after i left the catholic church, i spent some time wondering around looking at non Christian belief systems. thats what i found … systems of belief. a myriad of different stories, theories, and systems of thought with their corresponding beliefs to go along with each system. most of them were colorful, interesting, and attractive. but i thought, these couldnt all be true. theyre all too different from each other, and alot of them are opposite of each other. some of them rule each other out. if this one is true, that one couldnt be true also. i felt like i was shopping for a religion. what i wanted to find was the truth. i wasnt interested in ‘what was right for me’. i was only interested in what was real. people love to say there are no absolutes, but are there absolutely no absolutes?
so i left off that, and abandoned my search for a while. i didnt want a system to achieve perfection, or to become a god, or a saint, or part of the cosmos. i wanted a home for my lonely heart.
it wasnt long after that i found myself at a Bible study, having accepted an invitation to dinner first from a group of Christians who lived in a big house together. they had the cohesion of a family, but there was a liberty about them that you dont find in a cult or some thing. at the beginning of the study, a few of them asked God for direction, revelation, and such. what struck me most was the way they talked to God. like he was in the room with us. like he was part of the Bible study. like they knew Him.
i was invited to dinner the next night, and went with some of them to another Bible study at the house of a couple who were part of a non denominational church, and i found they were the same way. although the people that were there didnt all live in the same house, they were of the same spirit as the others. they talked to God like He was their King, their Father, and their Friend. i had not seen this before. neither had i felt the tugging that was pulling at my heart, like a letter from home does. there was a tangible something here that had life in it. i called out to this God, saying i wanted all of Him, and he answered me. i was at that moment shot through with what seemed like a fiery lightening sword that lit up my heart like the sun. i was enveloped in it. unlike the other things i had looked into, where you had to strive, and meditate for hours, and concentrate very hard before you ever experienced anything, if you ever experienced anything, this came to me for the asking. and i knew it was real, because i didnt have to drum it up with my own striving. it was given, by Someone outside of myself.
i was very changed after that. i now had a relationship with God, and this changed my heart entirely. not that i was perfect – i hadnt changed at all in that. and God doesnt require perfection from us. He requires trust, and yieldedness, and love. He does the perfecting.
but the journey had only just begun …