I love hearing how other people are experiencing this journey and how God is freeing them from the bondage of human religion to embrace a realy walk with him. I got this from a twenty-three year old Swiss woman this week. What an encouragement it was to me and I hope to you too.
First of all, I want to thank you. Yours and Mr Coleman’s book So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore has touched me deep down inside and it has helped me get a little glimpse of who Jesus really is.
In the past couple of days, I have started to realize what it really means to live with God as my Father. Born into a Christian family, I’ve always seen myself as a child of His, but I never quite understood the meaning of it. I felt restless and suspicious whenever I went to church, and with the years I felt myself getting pulled down more and more by feelings of guilt. Whatever I did, I always had the impression it was not enough. I met people in church who talked me into doing certain things, and every time I hoped it would make me feel better in front of God, but it never did. In the summer of 2009 I decided to be baptized. I was so hungry for this overwhelming peace and joy I admired in other Christians and I set all my hopes on the day of my baptism. It was a good day. But my expectations were disappointed. I still felt an emptiness in me that could not seem to be filled.
Before these feelings could break me, I got your book. And with every page I read, I could feel this heavy load on my chest be lifted away. This might sounds cheesy, but it’s exactly how it felt. I realized that I don’t have to earn God’s love. It’s right here. And I learned that God doesn’t bless us for doing things this way or that way. He blesses EVERYTHING we do together with Him, in Him and through Him. And He’s not a fortune teller who gives us predictions like “This is your job/man/house for life”. He puts things into our hearts and gives us what we need every day. I don’t have to ask myself “Is this right or wrong?”. I’d much rather ask the Lord “What is it that you want to put into my heart?”
It’s no miracle the God so many Christians have talked to me about couldn’t touch my heart the way I always wished He would. It was a God of rules and signs that never made sense to me. A God that blesses the ones who deserve it.
Reading your book felt like finding the God I’ve been looking for all my life. The God of love. The God of relationship. The God of trust. Only now I have started to understand what that means. And here I can finally feel it: a heart so full of gratefulness for what He has done for me! A heart of joy for this great promise of His never-ending love! A heart that can rest in peace, knowing that He will give me what I need, every day. This is the Lord I want to follow, this is the God I want to praise.
I’m only 23 years old and there’s so much more I have to learn. And this short time in which I have started to discover the wonders of being God’s child has already showed me that it can be a “lonely” way sometimes. Many people around me, who I always thought were devoted Christians, don’t seem to understand when I talk about this God I’m getting to know now. They’d rather hold on to rules they think God has created for them to be safe and they don’t see that these rules only keep them from experiencing God’s original and amazing ways of blessing them!! It makes me sad sometimes. And it makes me feel lonely, too, sometimes.
But I know that the Lord is watching over me. He knows what I need, and He knows what every single one of his children needs. He has ways that seem impossible for me now. But I do trust in Him.
Mr Jacobsen, I want to thank you and Mr Coleman for being “God’s tools” in the process of opening my eyes and heart to a new kind of life.
I wish you and your families all the best and God’s rich blessings and gifts.