I recently celebrated my first year of being a Christian. It felt a lot like my first year of not drinking. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it all means, trying the label “Christian” on for size and getting used to the vernacular (or as Dr Evil would say, I don’t “sprechen sie the same lingidy.”).
I’m a very awkward Christian.
Everyone who knows me was surprised that I made this choice but anyone who has ever been asked by God to surrender to His love understands completely. Still, I didn’t abandon all my beliefs and convictions when I became a Christian. I strongly support gay rights and know that there’s a big difference between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. I believe that the world is filled with different interpretations of God because He chooses to reach us in different ways. Reaching us is more important than the label we give it. To me it seems clear that the Enemy is Fear and that if you look for the Enemy around every corner you will surely find it. These aren’t popular views in many Christian circles.
Much like my first year in sobriety, my first year as a Christian has been about survival. I often picture Jesus trying to save me as I’m drowning. I know I’m drowning but I can see the shore and I’m sure I can make it there by myself. I finally relax into His embrace only to be filled with fear again. I invariably kick Him in the gut as I try to save myself. Surrender is a process but He never leaves me.
The prayer that I pray most often, almost daily, in fact, is:
God, please make this obvious. I’m feeling a little dense.
The most important thing I’ve learned this first year is that I’ve not been scarred by my struggles. I’ve been marked as one of God’s children. This life was given to me as a precious gift. Every tiny detail of it. Every hug, every slap, every kind word and every stick and stone. He marked me as His. He marks all of us.
The first year has been about trying to figure out this new world. My goal for year two is stop trying to figure it out and embrace it. To keep an open mind. To expect the unexpected. To fear not.