Monday, June 26, 2017

What God Has Done For Me

Our rector, Robert Fruehwirth, challenged us to craft one sentence to describe how God has impacted us personally. I’ve been pondering that. God has done so much in my life, it’s difficult to boil it all down into one sentence. I had my first experience with God when I was just 9 years old. Ever since then, my relationship with God has been as real and powerful to me as my relationships with people. God got me through the horrors of junior high. God kept me sane during the stresses of high school and college. God patiently guided me to end my engagement to a man I would’ve been desperately unhappy with as a husband. In my mid-20’s, God guided me through the complete dissolution of my persona and ego, and brought me forth as a different and much happier person. God has guided my career path step by step, speaking in the inaudible and unmistakable voice, fulfilling the promise in Isaiah to always be at my right hand, telling me where to go. God gave me a miracle when I was 30. I have sought wisdom, and God has answered, just as promised in James. Not that I’m some kind of wise guru, but I do have much greater insight than I would without my faith.

But throughout it all, God has been guiding me into one powerful fruit of the Spirit: love. 

Love for my enemies. Love for tyrants, oppressors, abusers. Love for perpetual victims, back-stabbers, and gossipers. And not that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin,” kind of love either. More of a “there but for the grace of God go I” kind of love. A love that acknowledges and understands that I am a tyrant, an oppressor, an abuser, a perpetual victim, a back-stabber, a gossip. A love that is deep enough to forgive myself each day and step back into God’s grace.

So what has God done for me? God has given me the strength and humility to love each and every life on this planet.

A post like this is always a risk. I feel timid to share it. Because everyone who knows me knows a time that I have NOT been loving. I am not perfect, and I have not loved all others as myself. And I haven’t always loved myself either. I don’t post this to be holier than thou, because I’m not. On the other hand, I want to share this, because the ability to love each and every person in the world is a great gift. It’s painful. It’s difficult. It’s heart breaking. And it constantly forces me to confront my own sinfulness. Sometimes I go too far and get taken advantage of. Sometimes I set a bad boundary, and hurt someone else. The only thing that makes it bearable is God’s grace. I know that every second, I can repent and turn to God and be washed clean. And that I will have the strength from that grace and forgiveness to turn and ask for forgiveness.

So, what has God done for you?

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