Random thought of the day: I truly believe that the reason the divorce rate is so high is because hardly anyone puts God first. I think that if you put God first and build your relationship on that, then your relationship will be built on a rock instead of in the sand… therefore it will last longer and be more genuine and enjoyable.
With that said: I’m starting to read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages: Singles Edition. We’ll see how it goes :)
I am becoming more and more glad that I started this blog, and I will most definitely be continuing with it. I also plan to focus more on praying genuinely and praying for the ability to pray well. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with my progress (but for now, I’m taking a nap)! Happy Mothers’ Day, everyone!
I have personally been struggling to rekindle my relationship with God. I have not been on the path I want to be on in quite some time now. I am trying to build my relationship with Him again without feeling as if I’m “jumping on the bandwagon” or doing it simply because it’s the right thing to do. I know that should never be a problem… and I definitely want a better relationship with Jesus, and I want to be a better Christian. I guess I just want to be sure I’m genuine.
Since I plan to keep this blog mostly anonymous, here’s the backstory: I was born and raised in a Southern Baptist church. I have always loved going to church, and God was always an important part of my life… until I got old enough to understand some of the “adult” issues my church had. People were being judgmental, condescending, sneaky, and at one point, even stealing. In my church. Church was supposed to be a sanctuary. Somewhere you could go to get away from all the bad stuff and just be with people who know you and love you unconditionally… like your family, you know, your churchfamily. and that had all been shattered. So I began to realize I wanted to go to a different church. A church where I could have friends and know people and feel comfortable, but also somewhere where I didn’t know any of the “secrets” people had. Maybe this is wrong of me, but I would rather not know people’s secrets than to have to try not to judge them for their secrets.
After that realization, I became involved in a 6-year relationship with a guy who everyone thought was perfect. He was attractive, intelligent (salutatorian), athletic (football captain), and a role model (student body and beta club president). His only “drawback” was that he is incredibly shy and doesn’t have many people he considers friends. But his family was very welcoming, and they had the structure that my family lacked. I adored his family. Although his parents weren’t very religious he attended a private school, and (come on, we are in the south) I just assumed he believed in God and had faith in the Bible. His faith was something we discussed minimally—more at the beginning of our relationship than any other time throughout—and he even accepted God into his heart on an outing with his football teammates. However, I never felt comfortable talking to him about faith. We went to church occasionally, but when he went off to college, I spent my weekends driving 3 hours to see him on Thursday nights and 3 hours home on Sunday afternoons. Plus, we were in Atlanta… talk about not knowing where to start when looking for a baptist church. On top of that, it was never really a priority to find a church. He was engrossed in his studies, and on Sundays, we just wanted to spend time together before I had to head back home for the week… not to mention the fact that he lived in an all-boys dorm and I had no place to shower to get ready for church even if I had a church to go to. With that said, church was no longer a priority… and admittedly, I kind of only prayed when I “needed” something… I tried not to be that way, but I would often forget (horrible, I know - God has so many people to listen to and love and he never forgets about me). When we were home, we would attend church with my family some Sunday mornings, and I would find myself wondering more about what he was thinking than about how I felt about the sermon. He would often ask me questions about free will and the validity of the Bible that I couldn’t answer and honestly didn’t want to talk about.
His second semester of college was definitely a rough one, and we were faced with challenges and disappointments and decisions that left me exhausted. When summer came around and he was at home 24/7… our relationship started to become unnerving (as it always did when we spent that much time together). By the end of the summer, I was beyond ready for some alone time and for him to be back at college… we had even decided to “take a break” since I was the only girlfriend he ever had and didn’t want him to question his “options” later in life. The night we made that decision was the last night of our beach vacation with my family. The next day, we found out that his best friend had been killed in a car accident at the age of 19. One of the only close friends he had was gone forever.
Over the next few days, there were indescribable emotions. Fear, anger, shock, disbelief, sadness, confusion, exhaustion. One of the most lively and fun people I had ever known was gone. Just like that. Gone. We’ll call him Jay. At Jay’s funeral, we stood with my boyfriend’s parents as they talked about Jay’s love for life and for the Lord. They talked about how he’s in Heaven now and we should rejoice because he’s with our Father and we’ll see him again one day. I found myself wondering what my boyfriend and his mother were thinking… two people I loved and were like family to me… but two people I was pretty confident didn’t believe in God. I began to wonder why they weren’t more upset or sad… how can you be comforted in just thinking his body is in the ground and you’ll never see him again? I have struggled with that very question ever since that day, and I still wonder even now.
That was in August, and college classes started that same week. Throughout the semester we fought and struggled and I believe part of me wanted to stay with him knowing that Jay was one of the few people who understood him and now he was gone. I finally asked him about his faith, and I was right, he doesn’t really believe… he says he’s trying and he has tried before, but he doesn’t feel anything.
Through my conversations with him, he began to plant doubts in my mind, and I never wanted that. I don’t think he meant to, he says that he is glad I believe and thinks my faith gives me hope. But since we’ve broken up, he is actually one of the main reasons I’m struggling…
I often wonder why God didn’t use me more. Why didn’t God give me the words to say to him? Why didn’t God give someone the words that would touch him? Why can’t God reach out to him and pull him up from whatever he’s sinking in if he really was trying to listen to God? Even now, he’s depressed and often says things that really make me worry about his well-being and I pray for him every night… but I still can’t help but wonder what I should do and what I should say and what exactly I should pray for…
As I am trying to put myself back on track with God, how do I help someone I love who is struggling, too? I think that telling him my concerns will only dilute his faith even more… How can I even get myself back on the right path with God? Where do I start? I have gone to church the past two Sundays, and I know that the church isn’t supposed to meet my needs, I am supposed to meet the needs of the church… but how do I know when a church is right for me? What do I do? Where do I start?