I had some extra time today* so I went ahead and wrote my first post for the Wesley Blog (see link to the right). This post won't go live until Friday, which is my day to post, but nevertheless. I was rambling near the end, but I started to hit on some things that interested me. I said:
I never thought that being open to God would actually lead to anything. But He snuck up on me, and if I'm being honest, He really freaked me out (but in a good way). Suffice it to say that the intensity of God's love is not a feeling one forgets. I found that I wanted to believe, and even more, I thought that maybe I always had. Over the past two years, my faith has transformed my life in ways more beautiful and wonderful than I could have possibly imagined. I opened the door to God, and He ripped it off its hinges so it could never be closed again. My faith is where my passion is, where my life is, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.
I have a habit of being most honest when I'm least aware of my inner critic. For me (and most people, I guess), that's when I just let 'er rip. I type and type away until I get something good, and that's exactly what happened here. Before this paragraph, I was explaining my faith journey (and my parents') in broad strokes, and then I decided to delve deeper. And I liked what I found.
If you had told fifteen-year-old me that I would one day want to be a pastor--that I would one day call myself religious, even--I would have laughed in your face. I was unsure of what I believed, yes, but I was certain I would never be that into whatever faith I would end up having. It's crazy how much things have changed. Sometimes when I remember I've only been a Christian for two years (it's a surprisingly easy thing to forget), I become embarrassed. I fear people will judge me for wanting to be a pastor, will say I'm too young in my faith. There are plenty of times when I feel like an "infant Christian," as Paul might say, but I know what I believe, and I know what I feel called to do.
My past embarrasses me. Whose doesn't? Okay, maybe really mature people don't cringe when they think about their past actions, but I consider myself at least moderately mature, and I definitely have my fair share of regrets. I'm embarrassed I haven't been a Christian for very long. So what? And? That doesn't magically invalidate the overwhelming love I sometimes feel that I can't quite explain or the sense that I'm called to be a pastor and guide others in their faith the way I've been guided in mine. No one can tell me what I'm supposed to feel or do based on how long I've believed in God.
I still feel embarrassed from time to time, but I'm learning not to. Mine may not be the traditional faith journey, but it's a beautiful, lasting, permanent part of me that I'm proud to have been blessed with.
I'm glad I wrote my Friday post today. Peace be with you.
*"Some" is relative. I really have no time. I was just procrastinating. I still am. Stop it, Cara.