Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Journey to Us - Part 3

You can read Part 1 of our story here or read the entire story here.

This isn't a fun part of the story...there's not much of T. But it's absolutely crucial to our story and how I got to where I knew he was the one God had planned for me.



My dad used to say "When you put a rose in the dumpster, the dumpster doesn't smell like the rose - the rose smells like the dumpster".

He was/is forever spouting off cheesy sayings for life lessons. But hey, it obviously works because here I am quoting it to you today.

Way to go Dad.

So it was the Summer after my Sophomore year of college and approximately 8 months since I first met T. I had broken up with "John" and spent the past few months learning who I was and strengthening my resolve to not fall back into my same old pattern. I met some great new friends, got more involved in my college, and was genuinely enjoying the single life. After reading "The God Delusion" I was confused to say the least. I had been brought up in a Christian family and attending a Christian school. Raised in the heart of the Bible Belt, all of my friends were Christian - or at least said they were - all of the guys I had been out with since "John" were Christians, and I was actively involved in my church. 

I wasn't supposed to question my faith. It was taboo.

I had simply taken what I was taught and believed it to be true without ever finding out for myself. This bred a soft foundation and made me an easy target for influence.

No one else that I knew had the same questions as me except for the guy that handed me the book in the first place. Seeing as how he was biased I didn't want to talk to him about it so I really didn't know who to ask my questions to. I thought if I even brought it up to family and friends it would get quickly pushed aside and I'd be told that the book is wrong and God is real. End of story.

So when I met this new guy and he was questioning the same things, it only served as one more thing that we had to connect on. 

Looking back, a bit older and (hopefully) wiser, I should've taken my questions to my dad. He is one of the wisest people I know and I didn't give him enough credit. I assumed he would brush me off but I now know that he (and any of my family, really) would've taken my questions seriously and led me in the right direction.

But alas, I took the difficult road of learning from my own mistakes.

Typical.

Unfortunately, instead of seeking out the truth to these answers, I found myself drifting further away from my relationship with Christ and getting drawn into a lifestyle I had never even known the likes of. I was in a foreign world - so very far away from the sheltered life I grew up in - but I kinda liked it. Who wouldn't? No God to answer to, taking the road more frequently traveled, it's easier. 

After a year and a half of living for myself and making too many mistakes, I found myself getting restless. I was a completely different person than I was 2 years before and I didn't like all of it. My new relationship had brought a lot of good - introducing me to new interests and helping me figure out things I enjoy doing to this day - but it also brought a lot of not so good with it. 

So looking back now I think I was almost relieved when he cheated on me.

Don't get me wrong....it hurt. Something fierce. It made me question myself and my judgement of people. It made me wary of ever trusting anyone again because I trusted this guy so implicitly. But I knew I hadn't been happy in the relationship for a while and this gave me an out. I was looking to start figuring out answers to my questions and 'growing up'. I was tired of spending 5 nights a week at a bar and I wanted a family; more importantly I missed my relationship with my Savior. 

I wasn't even sure I still believe He existed but I intended to find out.

My boyfriend at the time had no interest in moving forward with me. I tried to change him and force him into being something he (very vocally) didn't want to be. I don't blame him for walking away.

When we broke up it pushed me to start my search again. I knew I didn't like the person I had become and I knew I was unsettled but I had no idea where to start.

 I read "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel and "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning; two books that my dad had given me when I first started pulling away.

I decided that I, in fact, believed there was a god that created the earth and things in it and this was the same God found in the Bible. My search then led me to deism vs. theism. After a lot more research I decided that if I believed Jesus was real and I believed in God, then I believed the Bible. 

All of it.

That clearly led me to theism and a relational God.

My relationship and communication with God started out rocky and sporadic, but through His unending pursuit of me and steady love, I began to draw nearer to Him and let go of this old life I had taken up.

This is where Part 3 of our story ends. Sorry you didn't get much of the good stuff but trust me, it's coming.

Until next time...