Transition to Relationship

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.

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16 Comments
  1. Tammy November 11, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    This statement really speaks to me about an area He is beginning to work on in me:
    “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?”
    I sense that there’s lots of deception to be unraveled concerning the parent/child relationship.

  2. Tammy November 12, 2008 at 12:03 am

    This statement really speaks to me about an area He is beginning to work on in me:
    “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?”
    I sense that there’s lots of deception to be unraveled concerning the parent/child relationship.

  3. Mike November 12, 2008 at 2:54 am

    Fantastic!

    I have been out and alone for 4 or 5 yrs but this sister is my elder!

    Mike

  4. Mike November 12, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Fantastic!

    I have been out and alone for 4 or 5 yrs but this sister is my elder!

    Mike

  5. Chris November 12, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Now here’s a little ‘coincidence’ for you. Just yesterday I came across an old song from the 1970s that was so gentle, delightful, and true. It’s called ‘I want to be a child again’ and comes from the Fisherfolk album ‘Be like your Father’ issued in 1979.

    Through the crackles and pops of the old, much-played vinyl came these words…

    I want to be a child again,
    I want to see the world through five-year-old eyes,
    To walk with my Lord wherever he may lead,
    To put my trust in him.

    Make me a child, oh Lord,
    Make my song joy,
    My heart free, my life a dance,
    A dance of praise to you.

    We must become as children,
    Simple and trusting of heart,
    To enter your Kingdom Lord,
    To rest in peace with you.

    You’d have to hear the song to fully understand it, the words alone don’t quite do it. But the kind of conversation you shared, Wayne, (less than a conversation, yet at the same time so much more than a conversation) is only possible when we approach our Father with ‘five-year-old eyes’.

    It’s a wonderful journey isn’t it! Well worth growing young for.

    Chris

  6. Kari November 12, 2008 at 6:49 am

    I really am glad she shared that with you and you with us. I have been dealing with some issues about my parents lately and Papa has been sharing the differences in those relationships as opposed to one I can have with Him. This encourages me to face those facts, accept the Truth and trust that He is doing a work in me. I still want it all to happen over night and I get a little impatient at times, but Papa is doing a work and I fully put it all in His hands! Thank you

  7. Chris November 12, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Now here’s a little ‘coincidence’ for you. Just yesterday I came across an old song from the 1970s that was so gentle, delightful, and true. It’s called ‘I want to be a child again’ and comes from the Fisherfolk album ‘Be like your Father’ issued in 1979.

    Through the crackles and pops of the old, much-played vinyl came these words…

    I want to be a child again,
    I want to see the world through five-year-old eyes,
    To walk with my Lord wherever he may lead,
    To put my trust in him.

    Make me a child, oh Lord,
    Make my song joy,
    My heart free, my life a dance,
    A dance of praise to you.

    We must become as children,
    Simple and trusting of heart,
    To enter your Kingdom Lord,
    To rest in peace with you.

    You’d have to hear the song to fully understand it, the words alone don’t quite do it. But the kind of conversation you shared, Wayne, (less than a conversation, yet at the same time so much more than a conversation) is only possible when we approach our Father with ‘five-year-old eyes’.

    It’s a wonderful journey isn’t it! Well worth growing young for.

    Chris

  8. Kari November 12, 2008 at 9:49 am

    I really am glad she shared that with you and you with us. I have been dealing with some issues about my parents lately and Papa has been sharing the differences in those relationships as opposed to one I can have with Him. This encourages me to face those facts, accept the Truth and trust that He is doing a work in me. I still want it all to happen over night and I get a little impatient at times, but Papa is doing a work and I fully put it all in His hands! Thank you

  9. Gwen November 17, 2008 at 3:21 am

    I don’t understand why you keep warning about the “form”. Is this kind of conversation with God something to be offended by? Is it something unusual for most people to experience? I am really just starting out on this journey, but I do have conversations with God that are like this ~ perhaps not as profound, but as real to me.

    Can we not all experience this? (OK: Part of the reason I’m asking this question is that I work with young people. And one of the things I’ve been trying to express to them is that God loves each one of them unconditionally and wants to have intimate “conversations” with them in spaces of quiet and thought. I was under the impression/assumption that if an individual gives space to quietness and regularly talks to God ~ I often do this when I’m travelling in the car ~ that at times He will speak back to them ~ reassurance, insight, cherishing. I would not want to think that I am steering them wrong, but that has been my experience).

