Saturday, October 20, 2007

My Adullam

Over the last week or so - I have had this cleaning "obsession". Finally, I've been motivated enough to go through every room and begin cleaning out what needs to be cleaned out. I've began separating the kids' items into piles - give away, throw away, storage (rotate the toys), and keep. I love giving things away - but with few exceptions, rarely know of anyone who has a need for something. So I store away - in hopes of giving it away to those in need.

Finally, I've begun to sift through our things and have found people who need them. Encouraged, I've continued through each room in hopes of being able to clear out my home. As I fill a new trash bag or box of stuff to give away, I feel lighter and better. Until the past few days.

There have been three "sermons" that have hit me pretty hard this week. This past Sunday, our pastor finished his High Definition living series with a sermon entitled, "Epitaph". As he speaks, he looks around the congregation - and as he said the following, he was looking in our section of the congregation so it felt as if he was speaking directly to me. God surely used him to convict me further in my disobedience to what He has been directing me to act upon.

"There's someone you know you need to talk to about your faith. God's changed your life in the last three months and there's someone you haven't told, they have no clue that you're different, that God's working in your life and God's been speaking to you to tell them and say it. Say it."

Thursday night, as I was driving to work, I listened to a discussion on Family Life Today about" Parenting with Kingdom Purpose" - which I've heard the slogan, "kingdom agenda" thrown around tons of times, but have never stopped to think about what it meant. Even when I was LDS, in the temple, I covenanted to commit everything I was and had to the furthering of the Lord's kingdom here on Earth - in retrospect, a bit creepy - however, it's the same thing I'm committing to as a Christian, so no real difference there - except I make that commitment straight to God and not a third party. During this discussion someone on the show makes the remark, "Christianity is not a spectator sport." And it hit me - even though six months ago I obeyed God and left the LDS church with my husband - somewhere along the lines I'd ended up back in the sacrament pews, quietly seated, entrapped in motions with no real heart again. How had I ended up even further back than square one?

While going through all my old stuff - it hit me. My house was still filled to the brim with so much Mormonism - and so am I. Tonight, I finally emptied my drawers of my garments. My initial reaction was to store them - in fact, that's the first thing that I did. I began neatly folding them and putting them away as if I'd be using them again. Then I realized what I was doing, so I began thinking it over in my mind. Why was I keeping them? I should know how wrong keeping them should be from both a Christian and Mormon perspective - yet here I was, wanting to fold and store them. Half an hour later, and still battling inside - a comment from Wednesday night's small group came to mind. Each small group is discussing the sermon given each Sunday - so this discussion had the question at the end asking if God was leading anyone to "say it, do it, live it"? I kept my mouth shut - but Steve volunteered my whole parental situation which lead to an in depth discussion. One member stated that faith is not knowing if everything will be okay, not knowing if I can really trust God, but still doing it anyway. So tonight, with that in mind for some odd reason - even though I still had a ton of "good" reasons in my head to keep my garments, I promptly threw them into a trash bag.

While clearing out other items, I found last year's calendar - littered with dates from temple prep classes, a trip to Utah, dinners, temple recommend interviews, and of course - our endowment session and our sealing.

As I flipped through the last year of our lives (2006) - I felt this immense longing and thought to myself how I almost wished that God had just left us in the LDS church. Life was more simple. Was easier. More comfortable. I just wanted that back.

A year ago - when we sat down together as a family - we were all praying to the same god. Now - we're not. Now, everyday I know that God is telling me to tell my parents about what He has done - to glorify Him. Yet I disobey. And it's not just here that I've disobeyed. I've kept my temple bag, my garments, I still have LDS books littered throughout my house - and so forth. I have not disentangled myself from the thought process. I have not stopped "mourning" for the times I lost - I cannot seem to separate the memories with the religion.

Which brings me to the final sermon I heard this week. While at work Thursday night, I listened to Manna's latest sermon - Adullam. It's the cave David seeks refuge while Saul is seeking to kill him. It is here, where God grows him and prepares him for being king. It's an amazing sermon and it hit home pretty hard. The basic message of the sermon (at least for me) was that God puts us through hard times, to mature and grow us. We cannot go from the fields to the "palace" without being overwhelmed so He makes sure we are ready for His best. The Bible tells us that God has a plan for all of us - I am so obsessed with the here and now, the temporal, the meaningless really - that I have failed to see the eternal. I do not see the "end goal" - to live eternally with Jesus and worship at His feet, but rather only see the here and now and paralyzing fear of loosing my family whom I've only come to appreciate in recent years.

This now is my Adullam. David was MUCH better at it than I am - I do not praise God every day, I do not have faith that God will get me through it, and I do not believe He will conquer my parents hearts. But you know what I learned last Wednesday night? Our small group leader, Donny was there. He's been such an inspiration to Steve and I - and his group was something that God used to really open our eyes to the Truth OUTSIDE the LDS church and he shared something that really shocked me, "You know, I never believed that you or Steve would ever leave the LDS church. And here you are."

Faith is about the unseen - that's what Hebrews tells us. I've been really struggling with this. Perhaps that's why this is my cave. And when I finally emerge - I'll be a better and changed person for it.

1 comment:

Livingsword said...

Hi Maggie;

Wow what an encouraging article!

When we “lean” on the God of grace we are in His embrace, what religion cannot provide relationship with God transforms…