I recently did a poll and found that the one word used to describe God most often is Love. God is LOVE!! I was very happy to hear this because that is the word I would choose myself.
Why is it that so many people fear God and fear getting into a relationship with him? Well if they are like me it is because I did not understand what God is. I went to church as a kid on a regular basis and even became an acolyte (a helper of the priest in the Episcopal religion). I won’t go into all the details of my misunderstanding but the bottom line after about 10 years of regular church I ended up with the understanding that I was too much of a loser to be of any use to God. I went from loving the idea of God to not caring any longer about him I never got to the point of being an atheist but more of an agnostic and figured that I was mostly on my own with exception of a lot of fox hole prayers I rarely talked to God with the exception of being angry that I wasn’t getting what I wanted and would beg God to know why.
Religion taught me that there were many things that I had to do to be in favor with God. I knew in my heart that I had no desire to be that kind of person. A Jesus freak that did nothing wrong. A person that had to work to not sin. Someone who could not swear or get angry. A person that did not lust after the opposite sex. So for me it was a no brainer, I would just say screw it and live as I thought I should thinking that God wasn’t going to love me anyways. I really never understood Jesus and or the whole reason he came to earth. I had listened in church and heard others talk of it but it was something I just could not grasp. I am not the smartest nor the dumbest but to be honest it was a subject I could not even come close to understanding. It took basically 45 years of me screwing up for me to understand even enough to start to follow Jesus.
I had 15 years of Alcoholics Anonymous under my belt. 10 strong years of going to meetings regularly and working the steps until I had my daughter then I stopped going to spend time with her and then my second child. This was key for me because I had learned to stay sober but that was the extent of it. I found a God of my understanding and it helped me to stay sober. But there was much more and I wasn’t finding it. It was not AA’s fault it was my own. I drifted from the program and started to lose the little self that I had. The little bit of Love that I had found was gone other than my two daughters. I was lost even more because now I was sober (well not drinking or drugging) but I was lost. I was hurting and could not blame it on anyone but myself. There was no chemicals I could blame. I really couldn’t blame my wife because it had nothing to do with her.
For me I feel now it was fortunate that I had gotten this lost. It forced me to find something, I had made such a mess out of my life by the terrible decisions I was making that I lost my career, my marriage and any shred of happiness. I was blessed to find a church that made sense to me. The church’s mission is to help people find and follow God. Nothing more, nothing less. There were no conditions, there were no rules, there was not anything other than suiting up and showing up.
The pastor had a sermon that hit me right between the eyes after I was desperate and was asking God as hard as I possibly could for his will for me and to show me something that would help me. This sermon basically said that if I was to choose to follow what Jesus said it was going to cost me. It could cost me everything or not so much everything but it was going to cost me. This would be the one thing that could help me find happiness. It was a concept that was so deep and difficult for me to grasp at the time but it for some reason made sense. I decided right then and there that my marriage was over and was beyond repair. I had a trust that Jesus/God was going to have to take care of me. I was willing to follow and I was willing to begun to trust in the process. It meant going away from what some of my friends beliefs were. It was going away from much of what I was taught and what I was engrained in thinking by society. It meant that I might be all alone. But the pain I was in made it very clear that this was what I had to do. I chose kind of like I did when I got sober to follow whatever AA said so that I did not have to take a drink or drug again. This time it was to follow what Jesus said in the bible.
So when I started reading and listening closer to the pastor I kept hearing that God is love, Jesus loves the lost people. Jesus did not hang with the cool people he hung with the prostitutes and tax collectors which at that time period were the worst kind of sinners and bad people that were in society. Jesus would say to these people that God loved them regardless of what they chose to do. And that they were forgiven because he sent his son down to forgive us. I started to learn of where sin came from and why it was so frustrating to God for a long time. I learned that I was born into love and that God always loved me and would never turn away from me. Even though I was angry at him for what I thought abandoning me I started to realize it was me who was not listening and following. I learned that the two greatest commandments were to Love God and to Love our neighbors as our selves. but I could not love God or my neighbors if I didn’t first love myself.
I am now in the process of learning to love myself which also includes the little Glenn that is inside of me that I have carried since I was a baby. I have recently learned this more in depth through Michelle Bersell at Michellebersell.com. I had heard of this inner child work in the past through counseling etc. but it never really clicked with me of how important it really was. I get the fact now because of the realization that we must first truly love ourselves before we can love anyone else!. As I blogged of the loneliness inside me and how much it has consumed me most of my life I realize now that in order for me to truly find happiness I have to honor and embrace the loneliness to help me find God and to open myself up to trusting him instead of worldly ways that have been my source of comfort for so long.
I encourage you to really go on a similar journey if you are anything like me to find out what love really is. The little bit I have felt is so much worth more than anything else I have ever felt and I realize that this is just a small bit I have felt. It truly is what love really is meant to be. A feeling of pure trust in God and to trust entirely in something other than myself. To blind trust in a direction where many past messages are screaming for me not to go which in the past I would do but I knew it was not for the right reasons. Now I know this trust is something that is right and pure. I do have a long way to go but who amongst us doesn’t have a long way to go??. If we choose to live we choose to grow because unless we grow we then die.
I choose to live and to love and be loved today.
If you find value in this blog please like, share or comment. I really hope all of you find the love that you are looking for. It is free and it is for all of us regardless of where we have come from or what we have done!!!
Have a great day!!!