I got a beautiful email last week and wanted to share it. I do so well aware that it could be easily misunderstood. This sister is in the early stages of moving from the stale emptiness of religion into a fresh and vibrant relationship with Jesus. God is revealing himself to her. Recently God began to open her eyes to one of the ways in which he works. I love it and resonate with the content of this exchange. This is God’s heart for her, her husband and many others.
However, I don’t want you to be put off by the form in which she shared it. She shares it as a conversation between her and God. I do believe he speaks like this, but people who don’t understand may feel that God never speaks to them this directly. I doubt it was a voice she heard externally, nor a conversation quite this way. When God reveals himself to us, he spills into our consciousness with insights that we then put to words. I think it is absolutely fair to characterize it as a conversation as our sister has below, but it could mislead others who think that engaging God happens quite this way.
So don’t focus on the form, focus on the substance of what’s shared below. I think it will encourage you too, especially those who are in the middle of this process:
I have really been praying a lot lately about the decision to leave church and how it has meant being misunderstood by so many people. So as I sat there I started asking why the journey out of (organize religion) needs to be a lonely one, I don’t always get an answer but the freedom to ask Him for some kind of insight has made me feel more like His child and less like an acquaintance.
With that one question I opened up Pandora’s box so to speak. I’m getting better at hearing that still small voice in my heart and it seems that sometimes the Father especially loves to have our ear. Immediately I felt like He was asking me if I really wanted to know Him. Of course I said yes! So he gently reminded me that there is a lot of him to know and that to know him is to know Truth. He IS truth. So much of what we have been taught is not the truth about Him, as if any religion could contain the One who breathed out the stars. “It’s so hard for you to see me through the deception that swirls around you like snow in January“. Instantly I got this image in my mind of a snow globe with the little plastic snow flakes floating slowly down. If we take a big step back from the noise of religion all the deception will fall away and what is left standing will be the Truth. “This is the beginning of really seeing Me”.
I also felt Him say that religion encourages us to live in our heads but to see Him we need to live on our hearts. So hard to do when you’ve been hurt I thought. “Children are all created to live in their hearts. Look at how easily they love and accept. But every time someone hurts you, you pack up a box…maybe trust or courage and you move it upstairs…from your heart to your head. After a while you’re living in your head and my voice gets far away.”
So how do I fix that?” I asked. “You don’t” was the instant reply “I do. I move the boxes downstairs one at a time so you begin to live out of your heart again.”
” So how do I let that happen? How do I know it’s you?”
“I will begin to move boxes downstairs one by one. As I help you unpack it you will begin to recognize ways in which I am teaching you to trust me. As you start to recognize each lesson you will also see more and more of me in it.”
As He spoke to my heart is was as if my spirit recognized the Truth and freedom and love in His words and my skin even felt tingly. It was as though He was infusing me with the strength to believe something that would require me to turn away from so much of what I had been taught for so long. I felt such hope and peace even in the face of going on in this without the support of our Christian friends. I know it has been hard for my husband as he is very hurt that people he believed to be close to us have walked away. I asked God to help him see this wonderful Truth and to help him to hear His voice more and more like I was beginning to. ” What should he be doing to hear your voice?”
“What does your husband know about a father/son relationship?”
Well, I know his dad is a workaholic and so he learned very young that to earn his father’s attention and approval he had to work…for…it….. Ohhhhhhhhh”
“What am I asking him to do right now?”
“Nothing. He has walked away from all the ministries he was in and now even church. He doing nothing right now”
“And because the doing and the relationship were so inextricably tied together it means the relationship he thought he had with me has been taken away and he just can’t see me very well right now. It’s like the shadow of me that he had in his peripheral vision is gone. But that’s OK. He’s where I need him to be because I am about to replace that deceptive shadow of a relationship with something far better.”
“So that can apply to almost all of us. What we learned from our parents or other significant people about what a parent/child relationship is has distorted our concept of what our relationship with you can be?”
“Exactly. And that is why so many of your friends have reacted so strongly. What you are suggesting goes against everything they have been taught about maintaining a relationship with me. If they stop the doing they won’t be able to see what they think is me anymore.”
The way He spoke with such compassion and tenderness about His children that are still living deceived was so beautiful. Immediately I felt my defensiveness fade away and I began to see them as He sees them.
For so long I never knew that He wanted to interact with us in such a personal and direct way. Imagine, my Creator conversing with me like an old friend. So many people think that we have to talk to God like he is the untouchable King and we are the unworthy slaves. But He calls us His children…His friends. I understand what so many have expressed. Now that I know the depth of relationship with Him outside of religion I will NEVER go back.
Don’t get caught up on the form of this sharing. There is a lot of wisdom and God’s heart in the content of it. I hope it helps you respond to him as well.