Saturday, November 14, 2009

Getting to know God...

This little cutie is a future Soldier of Christ!
Ella, 2 months old
The following post is from my prayer/devotion journal that I wrote in tonight. My mind has been in a whirlwind of things the last couple of days and God has had time to really speak to my heart. I feel like I have a brick on my chest right now (I can really feel it), but I know it is going to be lifted as I get to know God. My heart is really heavy because of the reason I am in this shape, spirtually, and I feel like I am spiritually deprived by those I love the most. I feel like I was misled (for lack of a better word) mainly by ignorance, but also as a result of a closed heart toward God (not mine). You will understand what I'm saying as you read.

God has revealed to me (I believe it is God) this week that I do not see Him the way I should see Him. Oh, how our childhood affects us the rest of our lives! As I grew up, God was portrayed to me as "Hell, Fire, and Brimstone" if you don't 'measure up'. Now that I am grown, I see God more as a 'God of wrath' at least +100X more than a 'God of love'. I didn't really have God as a 'God of Love' portrayed to me during my childhood. I always had my parents (mom, especially, she had more influence in my life than dad) seemingly over my very young shoulder to remind me that, "God sees you, what you're doing, "God Knows...", or "That's not pleasing to God, etc." Never do I remember my mom and dad (great parents, btw) show me an awesome sunset and marvel at God's handiwork. On the otherhand, my parents were quick to show me someone who wasn't dressed to a T (according to their standards), over whom to be in disbelief. My mom didn't always see the good in people, it seemed, so I never was indirectly encouraged to look for God's love or goodness in people. What was really God's blessings on people were portrayed to me as "there is no telling how far those people went in debt to get that *said item*. My parents never led us in devotions which includes Bible reading or prayers. We sure did go to church--all the time, but it is not the church's place to ultimately show love to a child. Remember, to a child, parents are a sort of temporary God. If parents don't show God's love, then the child isn't going to see or feel God's love. Not until the soul searching or Spirit-led conviction comes to deal with the heart.

Because of my otherwise wonderful upbringing, I don't know God's love like He wants me to know and see Him. I am so, so thankful and incredibly humbled that God cares enough for me to reveal this crushing truth to me this week. I want to see God in a accurate picture! My view is currently distorted and has been for all of my life! Oh, I want to know God! My heart is broken that I've been seeing God so wrong all along. I always felt a sort of emptiness when thinking about God and even when praying to God. But, up until this week, it hasn't clicked to me about why!

I truly believe this is one of the main reasons so many young people have left our denomination. God has been portrayed to them since a child as a supreme being who is sadly shaking His head and waving a stick at them when something wrong is done or if a 'dress code' is broken. Don't take me the wrong way, I'm not trying to 'water down' God's Holiness or Judgement. But, it only seems that a child should FIRST be introduced to God's love, power, and awesomeness, BEFORE hearing that God's Gonna Get You (like parents do about the policeman to children--they certainly don't view them as Love, right??). Kids are curious and they are sinners until salvation (which many have probably been 'guilted' into an 'experience'--insert pic of God w/a sword here) and they are going to want to do the things that we may feel is unappropriate (think, dress code, etc). We must first be an example to them. That is the single best thing a parent can do for a child. Every parent is some kind of example. I want to exemplify God's love to my children first and foremost. Secondly, we must be Holy because God is Holy and it's our desire to please Him. If we are being holy because Sis. so-in-so will be offended if we do something *said* way, then our children will realize that and will drop 'Holy' living the day they turn 18. Lastly, we must express God's love through Bible times and prayer with them. The church should not be a substitute for family worship time.

How will I get to know God? Well, I'm cranking up my ole 5am prayer and Bible study time again and I plan to write down scriptures about God's love and meditate on them during the day. I also am cutting way back on internet (while nursing..I don't get on much any other time) and start back reading spiritual books and listening to great speakers like Nancy Leigh DeMoss and others who are examples of God's love and show what it means to share God's love with your children. If the Lord has revealed this to me, He has something great in store for me. I can't wait to truly know what it feels like to be in love with the King! Just think, when I love Him as I should, my priorities will be in the right place. Just like that. I won't have to spend my time *trying* to get them in the right place and wondering why I struggle with that all the time. Now I know.

