I’ve got a huge confession to make. Ready?
I’m not a big fan of Girl Scout cookies. There, I said it.
It’s not like a spit-them-out-of-my-mouth dislike, because some of the cookies are good, but not so good that I understand why so many hype them up like they’re cookie crack.
While I’m at it, I probably should confess that I’m not a bacon lover either. If there are bacon bits in my salad, I’ll eat them, but I would never choose to eat bacon simply to eat it. I don’t drink coffee at all, ever. I’m a peanut butter addict. I’m definitely not a devotee of school uniforms—prettymuchhatethem. I preferred Prince over Michael Jackson. I never got into the TV shows The Office or How I Met Your Mother. I hated Gone with the Wind. Oh my gosh, I was dying watching that movie it was so looooong and boring. At the end I didn’t give a diggety dang either. I don’t really like The Wizard of Oz all that much and I thought Titanic was just ok.
Anyone still there?
I do like The Princess Bride. So I’ve got that going for me.
I also never wanted to become a real Christian. I’ve always believed in Jesus, but was just too scared to commit. Too many rules about right and wrong, too many people telling me what I could and could not do simply because I was the Chaplain’s kid. Plus I was afraid God would make me talk to — or even yell at — people about Jesus like I’d seen that street preacher do that scared me and scarred me for life, and scaring and scarring people is not really my thing. Seriously, I was terrified God would make me do something that I really, really, really did not want to do. It was easier to do the fake Christian thing—go to church, smile, give a good Christianese answer every once in a while. Except I don’t much like being fake. What to do, what to do?
• • •
Long ago, doctors had told me a sign that my kidneys were failing was that I would begin to throw up more. One day soon after hearing that tidbit of information, when I was home alone, I started throwing up and I could not stop. Not to gross anyone out, but it went on for a while. I finally stopped long enough to sit on the floor and lean against the tub.
All I could think while I was sitting there was how good it would feel to be completely under water.
If I could just get under warm water and stay there then everything would be ok.
When it suddenly occurred to me that I was actually considering not existing anymore, I sat up straight and moved quickly away from the tub. Out of my mouth came the words, “Jesus, I can’t do this life without You anymore.”
Despite the fact that no one recited to me the four spiritual laws, I made no confession of sin and didn’t ask Jesus into my heart, peace I had never known before seemed like it was filling my whole body with warmth. I knew at that moment I belonged to Him.
I wish I could tell you that life was all sunshine and smiles after that, but I can’t. In many ways, my life only became more difficult. I rebelled for a while and misbehaved a bit more than I had before. There were health problems to persevere through and emotional wounds to deal with that I honestly didn’t know were there. After walking through those not-so-fun times and maturing some, there have been fertility problems and marriage problems and money problems and too many cancers and illnesses and deaths of too many incredible people that I don’t want to even think about it.
And much to my chagrin, in my eyes, I have often faced all this as a very disappointing, selfish, why-can’t-I-get-this-right, unbelieving, unfaithful, unsubmitted, bratty child. In my pain, I have questioned His love for me and I have bitterly asked forgiveness for even daring to believe that anyone, anywhere could ever love me. Yet through it all, He has never left me. He’s been very patient with me.
I haven’t quite pinpointed exactly where all that unlovable stuff rears its ugly head from and it has taken years to learn and relearn and learn again that the way I see me is not how God looks at me. He doesn’t expect me to heal pain I cannot heal and scale unclimbable mountains on my own.
As I continue to walk down this road, I find that He simply wants me to choose Him and then let Him work out the rest in me. Because in His eyes, I am His dearly loved child and loved with an everlasting love.