  10. Gwen November 17, 2008 at 6:21 am

    I don’t understand why you keep warning about the “form”. Is this kind of conversation with God something to be offended by? Is it something unusual for most people to experience? I am really just starting out on this journey, but I do have conversations with God that are like this ~ perhaps not as profound, but as real to me.

    Can we not all experience this? (OK: Part of the reason I’m asking this question is that I work with young people. And one of the things I’ve been trying to express to them is that God loves each one of them unconditionally and wants to have intimate “conversations” with them in spaces of quiet and thought. I was under the impression/assumption that if an individual gives space to quietness and regularly talks to God ~ I often do this when I’m travelling in the car ~ that at times He will speak back to them ~ reassurance, insight, cherishing. I would not want to think that I am steering them wrong, but that has been my experience).

  11. j November 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    I agree Gwen, I was expecting something strange and off beat from the warning, but what I read was something very familiar to my own conversations with God. It is definitely more of a recent thing, but I find myself wondering afterwards….Whoa..was that really God or me answering my own questions? I am dumbfounded.

  12. j November 19, 2008 at 12:39 am

    I agree Gwen, I was expecting something strange and off beat from the warning, but what I read was something very familiar to my own conversations with God. It is definitely more of a recent thing, but I find myself wondering afterwards….Whoa..was that really God or me answering my own questions? I am dumbfounded.

  13. Tammy November 20, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Thanks Wayne for sharing my email regarding one of my little “conversations” with Father. I agree with what you said about it not being a conversation with words as we know it, as I often feel the insight before I even put it to words. Other times it is a lot like having a thought enter my head that I KNOW is not my own. As I read the comments I am so glad that so many people understood my experience and are enjoying the process of learning to hear His voice. I LOVED Chris’ comment “It’s a wonderful journey isn’t it? Well worth growing young for.” That’s just it. isn’t it? We can share so many experiences, so many different ways He reaches out to all of us. But when it all comes down to it, it’s simply learning to be Abba’s child. Blessings!

  14. Tammy November 20, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Thanks Wayne for sharing my email regarding one of my little “conversations” with Father. I agree with what you said about it not being a conversation with words as we know it, as I often feel the insight before I even put it to words. Other times it is a lot like having a thought enter my head that I KNOW is not my own. As I read the comments I am so glad that so many people understood my experience and are enjoying the process of learning to hear His voice. I LOVED Chris’ comment “It’s a wonderful journey isn’t it? Well worth growing young for.” That’s just it. isn’t it? We can share so many experiences, so many different ways He reaches out to all of us. But when it all comes down to it, it’s simply learning to be Abba’s child. Blessings!

  15. Susy March 11, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I love Tammy’s response. Just finished reading”He Loves Me”, and was surprised at how I struggled to take into my heart those things my “head” knew were the truth. I’ve had to rearrange a lot of my thinking, and have asked Papa lots and lots of questions about who He is, and what His intentions are. I’m still on the road trip to full trust, but I’m finding as I talk to Father, just how gentle He can be. Lots of times, He just wants to come, sit, and be still. He knows I startle easily, still. So He’s careful not to frighten me back into my shell. I’m loving the process of becoming his “little girl”, and am slowly opening my hands to give Him what He wants. Little bit by little bit, I find myself creeping closer and learning to rest. It’s a new thing just to be with Him and relax

  16. Susy March 12, 2009 at 2:20 am

    I love Tammy’s response. Just finished reading”He Loves Me”, and was surprised at how I struggled to take into my heart those things my “head” knew were the truth. I’ve had to rearrange a lot of my thinking, and have asked Papa lots and lots of questions about who He is, and what His intentions are. I’m still on the road trip to full trust, but I’m finding as I talk to Father, just how gentle He can be. Lots of times, He just wants to come, sit, and be still. He knows I startle easily, still. So He’s careful not to frighten me back into my shell. I’m loving the process of becoming his “little girl”, and am slowly opening my hands to give Him what He wants. Little bit by little bit, I find myself creeping closer and learning to rest. It’s a new thing just to be with Him and relax

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