Faithful-Child Looking {In from the Outside} as a Lost Twenty-something – A Reflection

Standard

Cars go past building after building — zipping toward their next destination.

A set schedule must be kept to succeed.

No time to take in all that is around them.

Can’t lose time or slow down.

The cars are not driving on their own.  The driver is making decisions on the route and pace.  There are places to be and things to do.  Life is a blur.  Only living on the surface and never stopping to see that life could be different.  Zipping and zooming – while weeks lead to months, than to years.  Calendars full of where they feel they must be with no time carved out for what was important in their youth.  They may deny nature, church and God, because they feel they are connected enough but by self-imposed limits and religion is complicated.  For a decade, I was this kind of driver.

Zipping & Zooming

But when I was a child; nature, church and God were my only focus.  I was constantly outside amazed by God’s design from the fuzz on caterpillars to the way my body could cartwheel.  I was blessed to be part of a community where children and adults always asked where people went to church and it was a sign of community and not exclusiveness.  God was the cornerstone of all my interactions.  Time was spent in prayer in communion with nature and community.

Then my twenties were a decade of independence.  I had grown-up and changed.  I wasn’t a little girl anymore twirling outside on the farm.  I didn’t know how to have a relationship with God.  I felt that I could not rely on God as if my life depended on it.  I felt that I had a lot of control in what happened in my life and I could decide if I wanted to succeed.  If I had the determination and worked hard, I could succeed at anything and be anyone I wanted.  I was one of those drivers who zipped and zoomed.  I rarely slowed down.  I was oblivious to the lessons of my youth.  I was in denial of how important my relationship with God needed to be. With that said I wasn’t searching for the rhythm of God that surrounded me and that was beating within me.  I even felt that nature would always be there.  I didn’t realize I needed nature to center myself to God.  If I wasn’t busy and plugged in to the greater world, I wasn’t making the right choices to succeed.  Yet I wasn’t happy.  I was left yearning for something that I couldn’t fulfill.

Looking back I wasn’t the only one zipping and zooming.  I was conditioned to be oblivious and it wasn’t just in my personal life.  When I was at work, God was off of the table.  Even though I know the sales force and leadership secretly prayed that the market would improve and deals would be made.  My work-life became segmented like my personal life.  This increased my need for control and being self-made.  No reliance on anyone, but me.  I didn’t let God in, because I avoided deeply trusting, building new relationships or expressing my faith openly.  I wanted to be enough on my own, but I craved more.

I kept God in the Sunday morning box I was used too.  Since I was on my own; church became optional.  I didn’t know God had created me to live fully within community.  I denied what I craved.  I didn’t know if a boxed-God was going to accept me anymore.  I felt I was calling, “Hello? Hello? Anybody there?”  I didn’t know if I could belong to a communal life where I could rely on God and others to teach, engage and love me.  Relying on God to find a faith community that could help me understand the world around me seemed overwhelming.  How could I be accepted?  Could I just decide to start over my own way with God?  Would God have me even if I didn’t fit in the box any longer?

I stopped zipping and zooming, when all my questions started in my late twenties.  By listening to the rhythm of my heart, I drew closer to God and continue to seek.  I started answering my heart’s true desires.  I slowed down and spent lots of time in prayer.  I would listen to anyone who would share their faith story and show me that God could accept me and the box was my own to destroy.  That helped me to start looking for my own faith community where I could challenge and celebrate my relationship with God.  I am no longer that child from my youth or that self-absorbed, success-oriented twenty-something.  And the world doesn’t look like the one I used to know so well.  It took some time, but I figured out that the risk was worth identifying myself as a Christian who is still an open-minded, free-thinker who wants to serve God by loving others.  The work hasn’t been easy and the struggles are still real.  I feel God has reassured me that I am here to love and lead.

I started to see the connectivity of God and all the creation around me.  Churches need to be a place where weary zippers and zoomers can seek comfort, love and community.  And that they can find their way back to God.  There is risk in slowing down and vulnerability in stepping outside what is considered normal.  It is counter-culture to  live fully in the dependence of God.  I feel that our role as God’s people is to create kind, loving and supportive communities that are an extension of what matters.  God’s people not the type of man made religion they practice.  I believe churches can flourish in the future, it the God they have boxed-in is able to be freed from the constraints placed by others so that true community can be extended.

Praying we all can find the community God calls us to create and live into even if it means slowing down.

Would love to hear if this piece resonates with you and your story.  Hoping it touches many.

{This piece was written as a response to the decline of the church for my course, Writing for Effect – – Central Baptist Theological Seminary – Spring 2013}

Free Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/Clevedon_MMB_99_M5.jpg

About these ads

About Kristin

I am a busy woman. I am married to Amon for over 13 years and have been blessed to be his best friend for over 15 years. We have 3 wonderful kids that are all unique, amazing and different in their own way. Ian is our 3rd grader who loves Scouts, reading, camping and science experiments. Kaylee is 6 and heading into kindergarten. She is our creative soul and a planner! She loves to spend time nuturing her babydolls and us. She is very sweet to her brothers. Rhett is our daring 2 year old. He broke the "Wooldridge Mold". He is the fastest running, busiest explorer, slowest to talk our ear off, and he gives the best hugs. I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years and I have found a groove that works for our family. Seven years ago I joined a MOPS group and I have been the Coordinator for 6 years. This group has given me a chance to lead without working full time, support other women in my community and help refine my walk with God. My life hasn't always been perfect as the paragraph above makes it seem. But I have traveled through those harder times and found strength and support through them. Hoping to use this blog as a spot to write my thoughts, feelings and stories as I keep on living life! God Bless!

2 responses »

  1. Kristin, this is very good! I find it so reassuring that God comes to us first. We love Him because He first loved us. In all my failings, He has always been my true first priority and my truest personal friend, guide, helper, and strength. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel this way although I’ve often failed to live up to my beliefs. To God be all glory. God, be merciful to me. That is my prayer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s