WholeHeartedly

Both me and Chris had a lengthy conversation about life last night when neither of us could sleep at 2 am. With the cleaning done and our home becoming more and more cozy, I am beginning to see Christ in the move. As you know, if you’ve read my blog for the last week, I have been a mess about the move. We left a group we had been with for a few years and once we did only a few still spoke to us. It confirmed we made the right decision, but it shattered my view of Christ for a while. And then we get to Missouri and had this giant fixer upper of a home to clean, on top of learning the new homeschool laws, stat. But, the cool thing is, Chris is around all the time.

We are having long talks and eating meals together and becoming a team when it’s time to tackle home projects. My children went from being completely unbearable, to being manageable. My oldest has fallen in love with learning again, my middle child is speaking sounds he hasn’t made since his DTaP vaccine when he was 2 (seriously, he made the “k” sound yesterday!!!), and my youngest is learning discipline due to having Chris being home to back me up. We are learning the Person of Christ together as my children didn’t know Him all that much. And although I miss Florida for so many reasons, I see that this was the best, healthiest thing we could have done. Being comfortable where we were, disjointed as a family, constantly having to work on a marriage that was non-existent because hubby was pulled in a million directions the few times he was home, joining a gym simply because I was drowning in single motherhood during the week, all for the sake of comfort-ability, was killing our family. We were so comfortable with our people, with our town, and with our routine… giving up my trusty old Cherokee and my gym membership both brought me to tears. That gym membership was used by Christ to fight depression, to help me work out anger, to give me a break, and to remind me that I am a person as well as a mother. I miss it, but I have found a new life in the midwest.

There was a small period of time, when Chris was in the ICU after his TBI. It was the first two weeks when we didn’t know if he would live or die. The worst thing that could have happened, Dr Hanal said, was vaso spasms. We needed to watch out for those. Well, it happened, 2 weeks out. On top of that, horrible things were being said by the press and local media. News reporters were calling the hospital room because the crooked cop who was involved spun the story his own way to make himself the big man at the station. He made the most awful time in my life even harder. All of the circumstances surrounding the event made it a very bad time. It was during this period of time that I doubted Christ. It was the first time since meeting the Lord when I was 17 that I had begun to turn away from Him because I didn’t think He was real. My situation was so intense and I needed peace, I needed Him. I contemplated turning to Buddhism because I found their philosophy to be very full of peace and love and I needed something bad. I remember telling my Mom during all of this that I was thinking about leaving Christianity and taking on the Zen philosophy of Buddha. My Mom, who is not a Christian, per se’, told me not to make a huge decision like this right now. She told me to wait until this all calmed down, and then decide. Coming from her, I knew it was a smart move.

Well, many don’t know this, except maybe my husband. But, a few months ago I began to go to that same place. I couldn’t see Christ. I began buying books on Reiki and Buddhism and learning about things of the Zen nature. I wondered how Christ could bring me to this place of being so alone all the time. I loved my friends and Sisters in Christ, but I could see that my spiritual life was beginning to slowly change and take another form and I thought there was something wrong with that. I thought that I was bad and so I began to seek out peace in other places. I had not denounced Christ or anything, I just began reading about other paths. What I didn’t understand was that, just like in the hospital years ago, Christ was changing the fabric of my being to be more like Him. And it can be lonely and confusing and feel like abandonment, but all He is doing is changing me. Had I resisted, had I stayed in that place and pretended on the outside that I was growing in Christ when really I was seeking other things, I may have left Him. I was getting close.

There was one small, and I mean very small, thing that happened in Florida and it woke me up. It was time to move on. It was time to stop pretending I was somebody I was not. We are all on a journey and we don’t all stay at the same place forever. There was a time that I was in one accord with my church folk, but in complete disharmony with my husband, my parents, and my children. But the Lord needed me there. It was a necessary part of my journey and He knew that as long as I believed and felt the same as my church family, I would never leave. It was Him that began to change and grow me and it wasn’t so that I would seek out religion. He did it so I would recognize Him in the move and all the other huge changes in my life I needed to make. It was time to be a family with my husband and children.

What I had was beautiful, and it was a perfect place. When Christ revealed Himself to me and stripped away religion, I can’t begin to describe how glorious it was. And through Him I found healing in truth. Christ is in all and He can be found in many groups meeting all over the world. I was a part of one amazing group recently, and another when I was younger, the years I first came to know my Lord. The two groups looked completely different from each other. Sometimes it’s time to move on and those who aren’t moving on can understand that and continue to stay connected through Christ, or believe that I am making the wrong decision and cut me off. When it is Christ that binds us, there is no judgement of my motives or why I moved or why I needed to be a family with my husband.

