Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Like hot chocolate on a cold day..

My first introduction to God was when my sister started taking me to Sunday school. I'm not even sure how old I was but I was young. My mother had nothing to do with structured religion but thankfully she didn't begrudge me the opportunity to explore it for myself.

Now.. to be honest, I don't remember a lot from Sunday school. Perhaps the odd bible story, but I remember the building and some of the people. Everyone was so nice to me. Unfortunately Sunday school was short lived.. but as they say.. a seed was planted. Over the years I would attend the rare church service. I found most of them to be boring and the people to be phony but for some reason, something still drew me to it. To this day I still can't pinpoint it but my interest was peaked.

I don't remember going to church in junior high but when I was 16 years old I volunteered at Camp Shawnigan and met a girl named Sherri. She was one of the camp counsellors. She was nice enough but a little hyper for my taste. I ended up connecting with her roommate, J. J and Sherri rented a place together in Victoria and since they were roommates I had no choice but get to know Sherri. Well, it's funny how things work out...

Sherri-Ann, as she later was called, wasn't just the party girl I had met at camp. She was a Christian. I should have known, so hyper! Sherri-Ann and I became fast friends (once I let my guard down) and started attending church together.. And bible class... And retreats... and choir. You could say I jumped head first into this Christianity thing.

A couple years later Sherri-Ann decided she needed to leave Victoria and leave for Briarcrest Bible College. I was heart broken but people leaving me wasn't anything new. I started teaching Sunday school and became a camp leader at Vacation Bible school (did I mention I jumped head first). While singing in the church choir I branched out and did a few solos (and before you wonder, I wasn't that good but what are a bunch of Christians going to say to a young girl in a wheelchair? Lol). To say I loved church would be an understatement. Then I met my first Christian boyfriend. We dated for 8 months. I didn't think life could get any better. Then he dumped me like a hot potato. And it burned! And I was mad.. at him.. at me and at God.

I continued going to church but cut back on some of the activities. Then I just stopped going all together. It was too hard to see him all the time and I wasn't focused on God. So, Sherry-Ann was gone and now the boyfriend. I focused on more secular activities like getting drunk, doing drugs and meeting guys...

That season lasted for about 10 years. I had moved to Vancouver, with my non-Christian fiance, for school, partied a lot more and had a lot of fun. Sherri-Ann and I stayed in touch for part of the time.. until my partying became too strong. I became involved in some pretty unGodly things. Things I don't even want to blog about. I finally decided I had to grow up so, after ruining yet another relationship, I finished my degree at UVic and moved back to the mainland for work, but something was missing...

Sherri-Ann and I really started to reconnect. She was living in Kelowna with her family and since I was in Vancouver it was only a 4 hour drive... 3 if I really pushed it. That was the start of a new season for me. The start of my relationship with God.

One summer I drove to Kelowna every weekend and then some weekends, I would drive up early Sunday morning.. in time for church.. stay until after evening church.. and drive home.. then go to work the next day. I've never experienced such amazing churches as they have in Kelowna.. the worship was phenomenal!

Now.. I'm not one to learn when someone tells me I must believe something they are telling me.. I really need to figure things out on my own. My trust isn't exactly forthcoming with most people. There were a couple of people who felt that they should "teach" me how to have faith and what to believe and couldn't understand when I questioned their "teachings".. they all dumped me as their student.. oh darn! I was so disappointed... NOT!

So.. I had no other choice but to rely on my own mustard seed of faith.. something I was not familiar with.. something really scary! I felt like if I interpreted things wrong then somehow I would be punished or God would be mad at me... but in fact, what I have learned.. and continue to learn.. is faith is ever growing.. as is learning.. as is my walk with Christ.

I don't go to church often, although I'd like to go more than I do. I don't read the bible every day and I don't go around preaching what others should or should not believe. I'm not perfect and some people would never believe that I believe in anything. As I've said in previous posts.. I'm normally very private with my faith.. mostly because once someone knows or thinks you "have religion" they start judging your every action. But sometimes you just need to say screw it.. and risk the judgement.

I would love to tell you that I can easily hear God speaking to me and know exactly what He wants me to do with my life. I wish I could tell you that I look to God whenever I am struggling with something.. I wish I could tell you that when I pray.. I get what I prayed for.. truth is.. I don't always hear God.. I don't always know what He wants from me and I don't always get the answer I want when I pray. But I do know something..

He loves me.. He loves you too and we don't have to do a single thing to earn His love!! Isn't that kinda cool? We don't have to do a thing! We don't have to clean our room or get straight A's.. we don't have to get a degree or win a Pulitzer prize.. we don't have to be famous or rich.. His love isn't conditional.. it's there whether we ask for it or not.. it's even there if we want it or not! Do you know anyone else who has EVER loved you like that?? I know I don't!

God's love gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.. yup.. to me, God is like hot chocolate on a cold day!

1 comment:

  1. MMMM, hot chocolate! I love hot chocolate and I love Jesus! Thanks for sharing your journey...I'm glad to be a little part of it.