Tonight at Bible Study we are giving testimonies, as there are some of us who are less acquainted with one another than others. I appreciate the chance to get to know one another :).
In order to get a feel for the direction that God has taken my life in more recent history, I decided to read through some of my musings as a high school and college student. Before I moved (or perhaps as I was sorting boxes over Christmas break) I read through childhood and junior high journals (whoa. who was that kid?), and they didn’t have much to say about God.
What’s wild to me is that in these young adult chronicles there were days that it sounded like I was getting it. I had the lingo down, even citing “discernment” and “wisdom” in my prayers. This is probably attributable to some women in my life at the time who are Godly and spoke in that language readily and naturally (thank you God for their presence in my life at the time). My blatant misunderstanding of the way things worked (denying the works-based grace in one breath and yet touting my good works in the next) and my belief that I really wasn’t all that bad points to a big lack of Truth in the form of Scripture in my life. I loved coming across an entry from December of my sophomore year in college (the turning point year) that said:
“I’m in kind of a tight spot in my faith walk. I believe and I’m trying to do the right thing (not works, but living to worship and glorify Him who saved the world from sin), but I’m not growing. Part of that is my own lack of motivation…I feel like I [was] really burnt out. Reading a book every week (or 2 weeks) from the Bible was more of an assignment than a lesson…”
Sure enough, the following semester God did incredible things with me; I started attending 24/7 (I’d visited my freshman year) where the Bible was preached. For 30-45 minutes. Uncomfortable for a Lutheran like myself. But I ate it up. I was encouraged by my Bible Study leader to memorize scripture, and like reading a book every week (or two weeks) I totally resisted at first. But in the process, God softened my heart to His word and I came to enjoy it and more than “keep up” on it. The following summer I had employment for just three weeks. Not exactly a college student’s dream summer situation…and I moped about it, but I had a reading plan that got me in the word while I was moping…and somewhere along the line that summer of nothing turned into a summer of great opportunity.
What’s awesome is that as much as I thought I was figuring “it” out then, I know I’ve figured out even more now with the beautiful reality that I’ve still got this side of heaven to be figuring out more (I assume being in the presence of God closes up some of the knowledge gaps here on earth…but I’ve got that to figure out once I’m there 🙂 ). I’ve been all over the board with what being a Christian looks like, what serving in a church looks like, what doctrinal issues are key (thank you, mixed denominational background!) and what can be lumped into a less important category.
But, like a lot of my journal entries, the most repeated word is “I”. To God be the glory and credit for this changed heart, not me and my “awesomeness” ;). I’d better head out…whoops! 🙂 Peace to you!