What is Faith?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Purple Year

I have gone through the Bible, time & time again over my 22 year journey with God. In the beginning of my new found Christianity, I just held onto the book, clinging to it as if it were a life line, which it is, but it really could not have done much good since I never let go of it to actually read it.

I then phased into only reading scripture that caught my attention during a Bible study or from a pastors sermon. My best friend Sharon, is a pastor, and she was always there with answers to my oft asked question, "Isn't there someplace in the Bible where it says....?"

We moved to Oregon in 1997, because I wanted a better life for my kids (all grown by then, but being the ever enabling mother, I still felt it was my job to take care of them) and my soon to be first grandchild. Being away from my aging father whom I adored, and two best friends, this overwhelming loneliness sent in. I alienated myself and with that isolation, came the never ending mind games that I played with myself.

I could never seem to turn off my brain, and I allowed the loneliness, and depression that accompanies that loneliness to take over. Despite the fact that I was born again, and at one time believed that my transgressions were washed away, I stopped going to church. I no longer believed, and all the shame and humiliation of my past, the guilt of who I was and what I did all came flooding back. For seven years, I stumbled and fell, and the pit I fell into kept getting deeper and deeper.

I found the church I have been going to since 2004 quite by accident. My pastor friend had recommended this Sonrise back in 1997. One day while driving the same street I had driven down time and time again, I saw the blue sign that pointed me in the right direction of what was to become my second salvation . I joined a recovery group at the church called Abundant Life. It was for anyone with hurts hang-ups and habits. Boy did I qualify. They dove into the Bible frequently and I thought I better get my act together, so I began reading.

I began highlighting passages that jumped out at me in pink that first year. In January I would choose a color that I would solely use throughout that year. This year is My Purple Year. The only color in the rainbow I hadn't used yet. When I look back through my bible and read the passages in pink during those first years at Sonrise, I realize how far I have come. I was so needy back then. I gave many people in the church the impression that I was someone who needed to be handled with kid gloves, and I suppose looking back I was. I can only imagine what they would have thought if they had met me when I first became born again. The mess I was back then, was ten-fold compared to the mess I was in 2004. Sharon can attest to that.

But god placed in my life women like my dear friends, Paulie, Diane, Bonnie and of course Sharon who never gave up on me, and many many others who loved me back to health. I think occasionally the people who knew me then are a little leery of the person who is now a strong woman of God but it's all good. In time they will not only see the changes but believe in them as well, for through the grace of God I now am healthy enough to teach Bible studies; I run ministries such as the Yetzer Ha-Tov Foundation and am able to do this walk that I am on; and I can actually give back to those who gave so freely to me. Am I perfect? Not by a long shot, but each year I get a little stronge and with that strength comes the ability to share my story with others.

I don't tell you this to toot my own horn. I don't even tell you this to toot God's horn, although I certainly could. I tell you this to say, that if someone who was a strong believer in a glorious God for 11 years can fall away and back into old behavior patterns, then think of the people on the streets who have no one to love them back to health. That's all it took for me. Just someone to show they cared and accepted me just the way I was, battle scars and all. A smile. A touch. An open mind. That's what matters in the army of God.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I've always loved changing colors every year and then seeing how far you've come from the past. I'd suggest you do that in your Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants as well. It'll be amazing what you learn!