Monday, May 30, 2011

Faith days and church days

I am taking a little break from my story for this next post. There's just a little something on my heart that I want to share.

My sweet college buddy Julie started a blog a while back. She was going through spiritual metamorphosis in a way... and so was I. We reconnected in a bond that is stronger today than it was back then... And she is the main reason I began this blog, to be honest. Well, her "little" blog wasn't like mine. I've been allusive. Never posting my full name, no face-bearing pictures of myself or kiddos, all the while knowing personally 12 of my 14 followers... which is now at 15, as of today, so welcome newcomer! ;)
Nope, she was all out there. And was totally exposed. Something that horrifies me.

But she was REAL. Always. And it wasn't always easy for her, on the contrary, it was painstakingly hard. But she stuck with it, proclaiming the name of Jesus, and lifting up his love and grace through it all. Inspiring. Well... she was/is in this little online contest thing I found out about through facebook, and I innocently entered my vote for her, and continued following her blog posts. What followed shocked me.

It had become a contest of faith-based blogs in which people of other faiths entered. I was oblivious at first. I only follow a few blogs, anyway and barely even have time for that. But I read her latest entry which was so thought-provoking, no matter which way you look at it. And I saw a bit of what was going on. The Pagan faith was represented along with Judaism, Islam and Christianity. There was nothing specific to the contest that said "faith in Christ" blogs. And some people weren't quite so happy with "faith" being undefined.

And Julie responded. To me, it wasn't a matter of proclaiming her faith in Jesus Christ, she's done that all along. It's the fact that she challenged me, and hopefully others, to think about the love God has for us - all of us. And that we wrestle not the flesh and blood among us. If it scares you, don't read it all, I only had time to check some of the things out, but what I found is that we as Christians (and forgive me for lumping us all in the same pot for a minute) so often sugar-coat things.

I tried to say to myself that we don't have a religion. But I went to church on Sunday. Today's not a church day, it's Monday. But what are my rituals? Did I pray and read my church-approved portion of scripture? Did I sleep in, skip it, and then feel guilty for not paying my "dues"?

I do have a personal relationship with a living God through Jesus Christ, my Savior. Just to be clear. ;) But whether I like it or not I have a religion as well. I'm kind of upset about that today. I almost wish I didn't. No churchy habitual practices so I could say that it's ONLY about a person, about my Savior. But we again tend to sugar-coat things, and I'm no different, I guess. I want it to be about one thing only, the love of God through Jesus Christ, and I pray it becomes that in my life more and more each day.


As I was reading the counter-views of other faiths I realized that it's really all true. Each view takes faith to believe, it's just what you're putting yours in. I choose Christ. And I'd do it again and again and again.

And maybe tomorrow will be a church day, maybe it won't. But it's always a faith day.

3 comments:

  1. You know, there's something on my mind to say right now, but it doesn't have words yet, only feelings. I'll return and post it later, but I just wanted to say <-----big giant hugs---->. You're a sweet person. I've been reading a bit of your blog, and I'm glad to have encountered you through this debacle.

    Brightest blessings,

    Rowan

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  2. Looking forward to your response, Rowan... nice to encounter you as well! :) God bless!

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  3. Shelly, that is really good stuff. Being able to talk to people who feel as strongly about their faith as i do was eye opening for sure. faith isnt a religion it is something you believe in. That is what i have taken from all of this. My beliefs are based on Jesus and like you i would choose Jesus again and again.
    i have spent my whole life trying to be right i never stopped to love people. I have left many hurt peopleon my path to be right. I want to spend the rest of my life knowing God and loving others. This has been a tremendous heart change year.

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