A little over two years ago, I was working out at a gym that happens to be run by a church. After I had gotten done working out I was leaving the facility and a man was behind me attempting to get my attention. Eventually, I realized what was going on and stopped and turned and waited to see what this man had to say. I had no idea who he was.
The man hesitated, I could tell he was thinking about his words. After he spoke, I understood why. He started out by telling me his name (which I don’t remember) and by prefacing what he was about to say with a “I promise, I’m not a weirdo, I know you don’t know me but I feel there is something I need to tell you”.
Well….obviously that got my attention. Again he hesitated but I tried to give him the best, most welcoming face for him to share what was on his mind, all the while in the back of my mind I was thinking “is this for real? What is about to come out of his mouth????”.
I cannot remember the exact words, but basically, this man said that God wanted him to share something, something I needed to hear. He stated that God had given him this image, and he didn’t know if it would make sense to me, but God told him to tell me so that is what he was doing. He said the image was of a field, or a pasture, and it was dead and dry. The man said that he didn’t know what I was going through but God told him to tell me that the field would bloom again. There would be life. And he imagined a field full of green grass and flowers. By this time, I knew this guy wasn’t a weirdo. He was just trying to be obedient and follow through with what God had laid on his heart. I thanked him, and we parted ways. I haven’t ever seen him again.
His words had a dramatic impact on me. I didn’t really know what it meant at the time, except that I very much felt like the analogy this man gave to me. We were in transition with churches, not sure where we were going to end up. I had faith questions that just seemed to be growing instead of being resolved. For the past few years I have been on a journey to faith. Real faith. I grew up in a very black and white faith existence, with a warped kind of theology. Then I moved on to a more open denomination (I thought) and it took me 20 years to realize that there is just as much bondage and legalism in this denomination than in the one I grew up in (but much less warped). Things were revealed to me that were no longer black and white. My questions got bigger. If there is no black and white answer to this scenario, then what about all the other stuff I have been believing, what is real? What am I to believe? In my search, the thing that I am reminded about the most is we don’t have all the answers and we never will. That’s a part of faith that I am growing to know. My questions don’t make God smaller…it makes Him much, much bigger.
Through it all, I have never given up on God, who He is, and who Jesus is; the sacrifice that was given to save the world. My view of Jesus has gotten bigger. We tend to make God small in so many ways with our rules and regulations, with our rigidity. With certain theology. I am just sick of it.
So in this journey to search and find out exactly what my faith stands on, I knew that, and was encouraged by others, to share this journey with you. I am going to be real. I am going to be honest. I have questions. It’s like my foundation all these years was built on lies. Yes, lies, albeit with good intentions. It started out with alcohol, then it moved on to women’s role in church. Actually, it started out with culottes, dresses to the middle of the knee and never going to movies or listening to secular music or even contemporary christian music…but that is for another blog post! I have questions about hell. I have questions about other faiths. I have serious questions about evangelism (gasp). What is “preaching the gospel” really about? What does that look like?
Because of these questions, this sometimes makes my faith and spirituality complicated. What I’ve learned is that God is not only in the big, emotional transformation, He in the quiet places, too. It’s difficult to get used to. So now, I’m searching for how to find God again. It’s like I am starting all over again.
Thankfully, I am not alone in this journey. We are in an amazing church now, affirming of my questions for the very first time. I don’t feel like a heretic because they share some of the same beliefs I do, especially about women’s role in marriage and in the church, something I have been extremely passionate about since early adulthood. But also, they don’t tell me what to believe. Don’t get me wrong, there is a strong foundation. They tell me to read the Bible, they give godly wisdom and direction but they don’t tell me what to do and what to believe. That is what the Holy Spirit is for. Imagine that. I have felt that so much the past few years, that the Holy Spirit is there to lead, guide and direct. We don’t have to agree on everything. They don’t use the Bible as a tool to control or guide me into thinking that something is biblical and that is the only way to view it because that is how God designed it (women’s role in marriage for one).
My pasture is still not blooming. In fact it is still rather dry and bare. It’s hard to believe that it will bloom again. I feel like the things that I have been taught spiritually, I am having to strip down and examine as if I had not been raised in the church. Kind of like a dry, barren pature. That’s why I called this blog Wildflower faith. I’m waiting on my field to grow and bloom again.
I could go on and on and I will….in later posts. There are lots of things to talk about. I’m glad you found your way here.