Saturday, October 8, 2011

Okay, whatever.

Writing about Arthur Kane got me thinking about conversion stories... I’d like to just read a book of them. Has anyone compiled such a book? If not.. maybe that’ll be a good project for me... 

I mean, God works in all kinds of crazy ways, right? My own conversion was kind of twisty-turny and gradual, yet sudden... I know that some people are raised in the church and/or by fervently Christian parents and become Christians without ever having one of those AHA! moments... while to some people, Christianity is a brilliant new idea that grabs them by the ... heart. And... sometimes even those who are raised in the church discover Christianity later – as a great white ball of light they had been looking at all their lives, but never really seen.

There's a stained glass window
with Jesus knocking in the church
I grew up in... Maybe that's why,
when I heard someone knocking,
I knew immediately who it was...
That’s MY story. I grew up in the Methodist Church... was even pretty involved: sang in the choir, went to the youth group... I accepted the concept of Jesus in my brain, even prayed when I was totally in one of those holes high schoolers get in... you know – popularity, insecurity and bad skin... but it wasn’t until I was completely desperate that I would say that I really took Christ for who he is and what he did for me. 

By “completely desperate” I mean sinking into a hole of anorexia and a relationship that was draining me of all that I was, or imagined myself to be. At this time God made sure that when I sought help, I inadvertently stepped into a nest of Christians... And while exploring the causes of my deep misery, I figured it out... that I was only after the approval of men in one fashion or another – but only God could - and did – love me completely. And then despite coming to this truth in my mind, I resisted like crazy. I put up thousands of tons of resistance... “but I can’t be like that!” ... “but it will ruin my relationship with my boyfriend” (not that THAT ship hadn’t already sailed!) ... “but people will think I’m weird/nerdy/crazy...!”

But God is a persistent suitor. Suffice it to say, He really bugged the crap out of me. Finally one day I was driving the 35 minutes to work and I turned off the radio and just began to tell God to leave me alone. I said something like, “I don’t even WANT to want to become a Christian.” Fortunately for me, I had no idea that silence is like a magnet to God... So I did this for two days and then the third day some barrier came crashing down and I said, “Okay, whatever.” And that was my highly poetic assent to the Great God of the Universe. 

What followed has been partly poetic and partly extremely gritty. I really embraced my “saved-ness” and at the same time continued to struggle with my fallenness... and still do, come to think of it. It was just more obvious at the time, what with me weighing 70 pounds and crying a lot.

It was extremely helpful that, in addition to being rescued by the grace of God, I was also, by being involved in church, getting to know people who had already struggled with some of life’s questions, and, more often than not, give pretty sensible advice like, “Remember how much God loves you,” “Break up with that guy,” and “Read the Bible.” (Actually, no one ever told me to break up with my boyfriend... they were just extra patient while I figured that one out for myself.)

Of course I did hit the jackpot with regards to my church choice – I landed in a really good, graced out church right at the beginning... I guess I could have blundered into a place that pickets funerals, or bombs things... in which case I hope I would have been granted enough discernment to flee... but since this was not what happened, I guess I’ll never know.

And that is the short version of my come-to-Jesus story. Questions? Comments? Do you have a story? I’d love to put it in my book...

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