that looked like, but it wasn’t to stay there and be a naive trophy wife! (No offense to arm candy. It just wasn’t for me)

JCP-1344So I set out on this quest to really “live”. You could not have prepared me for what I would encounter on this journey. I would not have believed you if you had told me the compromises I would make and lack of self-respect I would wear.

Yeah, I know you want all the gory details, but you’re going to have to settle for the abbreviated version and a decade jump forward.

After surviving a beating from the world. You know, that place where I wanted to “live” so much?! I had limited choices as to where to go next. So I finally surrendered.

I know, I know, surrender sounds like giving up. For me, it was not until I surrendered that I found true freedom.

I had grown up hearing about God. Heck, I’d been hearing about Him since the womb! The big Being in the sky, passed the clouds, waiting for us at church on Sunday? “Who is this God and why did I need to pursue a relationship with Him?!”

Little did I know, He was silently pursuing me.

At age 25, after getting knocked up, beat up, locked up (not JCP-11necessarily in that order), abusing my body and mind through choices that I never thought I would make, getting divorced and growing sick of hearing myself ask, “Why am I even here?!”, I had to find a God that I could relate too.

You know, One who didn’t care if I was used and broken. One who would say, “In Me, you find rest…safety…eternal security.I needed to be redeemed.

Did He even exist?

I am still seeking, but He shows me everyday, in tangible ways that He does in fact exist. He more than exist. He is working and moving in ways that completely blow my mind.

God willing, on October 19th, I will celebrate 9 years of sobriety. Not just from alcohol, but from many other substances and ism’s that I used to numb the pain.

When the substances, food, shopping, whatever, stopped working and the love of my life sat me down and encouraged me (through a pretty harsh reality check) to admit to myself that I was a hot mess and he was not going to join the “pity city” that I was trying to create, things began to change (slowly).Love

So, here I am, just turned 35, which I considered geezer age just a few years ago. And the most miraculous things have happened. The craziest of which, being that instead of waiting for a door to open, God has knocked down a wall.JCP-1901He is using my story of shame, in ways that I never thought possible.
I am doing workshops, radio interviews and talking to women from all backgrounds of life. I was the girl who hated other women! Now, I support them in their struggle. WHAT?! Only God.

Only a God who has been in the trenches with me… the bars and back alleys (don’t read into that) and bathroom floor at 4 a.m. and then turned me into a mother of 3, wife to a stud and a productive member of society. Only that kind of God could use a girl like me to bring others back to Him.

People want real…they want scarred…they want hope…even from a girl like me.
JCP-9996

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