Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why God? My attempt to answer Dan's question

I received this comment yesterday on my previous post:

"I don't understand this undying love for Jesus... Is it something people choose to believe in because they need hope in their lives? As though they don't believe enough in themselves that they can do things on their own/with the help of a tangible being (ie- a friend, family member, etc..)?It's an honest question, so don't tear me up over it, but what is the reason that people go to god in their lives? Can't they just be good people in their own eyes and not need a higher power suggesting they do so or get thrown down to (you know where)?"

I am so thankful for this question. Thank you for your courage and honesty Dan, and this blog will always be a safe place to ask those questions. Please forgive me because my reply will not be a great theological answer on the "Case for Christ". But, I would love to share my "God-story" with you.

I grew up knowing there was a God, but I didn't have a relationship with Him. I saw Him as a judge on a thrown who would love to squash me with His heavenly fly swatter every time I did something wrong. (And if you read the G-rated version of my testimony HERE, you would know I was afraid of being slapped quite often;). I also grew up not liking Christians. I saw them every Sunday going to church, and then not living any differently from me Monday through Saturday. They complained. They were miserable. Some of them were mean. They looked down on me for not going to church every Sunday. In my mind they were hypocrites.

To get back to your question, at that time in my life, I actually had a lot of hope in myself. I believed if I worked hard enough and studied hard enough I would be happy. I believed my level of accomplishments equated to my level of worth. I thought making good grades at a good college, getting a good internship, and stepping into a big-time career with a big salary would make me happy, secure, and content. I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish and more. I jumped through every hoop and chased every carrot the world dangled in front of me, but every time I accomplished another goal, the joy was short lived. The emptiness would creep back into my heart. I remember being so frustrated with myself when the feeling of "needing and wanting more" would return, because "I" COULD NOT make it go away. That was the one thing "I" could not fix. I felt like something was wrong with "me". Why wasn't "I" enough for myself? "I" was doing all I could, and still I couldn't hang onto any lasting peace. I always needed to do more and be more.

I had wonderful people in my life. I have great, loving, encouraging parents. I had sweet, loyal, fun friends. I even had a really sweet boyfriend my first two years at A&M, but after our break-up, I realized I had a serious problem.

I was hateful.

It was impossible to satisfy me.

And I hated myself for it.

Do you know what I wanted more than anything in the whole world?

I wanted to be loved. I had a desire to rest in the security of unconditional love. My parents love wasn't enough. My friends companionship wasn't enough. Even the love of a boy wasn't enough. I just kept thinking, "If anybody knew the "real me", they wouldn't love me anymore. If they knew my fears, my dark ugly thoughts, or the past mistakes I kept hidden, they would all leave me." At the same time, I also had a desire to be fully KNOWN, inside and out. I was constantly trying to fill the hole that was inside of my heart. I craved WHOLENESS. Relationships and accomplishments where not filling the spot. Sure I would be happy and at peace for awhile, but eventually the "high" would wear off. Then I'd find myself back at square one again, wanting and needing to be more.

The summer after the bad break-up, I started searching for something to make the emptiness go away. I had everything in life going for me. I was never without friends or calls from "suitors", yet I had never known such lonliness. On the outside I looked bright and shiny, but on the inside I was so unsettled. I started wondering if love and true happiness were even attainable anymore?

Then I started noticing married couples who were REALLY in-love. The reason I mention that is because I was surprised to find the common denominator between them was their love for God. I was surprised by their joy and peace because they were different from the Christians I knew growing-up. I'd hear them talking about their relationship with God, not their religion. Over the next two years, God started whooing me into a relationship with Him. I started reading a book called, The Purpose Driven Life. Then in September of 2000, I met Ronnie. He was a Christian, and God started using him to break down all the misconceptions I had about a relationship with God. We married in May of 2002, and God continued placing friends and co-workers in my life who testified to me about His love and not His judgement. But I still would not surrender all my control to God. I had so much hope in MY way, MY plans, MY abilities, and I was unwilling to surrender it. I was a control freak. I was afraid of being vulnerable.

But in January of 2003, my husband walked out on me. He couldn't take the pressure anymore. I expected him to be my everything. I had placed him in a relational pressure cooker. I needed him to make me happy, read my mind, and meet all my emotional needs. I wanted him to be "the man" in our relationship, yet I wanted him to be at my beck and call. Ronnie couldn't convince me he loved me because I didn't love myself. I felt so unworthy of love. My insecurity was too much for him. He couldn't take it, and he left.

That was the night I hit my knees and told God, "my way" wasn't working. I was tired of doing it my way. I was tired of depending on other people to fill me up. I was tired of always wanting and needing more. I was tired of the restlessness. I was tired of the emptiness. I was tired of being a victim to the circumstances in my life. I hit my knees and told God to take it all. I surrendered it all to Him. That was the moment I was born-again. That was the moment I experience the Living God.

