Saturday, June 14, 2014

standing slow and moving still... memories of my "Christian" life

It's funny how God changes our lives from one minute to the next. If I were to jump into a magical time machine and travel back several years, you would see that my free time would never have been consumed with anything resembling The Devoted Woman ministry. I would not be spending my off days answering emails, publicly sharing my faith, or praying specifically for people located all around the world. I would not be faithfully studying the scriptures, speaking and teaching for the sake of Christ, meeting with ministry leaders and charitable organization heads, or even writing this blog.

No, many years ago my down time away from work was all about playing online video games with my husband, watching sports and television shows, enjoying dinners and concerts with family and friends, swimming at the health club, reading and studying topics of interest, shopping with girlfriends, refining my hobbies, playing with my dogs, and occasionally attending church and participating in a women's bible study. These were the more enjoyable parts of "living" that I smooshed between the to do's of my career and the everyday responsibilities of family. I considered it a pretty decent life. I was average. My family was normal. We were the common folk of society who faced the good and the bad while doing our best to get through the day without incident or disappointment.

Every morning, Chuck and I would be in a rush to get out the door without eating breakfast. Every evening, a loud television would overpower our little house as we reclined/collapsed after a long day's work. We were a family that ate bad, slept little and looked to Jesus rarely. The average "Christian" American home, right? Sure, we loved being together... we loved our marriage, family, friends, church, etc... but truthfully, as a couple we had no spiritual motivation. As a woman, I had no ambition to be better. (OK, maybe I wanted to be better in an Oprah "Your Best Life Now" kind of way... but not REALLY better. Not closer to God better. Not choosing His will over my own wants better. Not newer in Jesus better.)

Several years ago I was tired. Tired from dealing with the aftershock of a major injury. Tired of being the responsible family member in the midst of crisis. Tired of driving an hour each day to a stuffy gray office in a stuffy gray suit. Tired of working late. Tired of puffed-up corporate egos. Tired of deteriorating business ethics. Tired of a small bank account and large bills. Tired that nobody really cared about anything other than themself, and tired that I was one of those nobodies. Tired that love didn't seem like love. Tired that life didn't feel like life. Tired that my friends were messes, that my longings were superficial, that my world seemed... well, stuck. I was just tired of being tired.

Mind you, I had accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was a young child. I grew up in a Christian household, fellowshipped in a Christian community, and was educated in schools full of strict Christian beliefs. I knew the way to Heaven. I agreed that God was the one true God. I believed that Jesus was the Savior who could save me from a sinful fate. And sure, I followed His path... to an extent. (Perhaps it was more by way of dragging my heels and zig-zagging my steps.) I was keeping His law and walking in His way... sort of. Brought up in the church, there was nothing I hadn't heard doctrinally. There was little I didn't know biblically. So yeah, I was a "Christian". Not one of those judgemental-hypocrite Christians though. And not one of those fanatical, over-the-top crazy Christians that weirded out everyone around them while worrying about their hair and skirt lengths like a cult. No, I didn't think that all movies were of the devil. Nor did I believe that music with a drum beat could be considered evil. Sure, I knew those Christians. In fact, I was surrounded by them. But not me... No, I was just your average, warm-blooded, lukewarm believer - quietly standing slow and moving still since salvation. What do I mean? Well, simply put, I was living the contemporary Christian oxymoron that is so common of today. I was going nowhere while claiming to follow Jesus.

This contradiction resulted in a life of little intimacy with the King. Sure, we had a few close encounters from time-to-time. He showed up during my childhood at a few key moments and monumental events. He revealed His hand during some of my desperate single years. He poked His head out when my husband's life was hanging by a thread. He made an appearance when my own physical handicaps seemed a life-long reality. Yes, I knew He was there and in control. I witnessed him make some of my impossibles possible. I believed He was the way, the truth, and the life to follow. But on the whole, my dialogue with Him was brief. My faith in His capability was limited. Not because I didn't think He was the GOD ALMIGHTY of the Bible I sometimes read... but more because I didn't trust Him any more than I trusted other people - or even myself. How could I trust a God I couldn't see ALL the time? I knew that it was because of me that there was no warmth or depth in our relationship. You see, I was lacking spiritual sight. To me, He was just that big, giant God up in the sky who was worthy to do whatever He wanted. And I was just this tired, little woman who still did whatever she wanted. This was my "Christian" life.

It's funny how God can change a life. It's amazing to think of what He can do with someone who decides to stop being tired and start being truthful. It's encouraging to witness first hand how He can renew the most wretched, worn down "Christian" woman into a energized and blessed bride of Jesus Christ. A bride eager and anxious to celebrate her wedding day with her Beloved Eternal Devotion.

I know that this blog post may seem strange to some. I know that it has no snappy story, challenging push, or blithe meaning to probably anyone except me. But today, I just want to spend my time writing as a means to ruminate on His transforming grace. Today, I wish to stop and savor what He has brought me out of, and where He is leading me. HE IS so much love, ladies. He reveals so much spiritually to those who truly turn from their "normal" and seek honestly after His eternal.

My once lethargic stance turned into a skeptical stroll. My skeptical stroll turned into a skipping step. My skipping step turned into a revived sprint. My revived sprint turned into a devoted run... and ladies, today I am running joyfully to win! If you too are living in this same amazing haste, please pause with me today and rejoice! This is the day to follow Jesus!!!

Thank you, dear Savior, for REALLY being mine! You astound me!!!

Blessings!

~Victoria

© 2010 The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

5 comments:

  1. Hi, baby sister,
    I had a few minutes between training at work and took time to "smell" the fresh flowers. I really enjoyed today's blog (flower sounds better). Very uplifting and encouraging. Keep up the good work. WOO-HOO!!
    Luv ya!
    Scott

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  2. I believe so many of us have lived a similar life because it is so easy to get bogged down the daily stuff we don't even realize we have pulled away until we are tired and unhappy. Then we figure out what happened.

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  3. Wow! Thanks for stepping on my toes on this one! The whole time I was reading I kept thinking, "How does she know this about me?" It's time I get away from "normal." Thanks so much!

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  4. Lovely piece to read :)

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