Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My PBA Story -

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Yea, I spent a life-time trying to "do" the right thing. "Live" the right way. "Say" the right thing. It started when I was a kid and tried to earn the love and acceptance of parents and family and friends. It didn't work then and it didn't work later on at school either. It didn't work in my marriage and it doesn't work raising kids.

Then came in MY trying to do everything right for God. I tried to do what I was supposed to do for years as a Christian. The thing is ... everyone had a different perspective on what that thing was. Denominations swore they had the answers and I pretty much tried them all. None of them were very consistent or even knew what they believed most of the time. It was just always about rules and ways to act and be and becoming holy somehow by doing this and that. It was tough looking around at the plastic people around me and thinking they had it together when my life was crumbling around me and I was trying and trying and trying. Imperfections made me crazy...in others and in myself. I walked away for a loooong time. I am just so glad that He loved me so much that He never walked away....you know what I mean...from me.

It has been in the last 5 years that I have come into an understanding first and foremost of the Love of God that I finally began to understand. There were lots of instrumental people that God put in my path to direct and help me understand how much I was loved by God .... never having felt this truly by anyone ....it took a while to internalize. This understanding, real understanding of unconditional love was key for me. When I was introduced to the Exchanged Life or the Grace Walk or whatever label you want to put on it....it was like freedom ...it was like heavy stones lifted from my heart and shoulders. Could it be? I could rest for a while and just let Jesus minister to me and through me. It has been an awesome journey and I have never been more passionate about living this Life. I think it was easier to fall into the performance trap and doing because it is organized and orderly and makes sense in a warped kind of peculiar way....rather than falling into love with Jesus and having a real relationship with Him because being real and vulnerable and open was never a part of who I was....I still have a long road ahead but appropriating my identity in Christ and really getting it, you know... and realizing that I was loved NO MATTER WHAT and so was everyone around me, and He could love through me to others ....even those that I never thought I could love....it has been the biggest thrill and adventure of my life....but it is hard getting past the thoughts of old and the way things have always been. I just love finally coming to the place where I know that I am a new creation and just loving to Read Romans 8 regularly to be reminded .... nothing....can keep me from His Love. How could it? His Life is in me. My mind needs to be renewed constantly to keep the evil out....but I think I have come to a comfortable place of recognizing that and not letting it overcome me. I focus on the Truth and that is Jesus to me. Jesus will never allow anyone to make me feel less than who I am....anymore....and Jesus would never let me "try" to win over all of those sad souls....He has everything in His Hands and I don't need to do anything but know the One True Thing and there are no unrealistic expectations ....He knows me and still He loves me!

How cool is that? Sometimes the Love piece is what I find needs to happen first and foremost in the hurting people around me who are trying so hard to "do" the Lord's work. Living loved allows Him to love through you to others. Top of my list anyway was to recognize the Love that is freely given. Grace .... is He to me!


Joel B. said...

This is why I'm so glad the Lord has put all this together! (All the thoughts and stories, histories and present dealings, etc). It's truly been a joy to read your story and the other stories. Your root here is the same as I see mine... becoming grounded in our identity in Christ and in God's love... and in living loved.

Unconditional love is, how shall we put it, not prevalent in the lives of those around us... and so we must find all our love and acceptance in Him, and rest in Him, and let our lives flow from there rather than getting caught up in the religion and opinions of man. Wow... you're so right. All the denominations, ironically, think they have the right answers and yet most people in them don't know what they believe!

Thanks so much for your openness in sharing all of this! It's really been helpful and eye-opening to me, and a wonderful reminder of the love and acceptance we truly have in Him.

Three Fish Guy said...

Watchman Nee said it best when he said "God is waiting for us to rest so He can begin to work." ( From memory quote, accuracy is questionable)

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Matthew Campbell said...

WONDERFUL story. I love the Gospel. When we finally 'get it', and embrace it with our whole heart, we experience great freedom from ourselves. "Blessed riddance!"

We are free to approach God any time we desire to enjoy him. He hears every word we speak to him.

We don't need to get sanctified in order to approach God and receive his love. We just humble ourselves and freely receive it even after we sin. We can freely adore him without feeling unworthy! :)