My heart is overwhelmed with this realization. I could never put a finger on what was wrong in my personal experience. It just seemed a bit dense and lacking. The bottom line is, I don't know God how He really is. I want to get to know God. I do. I want this man-pleasing facade to disappear and be replaced with pleasing my Savior. Why do I please man? Because I don't please God. We please our husbands because we love them. Right? When I truly love my Saviour and see Him how He is, I will please Him, ultimately.

My prayer is, Lord, help me to see and feel Your love! I want to see you, God, as how you would have me to! Erase my past perception of you and help me to see an accurate picture of you. Please do this God, through Your word and through my prayer time with you. I want my children to view you as a Holy, Loving, Gracious, and Merciful God that you are. I don't want to say things as my mom did/does like, "Jesus, sees you when you do that" which will cause them to see Jesus as a stern man, pointing a finger at them. How about my pointing out God's handiwork to them or telling them about the cruel cross Jesus had to bear for our unrighteousness. Help me to show them people who are wonderful examples of God's love. Lead me into ways to show my children Your love. Oh, it would be horrible for us to have raised them with an inaccurate view of you. How terrible that would be! It could mean their souls. Lead me and my husband into paths of truth and help us to know you as you are. We only have one chance at introducing our children to you and that starts with introducing ourselves as examples of Christ. That is scary in itself, God, and we need you desperately. Thank you, Father, for working in me in the past 2 days. I trust your work in me to continue!

Bless you for reading! These things are personal to me, but I felt like sharing them on my blog. Maybe you can relate to what I've shared. Pray for me and I'll pray for you, dear reader.

Disclaimer: I hope I didn't leave anyone with the wrong impression of my parents. They are wonderful, wonderful parents whom I love very, very much. They have their faults and weren't perfect parents as I'm sure I won't be, either. I do want my heart to be open to God's voice and I want to learn from their mistakes for MY sake and for my children's.


  1. Hey Monica, I was just wondering if you got my comment? I was comming back to see if you had responed and it is not there.

  2. I didn't get it Brandy, sorry!! I don't know what happened...:(

  3. I, too, have struggled with this. My upbringing didn't really make me feel that..but as I got older and started seeking God out...I read so many blogs about people saying they don't cut their hair and always wear dresses and on and on. I felt like I couldn't ever be good enough for God. I cried alot...I prayed alot...I cried more. God has brought me, after reading Jewel's blog, and God's word and other books and prayed, to a realization that God IS love. We can't even fathom His love for us. How amazing is that? He knows my heart. Jesus died to fulfill the we aren't in bondage by it. Abba, God did that *for* us because of His great and awesome love for us. He is true and just...but quick to forgive and slow to become angry. We have an absolutely awesome neat that we are *sisters* in Christ! :)

  4. I have enjoyed looking at your blog. I am curious (please no offense ever meant here by this question) as to what faith you are/have been raised in?(I was going to e-mail you rather than ask it on a comment post but couldn't find an e-mail). I have a great friend who struggled with this growing up. Everything was simply "the law was laid down and this is the way it is" without scripture reference or even done in love. It took moving away from home to a different state, a different pastor, and a lot of love for her to realize not everyone is this way. And that God is a gentleman - He will never force Himself on you. There is scripture for why we do the things we do. I'm thankful God can take a confused heart and mind and bring peace. Jesus said my peace I give you. His peace and love is gift. Perfect Love will cast out all dear. I grew up in a ministers home and we always knew and felt the love of God. I never took it for granted knowing other friends didn't have a home of peace (inwardly - love towards others or themselves) My husband and I are Pentecostal Missionaries. I too love the natural way of life. Its rewarding to do something the natural "God-given" way and know you are truly being the Keeper of your home. Blessings Lori


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