Sometimes I can’t even comprehend the passage of time. I wrote about weeks 1, 2, and 3 of this 24 week fast but somehow totally glazed over weeks 4-10.
I have been on a path of healing, but what exactly does that look like? Weird. It’s a physical, mental, and spiritual healing and they’re are intertwined and knotted together. I pull on one string and think I’m getting somewhere only to find it leads to another knot that must be tugged and loosened and finally unbound. Then it happens again.
I’m currently reading a book called Mind Over Medicine by Dr. Lissa Rankin and everything in it rings true. For the last 20 years I’ve been trying to redirect my negative thoughts and actions, weeding out toxic people from my life, seeking whole healing. It started with a book called Happiness is a Choice. I read that one at 19 when my first husband left me. I haven’t always been diligent in seeking this healing (meaning I haven’t focused on it daily for two decades) but it has always been a goal. More of a pipe-dream, maybe, because I’m not sure I fully believed it could ever happen. Add to that the constant message from the church that says we’re broken people, we sin, we can’t help it, we won’t be whole until we get to heaven. Thanks church, for that uplifting message. Or this one Christ heals, but not like He did in the New Testament. That’s over. But hey, you go ahead and pray for healing, see how that works out for ya.
I’m not saying we’re not broken, or we’re not sinners–but really, this message is *not* the Good News message that Christ came to this earth to teach.
I’ve been struggling lately with this idea of going back to church. There hasn’t been a Christian thus far who hasn’t tried to say that being with a congregation-at-a-local-building is better than being without one. They site the same passage, the only one I think there is. And while I believe that a community of like-minded believers IS important, I do not believe that I have to find it at the local church building. I’m just not convinced God has called me to the cookie-cutter ways of what passes for “church.” If it works for you, great! Keep it up and do your thing. It’s not working for me. It has never worked for me. It has been horrible and unloving (except one family) and negative. On the other hand, the people God brings into my life for me to mentor, the ones he has brought alongside of me to hold me up and encourage me, pray for me, and point out truths–those people have brought me undeniable joy (even in the hard times and hard lessons.)
I am more and more convinced that in this season of my life, at least, I am not supposed to be involved with a local congregation. I’m sorry if you think that’s a sin. I have discussed this at length with God and I’m positive He is not calling me to find a local, weekly meeting place to be a part of.
I think He’s got me on a journey, one I can’t yet explain, but one that has me closer to Him than I’ve ever been before. And sometimes He does things that others deem wrong. (y’know, like when Jesus healed on the Sabbath.) There were times Jesus was called away from people and if I’m to live following His example, it makes sense that God could (and would) call me away for a season.
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned thus far in this fast (along with the other fasts I’ve done) is that obeying God above people is hard. In one ear people are shouting endlessly who God is and what He does (and does not do) and when I shut them out, God is there saying the same thing over and over, “I AM.”
I’m choosing to trust Him and not what people say about Him. That’s a pretty desolate road, but one I’m sure is the right one.