Yesterday a friend posted on Facebook, wondering if it's possible to return to Jesus without having to deal with church. I responded, sharing a few of my own fears (such as being afraid I won't be accepted after I've "denied" God to some degree ... embarrassed about what people might say ... fear of maybe having to go to church and/or do other things I don't want to or am afraid of).
Lord, Your will be done ... and please forgive my denials. Please? You know I still worry about that a lot even though it's pretty apparent You called me back--a miracle in itself. And You know, too, that I sometimes have moments when I wonder if You are real--when I'm not having any "emotional experiences" and I'm still being influenced by the walking away times... and I know the enemy is trying to pull me back. Though I'm pretty sure I never did reach a time when I really didn't believe. Well, I know it's an "intellectual wondering" as deep inside I've always known You are with me, always have been. You don't let your children go, do You? (Unless they really want to, I guess...).
Been thinking a lot lately about that Chuck Girard song from back when I was a teen:
Welcome back to the things that you once believed in/ Welcome back to what you knew was right from the start/ ... I know that you thought you could turn your back/ ... But I can see that you know better now/ ... and I'm so happy now to welcome you back/ Sometimes you just don't know what you're missing/ Til you leave it for awhile/ Welcome back to Jesus.I've found myself wondering, lately, where I got so off-track for so long. And why? But maybe it was a stripping kind of time, pulling away from parts of my faith that were extras, padding--that were blocking me from seeing You. Which is maybe why I'm nervous about picking up things like church.
I don't want to do things because I "should" but only because I believe and love you (even though it is still hard sometimes to know if I even do that ... It seems like that is the hardest part).
It's easier to "do things" that "show love" than to actually bare one's heart and be vulnerable and actually love. I don't like to be hurt. And I like to be intellectual because it feels safer. And it's easier to accept, too, because it can be proved. And I'm a bit skittish about things that can't be proved (like when I took an Apologetics course, and it seemed like so many things they tried to prove weren't provable in a dry, scientific way, and it just seemed like grasping at straws).
Faith is a hard thing because we can't see it, quantify it--and can't feel it emotionally, a lot of the time. Yet ... You've always been here with me. I've never doubted You (though I have doubted, and still do sometimes, the theology and theory of it).