So this week’s blog hop topic is about the moment I finally surrendered my heart to God/Christ. First some background and then the story although some of you have already heard it. I grew up in the Methodist church going periodically with my family, went through confirmation class and believed in God but never really felt a personal relationship with him. As I got older, my mother and eventually my father became more and more active in the church with my mom eventually becoming an employee for the church. As a young adult, I watched my mom struggle with some of the politics that go on behind the scenes of a church but still I attended and went through the motions. When my parents moved to Florida for my dad’s work I continued to teach 3rd grade Sunday School but I did not go to the services, I believed in teaching children about God and the Bible but was discouraged by the Church itself. Then as I listened to what the children would say their parents had said or done in private, how the examples they were providing were far from what they were being taught was right that one day a week at Sunday School, it hardened my heart even more. When the school year ended, I stopped going completely.
However when it was time to get married, I went back to the church. My husband ONLY agreed to a church wedding to please me and our families. He reluctantly went to the mandatory counseling sessions. These sessions were nothing about us or a Christian marriage though. They honestly were nothing more then ramblings of a bitter, unhappy man. I could not put my finger on it then but something was just not right. But still we went on. Two weeks after the wedding, the pastor was gone. It had become known that he was having an affair with a married church member and the congregation had asked for him to be transferred. Yes, it was disappointing and discouraging for this man to have betrayed the trust he’d been given and to commit adultery. But where was the forgiveness. How can we profess to follow in Christ’s example of love and forgiveness and cast each other out completely so easily?
So five years later I wasn’t going to church except maybe on Easter and Christmas. I was not interested in bringing up my daughter in any sort of organized religion. I believed in the existence of a God but that was it. I was doing it all on my own and I was doing a terrible job. I was unhappy, stressed out, 80 lbs overweight, and hiding a lot of negatives from everyone I could except my husband who could do nothing right.
Then one day, Hannah was getting ready to start Kindergarten. A note had come in the mail for a meeting at the school with parents to meet the teachers, etc. at 12 pm on a work day. I went to my boss a couple days ahead of time and told her I would need to take a long lunch that day and why. She informed me that it was not acceptable for me to leave, that it was unfair to my coworkers for me to take a long lunch at the beginning of the month when we were the busiest. I worked in an accounting office with two other people. As long as the work got done within the week, there was no crisis. If anyone else had asked, she would have let them leave for the two hours. But because I was “above” the other two, I was required to be perfect. I’d actually been told that “in your position, you aren’t allowed to make mistakes”. It wasn’t brain surgery, not life or death work. Do you know what happens when someone tells you to not make mistakes? It becomes utterly impossible.
This refusal to let me leave for Kindergarten orientation was just not acceptable to me. The day of the event, I scanned the note that read “mandatory” parent orientation and emailed it to my boss with a message that I would be back in a couple of hours. After receiving an immediate reply that she needed to see me as soon as I returned, I left. But on that thirty minute drive out of Raleigh to Clayton where my daughter’s elementary school was, I prayed nonstop. For the first time in years, I prayed. I let go of it all – whatever was going to happen would happen. But I let go of control and gave it all to God and never looked back. I was left with peace, utter peace. I did what I had to do as a mother and I went back to work. I went to my boss’ office expecting to get fired and she was overly sweet. Said she just wanted to check in with me. I still don’t know what happened on her end that day. If she realized she was in the wrong or if she went to the managing partner of the law firm and spelled out her case and was told to drop it. I have no idea. She did eventually fire me but that’s a story for another day.
Even when you experience the things that you think would be the worst things that could every happen to you, God is there. When people let you down and they will because NOBODY IS PERFECT, God is there. When you think that you can not have a personal relationship with God cause it’s just not for you, God is there, all you have to do is talk to him. When you do not think you can find it in your heart to forgive or see the good in people, God is there, ask Him to show you and He will. When you can not see the good in yourself, God is there, ask Him to show you how He sees you and He will.