Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Did He Let That Happen?

This is something I ponder often. Usually, I trust that God had some reason for allowing various events to conspire in my life. I don't always get to know the "why," but I can usually trust that there is one.

Sometimes, I look back at things that happened weeks, months or even years ago, and say, "Oh, I get it. I learned ____, or That lead to ______." Other times, I look back across the years, and I am still completely confused. I know He has a "why"... I just don't get it.

While I feel like I've only recently begun a journey to Christ, the truth is that my journey began long, long ago. It seems like a lifetime ago.

When I was little, my family didn't go to church. We didn't talk about God. I don't think this was intentional, I think He just never came up in our conversations. Prayers were said at my grandparents' house on holidays; church was a place we went with them on rare occasions. But "religion," and "faith" were not parts of our lives.

Then, when I was... oh, I don't know... maybe 8 years old (?) my parents found a new "church" to attend. I don't know how they found it, but I think maybe it was through a friend or the friend of a friend. I just vaguely remember this one evening when some people came to our home; they prayed and read the Bible and sang some pretty cool songs (& someone had a guitar!). After that, we joined them & Sunday morning became a day of worship.

The "church" was not really a church. There was no big building to go to. There was no preacher who wore any special outfit. There were no pews, and there was no organ. We went to someone's house every Sunday for "fellowship" (not "church").

This organization was called The Way Ministry (aka The Way International). It was essentially a cult. Don't panic! It wasn't like the ones you see on TV (where the FBI is shooting tear gas into a compound of KoolAid drinkers). Nobody wore denim from head to toe (or Little House on the Prairie dresses); nobody changed their names to sound more Old Testament; there was no polygamy; and it wasn't so creepy as the word "cult" makes it sound.

We remained active with that group well into my teens. Well, my Dad didn't really buy a lot of it; I think it contradicted his childhood training in the UCC. But my mom continued to take us to Fellowship on Sundays (and Children's or Teens' Fellowship on Saturday mornings) long after my parents split up.

I, being in my formative years, bought everything they taught, lock, stock & barrel. It was this group that laid the (very warped) foundation for my journey through faith. I have spent the better part of my twenties and (the few years I've had in) my thirties (ahem) unlearning what I learned there. I'm not sure if I will ever unlearn some pieces.

I feel like a child whose parents took her outside every day, and said, "See that sky? It's green. See that grass? It's blue." Only to grow up and go out into the world, always believing what she was taught when she was little, and have some stranger on the street say, "What the heck are you talking about? Are you color blind? The sky is blue and grass is green." I would imagine that for the rest of that child's life, she would always think of the grass being blue, and would always have to remind herself that, no. The grass is green.

And I wonder. Why did God let that happen? Why did He, in his infinite wisdom, allow someone to paint for me a picture of Him that was so wrong? Why would He allow me to learn all that stuff that would eventually lead me to have to fight for my faith?

Maybe someday He will reveal the answer. Maybe someday I'll get to ask Him (respectfully, humbly, of course) what the heck that was all about.

For now, I think I'll have to be satisfied with the understanding that there is a why... even if He's not telling me what it is today.

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing testimony! Praise God- you found out the TRUTH! Can't wait for more!


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