I am 20-year believer that a relationship with Jesus isn't a feeling.
It isn't the hype of a spectacle of lights and the wonder of fireworks.
After all, that's what Disneyland is for, right?! :)
So, 12 weeks ago, we (#Charming and I) enrolled in the Spring semester of Small Groups at Church of the Highlands.
We joined a LIFE group.
I knew we wanted to do LIFE. Because many friends, and fellow COTH members said that we needed to.
So, we did.
We joined a group of unknowns.
Imagine us, on the COTH Small Groups website, almost like a Jesus version of Russian Roulette, if there is such a thing.
Eeenie, Meenie, Miney Moe!
Yes, that's how we chose.
Very spiritual, I know.
So, I email this chic, Natalie...and I say "hey...so...we don't know a soul, but we totally would love to join your group" and she replies "wow! That's great, y'all come on!"
So... we did!
How fabulous of her!
So, for 12 weeks, we've been engaged in this LIFE class, learning the fundamentals of the Tree of Life.
Stuff we've heard for years, but never applied it in this way!
I'm not saying it's a new version of the Bible, or anything crazy, I'm just saying, it's broken down in a way that made me literally say "hold up...read that again.....that right there will preach!"
Anyways, so it all comes to a grand finale this weekend, at the much anticipated LIFE Retreat.
Again, I can't put it into words.
Que the pageantry, lights, fireworks, spectacle... a program of excellence.
An event that ushered me straight to the heart of worship, and to the place that I could be so strong *in* the Lord, but yet so weak in His presence.
But what I can say, is that I feel like my insides were scooped out with a watermelon scooper....and the good stuff was so sweet, and so wonderful, and the stuff that still needed to be pruned a little, was brought to light, examined, and then tossed away! To be remembered no more!
God is using ALL of me, for His good.
My good, my great, my sweet, and my trash.
Yes, even the trash...He is taking, and making a wonderful story of grace and redemption.
I almost feel bad for the BJCC.
I left a bunch of garbage there.
I left some relationships there.
Unhealthy relationships....left on the hard concrete floor of the BJCC. #SorryNotSorry
I left my anger there.
I left the mean words of some "friends" there.
I left my bitterness there.
I am so very thankful for a few friends that texted me throughout the weekend, to let me know they were praying for me.
They knew it would be hard.
They knew it would hurt my guts.
But they also knew that Jesus needed to rid me of that, so He could shine!
And, yes...at the end of the weekend....I was exhausted.
Mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I brought all of me to the weekend, and I left with all of Him.
I am so thankful for these 12 weeks, and my friends in LIFE.
I can never express enough, how wonderful it is, to walk into a home of strangers....and never once feel judgement, or condemnation.
But a room full of compassion, and kindness, and silliness, and love.
I tried to think of another power word....like spectacular, or marvelous, or wonderful, or even stupendious...but none of those worked.
My God is amazing.
And I am so thankful to be working towards a life of Living In Freedom Everyday!