In my previous post I quickly generalized what I did this summer. I didn’t go into detail about anything (not a lot of detail I’m going to get into on this extremely public forum) but I thought it deserved one more post.
One of the great things about Kansas City is that it’s home to IHOP.
Home of all pancakes everywhere.
Just kidding! … That wasn’t even remotely funny.
I’m ashamed of myself.
Anyways! IHOP=International House Of Prayer. I’m not going to go into detail of the organization itself but one thing that I do love about them is their 24/7 prayer room. Constant prayer and worship has been happening for the past sixteen years. (Check out what’s happening there right now at www.ihopkc.org/prayerroom/)
Going to Kansas City, I was really excited to be able to spend time in a room filled with other believers diving into the worship and word. The months leading up to the summer were rocky. Great months of my life I wouldn’t trade for anything but filled with lessons learned and opinions and beliefs being discovered. It was a time in my life where I really figured out who I was and what I thought about… well everything. Relationships were tested and made stronger because of that and the most important relationship of all was really put to the test.
Me and the Lord.
My faith is extremely important to me. I definitely would not be here if it weren’t for Jesus. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact it’s the exact opposite of easy. Along with discovering the world comes testing the beliefs I grew up with. I made decisions and figured out my opinions on things with God on the back burner. I would go back to him occasionally to say “sorry that I did that please forgive me” or “God I love you so much but this is how I feel right now” or “Lord please remind me who I am. I need to know” or the ever present “I think I believe this but what do you think”. I always kept him on my mind but at the back, not the front.
I grew, discovered, made mistakes and learned. But I did all those things without growing in the Lord as well. Other things became more important than my relationship with the Lord.
These last couple of months have been such a great time of healing for me and many relationships with people I love. (this process is very much ongoing) I would sit at the far side of the prayer room, explaining in detail what I thought in my journal. I spent days just reminding myself who God is. For a bit I tried to go backwards, back when everything was simple. I tried to revert back to who I was two years ago in God.
But one of the best things I ever could have learned is I didn’t need to do that. I didn’t need to go backwards. What I went through was a blessing and I like the person I became so much more than who I was before. I just had to re learn how to have a relationship with God as I am now. I had to rediscover simple truths. Things that used to be head knowledge were suddenly so much more. Simple things (that aren’t so simple) like God’s grace were suddenly heart knowledge I had never quite understood before. Beliefs I discovered that were extremely important to me did not go away, but became less important than the gospel. Instead of saying “I’m fighting for this cause and only this cause… oh also I love Jesus” I was saying “Jesus is my everything… also I care about this cause.”
I had gone through so much that before I was thinking “I feel so broken but only because I know I should because the bible says I am. Why would I spend time with a god that tells me I’m broken when I could be with people that tell me I’m good and whole.” But then I realized it’s more like “I am innately broken and I cannot escape this fact. God tells me that he wants to make me whole and others want to tell me this simple truth is a lie.” I didn’t like being broken but one thing was a bandaid fix and the other was a life long time of recovery and journey to wholeness.
Now for the obligatory final thought. “Now by no means am I saying I have it all figured out. I’m not all better and I’m not whole and I do not have the gospel perfect. I don’t know everything now. I have not figured out how to live with the best of both worlds (queue Hannah Montana)” but really it’s true. That’s why the cliché is “it’s a journey” not “spend two months in a prayer room and then you’re GOLDEN.”