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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Saturday, March 21, 2009

renew and restore

Hard to know how to put things into words here. I just read jonathan brinks blog posts about dealing with porn within the Church. I have addressed my own struggle on here along the way. Jonathan really touches on some very important aspects which hopefully will bring solid dialogue and fruitful ministry to those who need it.

What hit me so hard in reading his posts was the struggle in the heart. Sex-related issues,especially inside christian circles, can be so behavior-based. Really is a far deeper struggle than behavior, that is really the tip of the iceberg. My struggles with fear are tied in to my struggles with sex i think and have thought so a long time. For a wide variety of reasons, some i have no ability to spell out and others that have just been like building blocks one on top of another, I have felt as though God were a combination of disappoinment,anger and disinterest towards me, and i must stress, this is at an emotional/;experiential level!!!! I have known and believed in my mind the truth of who He is from what the Bible reveals Him to be. My experience of my father dying,various rejections and ridicule from people over time have left those impressions and beliefs inside my core.

I am the hardest on myself, always have been. I have always had a soft heart and been very easygoing, although with an intensity deep inside. I love to make people laugh and feel good and be encouraged, and seek to be this way with anyone. I torture myself inwardly though for times when I needed to be assertive or bold,display more mental toughness and courage and just didn't or convinced myself i couldn't. I have had so many incredible convos with people I met by blogging who have helped so much and are helping me as i seek to grow and transform steadily. It is just hard as I feel i am hitting places where i need to be so vulnerable in ways I have but still held back just enough.

A big thing for me is that I know all the language of dealing with things and know how to reach out and seek for help and guidance, but i still don't know how to simply integrate that into constant action. Internally that is. How to let go of the constant torrents of fear and shane that war inside my mind and let love grace peace take charge instead. Again it is complicated because i know the right answers, i know all about WHAT and WHY I just need to put into practice HOW. I am sorry if this comes out a lil jumbled or anything, just wanting to put into focus what it is going on inside and make it sensible and a springboard to move upward and forward. More as I can.


At 1:45 AM, Anonymous mariam said...

When I first was considering becoming a Christian a few years ago I was discussing with my priest the picture of God in my mind- you know the cruel and wrathful Old Testament guy before whom we can never get anything right, and she asked "when you pray, how do you address God?" I said, "well, Father in Heaven" just like I did everyday when I was a little heathen forced to say the Lord's Prayer at school. Then she asked, "What was your relationship with your Father like?" and I said "he was a pretty tough guy to live with and he was pretty hard on me." She said, "I think you need to find a new metaphor for God".

Your father died when you were young. That feels like abandonment. It leaves a vacuum and, often in young children, an irrational sense of guilt and shame. If you use a father as a metaphor for God it may remind you of your father, your sense of abandonment and shame. Maybe you need a new metaphor.

As it turns out I continue to use a loving parent as a metaphor for God (I still pray "Heavenly Father", but my parent God is mother and father, unconditionally loving but also urging me to try harder.

God does not expect perfection from us, just that we continue to walk with him, stumbling along and reaching for him. God is very big- too big to be surprised and hurt by our selfishness and mistakes. But He does want us to keep trying.

Remember that you are created in God's image. God put a piece of Himself in you and it is your duty to love and nurture yourself as part of loving God. Christ is the alpha and omega, the plan for humanity and the realization of our full humanity. Christ gives us hope because he was fully human and yet was able to be fully God. Are we going to ever reach that state of perfection? Not in this lifetime, but God has all of eternity to work on us.


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