Hi! My name is Marie, and I am a child of God. More importantly, I am a friend of God.
For days now I have been rewriting this post and battling with whether or not I should post it. I know this post will not get a lot of comments, or it may even just get a cursory glance, and that is fine with me. If I can reach one person, then my heart will be content.
Let me first start off by saying, that I will NEVER force my beliefs on anyone of you. I understand that we all come from different backgrounds and differing faith systems. This blog is a chronicle of my life as well as a mini ministry that I hope by sharing my experiences, someone else can be blessed.
Lately I have been seeing a lot of people denounce their faith or come clean that they are not believers. I am not here to preach at anyone, or condemn anyone, I am simply speaking for myself. I am sure you all know the horrific things that I have been through, and if anyone has a right to denounce God, some will say why not Marie?
When I read a blog about someone not believing (and again, I reiterate that I respect everyone and their beliefs or lack thereof), I do not comment on that particular post. Simply because I will NEVER force someone to believe or push my faith on anyone. I simply whisper a prayer for peace in their hearts. I don't pray for God to make them believe, I don't delete them from my reader, I don't stop commenting, I don't stop giving them virtual hugs or support, I just pray for peace in their hearts. Not believing is a personal decision, and I never want to be accused of being a bigot.
I am a child of God. It's not easy, but I love my Savior with an agape love. I cry, I pray, I ache, I get mad, I storm the heavens, I questions God, I second guess myself. But who doesn't do that in any relationship? My relationship with Christ is a personal one. Do I thank him for taking my babies? Absolutely NOT! Do I always understand his ways? Absolutely NOT!
My faith was never always strong. Though I accepted the Lord as my personal Savior at 11 years old, I really did not start truly walking with him until I was 17 years old. I come from a family whose belief was rigid. No pants, no make-up, no jewelry, women had to wear hats in church and so on. This rigidity deterred many and they left the faith for "brighter and better" things. These are the things that stopped me from fully committing. It felt as if, these things were being pushed at us, and no us having any conviction and coming to the decision by ourselves with gentle guidance. At 17, when I really started walking with Christ, I still did not get it, but I sure tried. :-)
As time passed, and that relationship got stronger, I understood a little more.
Now as I approach the dawn of 26, I still don't fully understand his ways or his plans for me. But, I have developed a trust that allows me to be somewhat at peace when things come my way. I'm not saying that I ask for trials and tribulations to come my way (who wants that?), but I believe in the scripture that says he will bring me forth as pure gold. I will say it again, it is definitely not easy trusting wholeheartedly, but I try my best and when I find my faith faltering, I say it out loud ; "I trust you Lord".
I still choose to believe (and it IS a choice) because of hope. That hope that the next pregnancy will go well, that hope that my husband will find a job, that hope that this world cannot be all evil and full of heartaches, I hold on to the hope so many before me had, and the hope that the scriptures so often remind me of.
I believe because of the blessings I have. I believe because I see the sun every morning, feel the gentle breeze, the clouds, the moon, the stars, the many blessings I do have. So many things increase my faith. I believe because he shows up on time and blesses me abundantly.
Believing is a choice. Faith is a choice. I choose to believe. Just like it is your choice to not believe. I want my life to be an example to someone. I want despite my shortcomings, despite the loss of my children, for someone to say, God is good.
The experiences in our lives shape our belief systems. After losing two precious little ones, It was easy for me to say, there is no God. How can he be so cruel to rip my babies from my arms? But when I looked into Evan's and Alyssa-Joy's faces, I saw peace. I saw their perfect features. I knew then that this life was bigger than I was. I knew than that I had to keep believing. I had to keep believing for them, for my husband, for my father, for me. Believe me, I thought about it! But I could not bring myself to do it.
I will never shun someone because they do not believe and I hope no one received such a message in this post. It is a choice we all make, and you will still have my support. There is nothing I like less than so called Christians who condemn and judge. I simply pray for peace in your hearts and that whatever decisions you make results in peace.
In the last post, I mentioned a book that I found buried in the back of my closet. I don't know how it got there, who it came from, but I sure needed to hear the message the book had to deliver. Joshua by Joseph Girzone is about a man who did noting but good, who loved Christ, who loved people. He was a mystery to many, and his beliefs and opinions angered as many as who loved him. The town was split. Those who supported his opinions which led to their own discovery of God and his plans and those who felt he was a threat to their religions. This book had me question myself. Do I push my beliefs on others? Or do I simply communicate the love of Christ? You see, I want others to come to Christ off their own accord, not because they feel threatened. In the end of the book, I discovered that Joshua was in fact Jesus. Walking this earth as man and sharing the fathers love with those he met. Who else has an intimate knowledge of our father's plans but his own son? I found myself praying "Lord, please let me develop a Joshua spirit". It was a spirit of love, hope, humility.
One message that stood out to me was; God is not a phantom humans concoct to fix their imaginations on, but a real being present before him who responds to every thought and plea. Praying is as if enjoying a dialogue with a dear friend, with someone you love intensely, and someone you are intimately involved with, who controls circumstances, make decisions, even if you sometimes disagree. Real religion is in our hearts not buildings. Customs and practices and traditions can replace true service of God and become a real obstacle to real growth in the love of God.
My faith, my belief is a personal choice. So is yours.
Awaiting my expected end.