See, I had always known Jesus died for my sins, but that night I allowed Him to become Lord of my life. You see, Dan, God knows EVERYTHING. He created me. He knit me together in my mother's womb. He watched me make every disgusting mistake in my life. He has heard my ugly thoughts. He knows every fear,

AND HE STILL LOVES ME.

He loves me so much, He would have sent His only Son to die, even if I was the only one who needed saving.

That is REAL LOVE, Unconditional Love!

The exciting thing I want to tell you, Dan, is He loves you that much too!!! Your question on this blog was not a coincidence. God is whooing you. He is calling you into a relationship with Him. It has nothing to do with being good. God, the Father, sent His Son to die for us when we were all covered in sin. Jesus, who is all powerful, took on human flesh. He was beaten and spit on by the very children He came to save. He didn't do it so we could have a religion or to force us to be good. He did it all because He desires a loving relationship with us. He desires a relationship with YOU!

The day I surrendered the hope I had in "my way" and "my ability" and placed it all in Him, I experienced true WHOLENESS for the first time in my life. Now I know the emptiness in my life was my "God spot" aching to be filled. He filled it with true lasting peace, real joy, sweet rest, and LOVE. I can't explain it logically because faith cannot be explained to our mind. Faith is confirmed in our spirit. But, I can tell you, Dan, God is real.

I have experienced Him.

HE IS ALIVE.

I am fulfilled by His love everyday. My hope in Him is not a wish, but an expectation. He has always comes through. Yes, I still have hard times because I live in a fallen world, but I've never hit rock bottom since the day I gave it to Him because His love shields me. His compassion never fails.

HE IS ENOUGH FOR ME.

His grace and salvation are free and do not hinge on my behavior or performance. Thank God, because I miss the mark daily. My love for Jesus is not about religion, being good, going to church, or staying out of hell. My love for Jesus comes from His AMAZING love for me.

He has freed me to be the person I was created to be.

At times, He was all I had. He has never left me. He has never quit loving me. HIS unconditional love has led to me into security and wholeness like the I have never known. He has redeemed my marriage, restored broken relationships in my life, wiped away every trace of guilt from my past, and taken away fears. I cannot stop praising His Name because He never stops amazing me.

I want to apologize to you, Dan, for every Christian who has hurt you and judged you. I apologize for every time we, as children of God, have acted in ways that do not reflect the One True God. God is LOVE, and sometimes Christians act very unlovely. Please don't let our imperfections and our failures to love like Jesus make you doubt that God is real.

If you have more questions about God, please click HERE.

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to email me at
mommy10_19_04@yahoo.com

Readers, if you would like to leave a word of encouragement for Dan or other viewers, I urge you to leave a comment about what God has done in your life.

6 comments:

Andrea said...

Blessings and prayers,
andrea

HappyascanB said...

Beautiful answer, Dawn! Honest, pure and true!

Barbie said...

WOW, this is really good and I pray it spoke volumes to Dan's spirit!

docespi said...

Hi, it's true. No matter how bad we are, God is good all the time.

Carrie Cooper said...

Carrie @ comfortedbyGod.blogspot.com

Dan--You asked a great, honest and difficult question. The root of your question is one of GOODNESS, "Cant they just be good people in their own eyes and not need a higher power..." Like most people, we tend to compare ourselves with other people. Like, "Im a good person because I havent murdered anyone or stolen anything." However, what most of us miss in the equation is that we shouldnt compare ourselves to other humans, but to God.

Lets just assume for the sake of argument that God exists. Just like your cell phone has a creator and didnt just magically assemble itself, you have a Creator (please check out the statistical probability for proteins to randomly join in such a perfect way to exactly create an eye or ear, much less an entire human being).

So, knowing you have a Creator, there is automatically accountability to that Creator. What does He want from me? Why did He create me? God answers those questions in the Bible. He provides standards of holiness that we use to compare ourselves to HIM (not to other people). When we do that we realize we really arent that good of a person because God is PERFECT and we arent. When we finally come to that conclusion we come to God with humility and confession, admitting that we cant be perfect, that we need His help.

God "helps" us in his son, Jesus Christ. By living a perfect life and fulfilling all of Gods standards of holiness, dying on the cross (instead of YOU paying for your sins, Jesus paid the penalty for you), and raising from the dead (conquering death).


When you realize your sinfulness, confess those sins to God, and confess Jesus as the new Boss of your life (Savior and Lord), THEN you have been given a new life in Christ. Thats where the undying love for Jesus comes from--because we realize that without Him, we will have to pay for our sins on our own. I cant pay that debt, can you?

I hope with all of my heart that made sense. Please feel free to stop by my blog if you have more questions.

lexi13 said...

This made me smile! :) very amazing. We do have an AMAZING GOD.

 

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