Giving Up

I give up.

I’m packing my bags and shipping out. I’m done with the Christian walk. Tapped out. I surrender to that fact that this takes a lot effort, talent, time, treasure, it takes work. I don’t have the energy nor the strength. I’m done but God’s not done. I want to give up, but God won’t let me just walk away. I have no energy, it’s okay because it means I have rely on God’s strength to lift me up.

God will not give up on me, even if I walk away.  Even if I decide to never to serve Him. Even if I decide to never to go to church again. God will not give up on me. He will always try to pursue me.

If you recently have been battling with the idea of walking away from God, don’t. God will not give up on you. You will go live your life, but there will always be something missing, a God-sized hole that only He can fill. God loves us too much for us to think we can just run away from Him. If you think you can just turn back on your very creator, then you surely don’t know the power of God.

If a child runs away, the parents will take every dollar, every waking minute, every drop of resource they have to find their missing child. God will do the same for you, He will not give up.

Many of us grew up in a going to church, including me. But we turned our back because of bad practices, ungodly ministers, and evil doers. We just didn’t fit and we didn’t think “church” was for us. BUT the thing is faith and Christianity is not about what church you go to, even though, many of were taught that. Being in a relationship with your savior and walking the narrow pathway with him, is the real Christian walk. Not going to church on a  Sunday/Wednesday/ every other day the church doors were open. Community is great, but it can only go so far, especially when the people who you grew up with are not the “Christians” you thought they were.

The “church” I grew up in, was full of people who classify themselves as “Christians” but did not practice it at home. They put on their mask every Sunday and they were “happy”. There was no true testimony, there was no true relationship with our savior.

I found Christ in a middle school auditorium, 15 years after I left the “church” I grew up in. I didn’t think a church that met in a middle school could be an actual church, especially one that did not use the KJV translation.  But this church iginited something inside of me, and allowed me to see Christianity isn’t just about meeting on a Sunday morning. It’s about building a relationship with the one true King, our savior. It’s about building godly relationships with godly people. It’s about serving our God that way Jesus served. It’s about testimony, and sharing the gospel. It’s about walking the narrow pathway with your life and doing God’s will. It’s about forgiveness, grace, and mercy. It’s about LOVE because God is love. It’s admitting that we are not perfect and we need Jesus’s blood to cover us. It’s about giving up your sin and leaving it at the foot of the cross. It’s about picking up your cross daily and following Jesus.

I could keep going, however, compared to what I was taught, ‘Be perfect and fear God because God has all power’, Christianity is so much more.

I cannot walk away from God. I cannot walk away from a savior who voluntarily got up on the cross and died for this sinner who is writing this. Growing in a relationship takes work, it takes time, but I am more than willing to build a deeper relationship with my savior. Christianity isn’t easy, especially this day and age, but I wouldn’t change who I am and who I am becoming for the world.

Hiding Behind a Smile

Growing up in a dysfunctional family was not easy. It’s not easy when you can’t ask for help because your parents are sincerely afraid you will be taken from them by social services. It’s not easy because you were told as a young girl to pretend that everything is okay at home. Pretending especially in church that life at home was butterflies and roses because your parents and family were important members of the church. We couldn’t  be a disgrace to the Bowman name they said. That’s what we were told as kids, or maybe it was just me. Maybe I was the embarrassment  and disgrace to the family.

Regardless, I grew up with idea that I had to be someone different. So I always slapped a smile on my face to hide behind. I put on the mask of pretending that the little girl inside of me wasn’t broken and definitely didn’t need fixing. So walls were formed and chains were anchored.

Every challenge I faced as a teenager and young adult, I figured out how to solve it by myself. I figured out ways to do life alone. But that was just it. I was pretending to have it altogether and yet never ask for help. I never reached out to friends because I didn’t need them. I’ve been there and done it before by myself, why do I need a friend to help me through. No wonder why every one of my “best” friends abandoned me, I was a terrible friend, even though I thought I was the best friend anyone could have. I was so prideful on who I pretended to be, that I lost my true self.

Somewhere underneath the masks and behind the walls, there is a person God created for me to be. As I became a Christian my life changed. Walls that were built up tumbled down, chains were finally let go. But there was a problem; I became vulnerable and as a young girl, I was told never to be vulnerable. At first it was a great feeling of just trying to become myself. But ultimately the walls began to get built up again, chains of my past began to weld themselves back into place. It was were I was comfortable, as much as, I did not want to go back there.

I would say I am not exactly where I was before I became a follower of Jesus. But what I do know is my identity lies in Christ. I cannot dictate who I am, I cannot pretend to be someone I am not because that devalues Christ himself and what he died for.

I am slowly chipping away at the woman God created for me to be. But in order for me to pick up the chisel, I must first lay down my burdens and my sin at the foot of the cross and allow God to his will through me.

Have a little Hope

Hope. What is it exactly. Do we have it? Do you have it? If we do not have hope are we searching for it in the right place?

In America we tend to put our hope in our “next big thing”. We are hoping that this next thing will solve or fix our problems. Whether it be a relationship, marriage, a child.  It could  also be a new job, money, it could be anything that we are banking our hope on to find happiness. 

However, when these material things, these none permanent, perishable things are no longer, what do we do?Typically we focus on the thing to come in our lives. Yes, this could provide a lite bit of happiness, but it will perish and the happiness will just be for a season. This then becomes a never ending cycle, always looking and hoping toward the next thing to come our way. What we don’t realize is, is we have been hoping and banking on the wrong thing this entire time. 

God is hope. He is our rock, He is our foundation. If we put our faith just on the surface of the soil, we will only last so long. Puting our hope in meaningless things to fix our problems, will just break us on a daily basis. That hope will not last, BUT God makes hope last. He gives us an eternal hope, a hope that will no break, it will never disappoint. He provided this through His son, Jesus Christ.

We must anchor our hope in the Rock. In Jesus because without him, we are simply nothing. But with Him we are free. We are covered by grace and God’s mercy .