And it ain’t over yet.
In the fall of 2019, a close family member cussed me out like I’d never been cussed out before. (Well, maybe once before.) He angrily scolded me and in no uncertain terms told me how he felt. After being raised in a Christian home, and even working in ministry as a young man, His firm belief is:
- Jesus is overrated
- The church is full of money grabbing, control crazed hypocrites, and
- I have put the church before my family
Devastated, trying to understand, I listened to his 45-minute rant about how he will never again buy into such a farce, and not only does he not need this travesty in his life, he doesn’t need me either.
I haven’t heard from him since.
After several futile attempts to reach out, hours of prayer and soul searching, as well as Christian counseling, I have finally fully surrendered to God. I always thought I already had. Turns out I was only MOSTLY surrendered. Not good enough. He is teaching me and teaching me and teaching me and teaching me. Despite this colossal heartbreak, and even in the midst of world wide chaos and anxiety, over the past few months…
I have felt closer to Jesus than ever before.
God has consistently shown me His overwhelming love, surpassing any trouble I or the rest of humankind can drum up. He reminds me regularly I’m His, regardless of what I’ve done or not done. How others see me or how I see myself pales in comparison to how He sees me. I am His beloved child. (Ever feel like God’s favorite?)
Oh, yeah. Grace got me.
I’m grateful for a family of faith to lean on, draw from, and laugh with. Working in a Christian ministry also allows me daily exposure to so much truth through inspirational songs, biblical principles, and sweet fellowship. For this I’m eternally thankful.
I wouldn’t wish this crushing blow on anyone. But you so often hear of people who are going through the depths of despair, be it illness, divorce, financial ruin, or any number of calamities the world can toss our way, as the catalyst for drawing closer to God. We’ve all heard it said sometimes you have to reach the bottom before you can truly look up. I guess it’s true.
I’m certainly not hoping things get worse, but I’m learning even if they do, absolutely nothing is bigger than Jesus. Believe it or not, even in the middle of a global pandemic, a racial debacle and a family breakdown, I can still have joy! Big joy! Crazy joy!