Thursday, March 16, 2006

Toward a Cross-Centered Life: Part 1

The journey I'm on started about a year ago. Of course, in the heart and mind of God it started a long time before that, but a year ago is a clear place to start explaining.

Last March, I was living at home. I had graduated from college and was engaged to be married to the man of my dreams. I was reconnecting with my best friend, and I was part of a great Bible study. Though my job was challenging and often not fun, it was meaningful, and I was working with people I loved. Furthermore, I had no real bills to pay.

And I was miserable.

Sounds like I'm an ungrateful wretch. But the fact was, all the joys in my life could not compensate for the one thing I lacked: intimacy with God. I felt drier than...well, than my mouth felt when I once ate a bite of raw plantain (try one and see what I mean--it is absolutely bizarre, the way all the moisture is immediately sucked out of your mouth, even if you take a drink of water).

My devotional time with God had been reduced to "shoulds" and "have tos" rather than a desire to spend time with Him. I felt completely empty. I alternated between desperately crying out, and ignoring the emptiness, existing in numbness because it was too painful to get into. The worst part was that I had no idea what was wrong with me. I hadn't been dealt some raw deal in life; I hadn't endured a crisis or a tragedy of any kind. I had no identifiable problem that could be labeled and treated. I was just dry and empty.

After almost six months of this existence, I wondered what God was doing in all of this and why He seemed so distant. I was afraid of the thought that I might never be the same again. I never seriously considered walking away from faith, though I sometimes wanted to. I knew my denial of truth wouldn't change the truth. Two Scriptures were the cry of my heart during this time:

"Lord, to whom shall [I] go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68)

"I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

Next: Part 2 - Breakthrough

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