Last night when Chris and me were talking we noticed how much the Lord had began to make Himself visible and known to us again. There was no longer nothingness. We didn’t need to do any rituals or say any memory verses, He just filled our hearts and our home. My children and I have our time with the Lord almost each morning. Sometimes we sing, sometimes we memorize a verse, if it’s something they would like to do, or sometimes we just talk about Him. And as I do these things I am aware of the fork in the road I faced not long ago. I could have stayed and chose other things, or I could have turned to Him and allowed Him to have His way no matter what it looked like or how scary it seemed.

For a long time I have been nervous about writing this. I didn’t want anyone to know about the types of books I was reading or how I felt. Now that I am here and comfortable that all truth said in love is safe, I can let it out. Only a few people have showed love, tenderness, or acknowledgement once we announced we were moving, so I don’t know why I was worried they would even care about what I wrote or expect that they would even read what I write. It’s been an out of sight/group… out of mind type of deal for us. And I believe the Lord is in that too. Had we been showered with love and good-byes by more than the 6 people who came to say good bye, we might not have been able to leave. I am okay with knowing that some are not good at good byes, others are don’t agree with our decision, and others simply just couldn’t show up, even after saying they would. I get it, and I’ve done the same thing. I hope everyone reading this will understand that not everyone will agree with what you do, but as long as you are turning inwardly to Christ and are not harboring anger or ill will in your decisions, you are free. Even those who are gurus and higher ups will say one thing and do another. I’ve read blogs in which the author will make rules for everyone else, yet break them all. That’s when I stopped looking to everyone else to tell me how to love Christ, how to blog, or how to live my life. Chris and I loved saying that last night… we are free.

Thank you for reading. This blog has been a long time coming and I am finally at a place in which I could write it with nothing but love and peace, in Christ and only Christ.

Love,

Jackie

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3 thoughts on “WholeHeartedly

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey. I just want to share one thing with you that I have learned and that is to set people free from expectations. I mean think of it If I had expected Chris or you to contact us when after we moved on then I could feel rejected or disappointed but I don’t expect that because we must be led by the life of Christ and it become confusing when we superimpose our expectations upon others or even ourselves for that matter. I know my biggest struggle is all of the expectations I put on myself but that is for another time. Truthfully I have only been in contact with a few a couple of times since we left and it has been a while but I bless them and love them with all my heart. I have no expectation for anyone to do anything concerning me and therefore I am free from both the feeling of rejection and from the need to judge or figure out why. Just be and let be and be thankful for the times when the Lord works in our lives through others and when he doesn’t. You are in Him and that will never change regardless of how you feel at the time. But I am very encouraged that you continue to turn to Christ and exalt Him it truly speaks of His life in you and I am blessed by it.
    Take care sister.

    • Thank you for taking the time to write such a beautiful reply. I probably should have specified that we did things a little unconventionally by leaving our church about 2 months before we moved. When we found out we were moving half way across the country, there were many people I would have driven 3 hours away, becayse that’s how far they lived, to see one last time, yet they never returned my calls. Some of my biggest hurts came from flesh and blood, not necessarily the Body of Christ. I hope I was able to convey that my time with the Church was one of the two most amazing times of my life. Honestly, I didn’t even think anyone from the Church even read my blog because I truly let go of expectations and released anyone from “having” to do anything to and for me. We let go of expectations when we left, and I was able to let go of any lingering hostility, mostly because of how busy we’ve been with the house. I have to admit there were a few chilly moments, but when I write how I got over them, I get many great responses from people all over the world, seriously, about how they enjoy reading how I get through it. Because Chris and I were not in the Church for months before we left we got used to the chilly responses, for lack of a better word. I have never harbored resentment, hopefully, but only God knows my heart. At the same time, leaving Florida was one of the big days of my life and this has been a blog I needed to write. Had I wrote that everything was different, then my feelings wouldn’t make sense. I do not expect anyone to keep in touch with me now that we have moved. We went through the grieving and leaving process a month before we even left, it was so painful and I only wrote one blog about it the whole time. Hopefully this did not come off as a blog about how a wish the current members of any church would call me, because I don’t call them either. I always, always enjoy reading your writing Seth and I respect every word you have ever said or write. I am glad you were able to read that Christ is who I turn to these days and not anything else. I hope the Misses and the boys are well. Love you all, Jackie

  2. Thanks for your reply and clarification. As I am reminded everyday I don’t know all the facts and my perspective is limited. But at least you got the heart of what I was saying and you know hopefully know that I care deeply for you and Chris and the boys. One of those things you get when being built together with other saints no matter how much time or space is between us when we see each other or interact we are instantly on a deep relational level that can only come from Christ. Continue to write and be who you are.

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