It was confusing…still believing in the ideal of being a “good Baptist girl” who followed her perfect husband into “full-time Christian service,” yet realizing that not only was it probably never going to happen, but that I wasn’t sure if I even wanted that life anymore.
Healing didn’t happen overnight, and there were so many moments – moments like the summer of 2006 – that were pauses on the journey where I simply held onto faith in God’s plan.
What happened that evening in our home opened up a whole new world for me. I spent hours downloading music, checking out CDs from the library, and just laying in bed listening to secular music as I cried, felt the pain of loss, grieved, and healed.
What my first year of college taught me is that perfection – whether in your spiritual life or academic – is not possible, no matter how hard you try. That’s why we need Jesus. That’s why we need grace.
Growing up without a TV, never going to the movies, being terrified (literally) of rock music, and only having friends at my church – I lived in a clean, sterile little bubble of Christian goodness. It was safe, floating above the world – because I couldn’t touch them and they couldn’t touch me.
But I urge you, Christian who has been hurt by legalism:
Don’t give up on God. Hold onto faith.
Have you ever had your heart broken by a relationship gone wrong or a dream unfulfilled? Have you ever found yourself trying to find the answers to the blame game? Have you ever “done everything right” and still had it all go wrong?
I was standing in an empty dormitory room, the one right across from mine. It had been empty for the entire semester, but now it was where I was hiding all of my things that I was packing in boxes to mail home.
I was leaving, but I didn’t want anyone to know.
A war had been started within my soul. Part of me that believed that their opinion of me was also God’s opinion: that I really was a rebellious person if I didn’t follow their rules. But part that knew that there was a much bigger picture than that, that God cared more about me and my heart than how closely I followed a set of rules. The fight raged between these two ideas within me for several years to come.
After some prayerful consideration of the objective and direction of this series, I feel that it is necessary to share what I mean when I use the term “legalism.”
When I was living a legalistic lifestyle, I never would have called myself legalistic.
I was driving with a new friend back from the park, and we were discussing our religious backgrounds and some of the standards that we used to follow when we were growing up. We hit on the topic of dress and modestly very briefly, and when I shared with her the strict standards I held … [Read more…]
For four years of marriage, I based how good of a wife I was on my performance. …I stopped singing and shook my head at the irony, as I realized that this problem I have extended far beyond just my marriage. It originated in a faulty view of God that I had believed since childhood.
The more that I love and serve God, the more He’s going to love and accept me.
This morning my son woke up at 5:45, but was scared to enter the hallway because the hall night-light was broken. He crawled back in bed and went to sleep. Unfortunately for me, I have a touch of a cold and cough and as much as I wanted to go back to sleep, all I could … [Read more…]
2012 What a year! That’s the only way I can think to start this post. I had no idea what I was getting into at the beginning of last year. All I knew is that my husband was finally coming home for good and that I was worried about things like reintegration and putting our … [Read more…]
Celebrating the birth of Christ this year has been not only a natural response, but the ONLY response I possibly could have to God after all He’s done for me this year.