Do you ever wonder what your purpose is in life? Where are you suppose to go? Who are you suppose to be? What is the one thing that will set you free? Yeah…me too. I have been down that ever winding path in my head a million times and a million times I come up empty. So, I set out again seeking out the one thing that can give me purpose and set me free.
I was in a very dark place in my own life about a month ago. I’m not talking about dark as in the dark of night. It is more like a dark place of loneliness, pain, anger, bitterness, frustration and more adjectives I could entertain you with but you get the point. Have you ever seen someone make cotton candy? Its a big bucket of all this light weight, cotton like stuff that is all over the place. They swirl that stick around in the tank, in perfect uniform carefully placing it on that long stick that makes it look so perfectly put together. Once it is done, they take it and hand it to you all nicely placed together with your eyes filled with joy as you start to enjoy what was once a mess. It isn’t long that you cant take anymore. Your stomach hurts or its just too much and you have had enough.
I was like cotton candy. I have all these emotions on the inside but each day as long as I could remember, I would put on my pretty clothes, do my makeup, fix my hair, swirl it all around in front of a mirror and then I added a smile! Sounds pretty clever, looked pretty good but like that cotton candy…at the end of the day….I didn’t feel so well. I kept saying I have had enough…… enough of keeping all this buried deep inside me….I was screaming ‘ENOUGH!!’ but I was screaming it on the inside.
Running from yourself only ends up being chased by yourself. Yes, that sounds ridiculous but its true. You cant outrun your past or anything about it. So what do you do? If you had of asked me this a long time ago…I would have said run harder! The only problem with that is if you run harder, you are chased harder. Its a no win situation.
Some time back (about 5 years ago) I met this woman and her name is Anna Giles. Her husband Jarrad was (and still is) a youth leader at our church, Southbridge Fellowship. I never knew when I met them what an important part of mine and my kids lives they would become. We became friends, we shared stories, they invited us into their home with their beautiful little ones and a bond started to form. There was only one thing with that bond or at least I felt there was. I did not feel I belonged because while I was a Christian, I believe in God….I just wasn’t a ‘Good Christian’. When I looked at them, I thought they were what I called ‘Exceptional Christian’s’. I kept a barrier there…for a long time. No matter what they did for me and my kids, I kept it there for my own self protection.
As time has passed by, the Giles have been a very consistent part of our lives even though I did not realize just how fortunate I was to have two, loving people who not only had their own family to love but had enough love to share with me and my family.
When I went through a recent circumstance, I was feeling very alone. I was so sad and broken on the inside. Only one person recognized this in me and could pull it out of me and that was my friend Anna…you know the one I was just talking about. The one I had put a barrier between she and I because I felt I was not worthy of such a good person’s kindness and love. The one whom I said hurtful things to but she still showed me friendship and forgiveness.
I visited her one day and upon prior to me leaving, she sat down beside me, gave me a bible and said ‘I want you to read the book of John with me’. I could feel myself cringe at the thought of having to read the bible. Yes, I am a Christian and I just said that. Big deal? I don’t think so. I don’t like to read…but I like to write. Weird. Anyway, I accepted the challenge and that is exactly what I thought this was..a challenge. I was so forthcoming to my friend about this challenge but she knew my heart was heavy. I was so tired of hurting and I wanted a relationship with God. She was going to help guide me to find it….but it would come on God’s time.
Now, some of you may read this and shrug your shoulders. Some may think I have fell off the wagon because I believe in God. Others of you may be singing Hallejuaha but whatever you are doing..I encourage you to keep reading. I brought that bible home and oh good Lord was I so not interested in reading. I had to make myself pick it up!! When I started with the book of John, Chapter 1 I become intrigued. I didn’t know why Anna chose that particular book so I asked and she said it was about how Jesus reveals himself. Yeah, I didn’t get the entire Jesus/God/Spirit stuff…..and I AM a Christian. How could I not get it? Simple. I had never tried.
Anna challenged me and it has been a great challenge for me. I have taken new avenues in my life. I have admitted my guilt, my sins, my frustration and so much more. I am now working on my relationship with God. Is it freeing? Somewhat. Each day is a struggle. I am not going to lie about that one. Nothing miraculous has happened to me. Nothing fell out of the sky, I heard no angels singing or anything like that. What I did feel though is a sense of peace. PEACE!! It was not usually a word in my vocabulary unless I was being cheesy with my kids and even then…they ask me to stop. Haha!
I am still Christian Dew. The one who is funny, loving, compassionate, loves Coldplay, my music, the beach, dancing, having a good time with good people and wants to love everyone and I do!! There are some people in life who have hurt me and I still love them because that is what we are suppose to do. That is what God wants us to do. In the book of John, it talks of how Jesus KNEW he was going to be betrayed and killed. He KNEW exactly who this was and yet he still had dinner with them and he washed their feet. I was reading this and I was like ‘seriously Jesus..do you not understand they want to kill you? Why would you wash their feet? Have dinner with them?’ Then it is revealed in the same chapter that Jesus says we are to be Christ like and Christ loves us no matter what. Whoaaa….he what? Loves us no matter what? Why couldn’t I grasp that? I have told someone I love them no matter what and I meant it and I still love them despite their ‘no matter whats’. Why couldn’t I accept that Jesus loves me like that?
I am a believer. My parents taught me to be, raised me to be and I was saved at the age of 8 years old. It was a long time ago and a lot has happened in my 41 years. So much so that I could write a book. The circumstances that lead me to be where I am now were being so sick that I could have died. I was so scared and I knew that I had gotten by in my life on temporary faith. That is faith that God will just get me through this one thing and I promise to be good, I promise, I promise and I promised….and I broke those every time. The things that God has done for me in these past few months is amazing. My life is not perfect, it is not all figured out, I do not have all the answers and some days I struggle harder than others. The difference this time is that I am willing to admit I cant do this alone. I am willing to say that my life has been broken glass, that I am hurting on the inside and let me tell you, there is no shame in that. It is courage like none other.
I attend church a little more regularly than I use to and I find myself ready to go shortly after getting there, wanting to check my phone or daydreaming. Its real stuff!! It happens because I am not perfect and I am growing in my faith. I am not going to be a Christian who puts on a mask and acts like I am better than everyone. That is not who I am. I think my purpose in life is to understand the things I have been through and to be able to love others who have experienced the same. To show them that just because I am a Christian does not mean that I don’t struggle with pain, anger, lack of understanding things or even old habits. I am human. I thank the Giles for not giving up on me, for loving my kids and for showing me that I do have a purpose and Im glad I do not feel like the making of cotton candy….wooohooo! 😉
Love, hugs & smiles 🙂