Okay, this may seem like the most ridiculous way of explaining how I feel, but week after week I leave church feeling like I’ve been hit by a truck. Weird explanation, I know. Yet, it’s so true. Each and every week I leave my Church feeling so convicted and hopeful. I seriously have NEVER been to a Church like this- it’s AMAZING! I swore to myself when I became a Christian that I would never, ever, ever, EVERRRR  say this, because it sounds so F-ing ridiculous butttt… Jesus is my drug. Oh my God, someone please plan an intervention for me… I sound crazy. But really, he is.. and for the first time in my life I’m actually feeling God, experiencing God, and hearing God. Unless you’ve had this experience, there’s no way to explain it. All I can say is it leaves me wanting more and more and more. I simply cannot get enough.

Now, after saying all of that, to be completely honest if I had truly known what saying “yes” to Jesus would entail… I’m not quite sure I would have taken this path.  Sometimes I really miss the innocence of not knowing and not understanding. However, now that my faith has real sustainability and depth, there’s no way I could go back to my “old” life.  Ignorantly, when I first became a Christian I thought my life would get so much easier. Gosh, I was completely wrong and I finally realized that sometimes God has to keep breaking you down until you get it. I’m stubborn, so I had to learn hard lessons 10 or 11 times- actually probably wayyy more than that.  It takes awhile for things to click with me. Anywho, my time in Charleston had to be one of the craziest, happiest, deepest depression, yet most joyful time of my life. I think only Jesus could do all that at once to someone. I mean he really has to set you free from years and years of false worldly information- that’s hard to do. Yet, at the same time he’s setting you free from addiction, depression and any negative view you once had of yourself. Letting God in is the most freeing, scariest experience a person could ever have.

I remember hearing the most amazing Sermon, by an African-American preacher on 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. First off, I just wanna say how much I love black preachers!!! Seriously, someone needs to come to Maine and plant a Church here. The Gospel music that they sing is AMAZING and they’re passion and excitement for the Lord is like none other. Anywho, a little off topic…

2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

How awesome is this verse? I wish I had a link to this sermon, because I remember listening to it in the car and I just starting bawling. It took awhile for me to understand and realize that being obedient to God, does not necessarily mean that things will get easier. I think that is the Americanized version of faith. We want to think of Christianity as a feel good, make your life easier resource. But, I don’t chose to love Jesus in hopes that he will give me something back or that he will make my life better. In fact, I’ve learned that sometimes the very mercy and gift of God is to let us stay in that state of hurt. Even in this verse God did not remove Paul’s physical pain. It had nothing to do with Paul’s obedience, yet this allowed him to be reminded again that he is not strong in his own abilities. Being weak allows us to fully rely and put our entire trust into God. Being weak allows him to fill us with His Power, His strength, His guidance, His wisdom… being weak brings you to that place where you can truly experience God. It’s an experience that no human, no drug, drink or thrill could give you. This is why I delight in my weaknesses, because I know he is faithful. He will meet me right before I’m about to go under. And when I’m there, when I’m in that awful place, I can finally let go of trying to constantly do it all on my own and let him in. Freaking AMAZING.

The sermon at Church today was about how we all try to conform Jesus into our story, rather than letting Jesus conform us to His story. Mark 1: 16-17… As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” It’s when we follow him that we truly find purpose and contentment. When I think about all the time I’ve wasted trying to be what I couldn’t or shouldn’t have been. Trying to put my identity in the places that God did not intend for me, it’s crazy. I wasted so much time, so much energy. We are His workmanship. He filled my heart with certain desires for a specific reason and purpose. It’s so hard to accept that sometimes he leads us to where we don’t want to go and yet we still have to follow. Trusting that it will all work out is so hard and sometimes finding faith is so hard for me. But for some reason every time I’m in doubt, or question, and try to find a loophole in Christianity… I cannot. Jesus either had to be the biggest con-artist in history to get people to trust in him, to sell their belongings and follow him, to be persecuted, crucified in the name of faith…. or it has to be true.