This week has been an interesting one for me, lecture-wise. We had speakers from the International House of Prayer (IHOP, no association with the breakfast establishment of the same name) come and speak. They are very interested in the prophetic and based much of their lectures on the assumption that the current church is the bride of Christ. So it was pretty uncomfortable for me. I did not grow up believing that the church is the bride (but rather the body) of Christ and, reviewing this week throughout the lectures, I still don’t. So I just felt kind of detached throughout the whole thing. Wary, like I couldn’t just take anything they said at face value. Honestly, it was kind of a bummer, because many of the things they said were SO BEAUTIFUL. I sort of want to be part of the bride. It sounds pretty nice. But I just don’t believe that I am, so much of what they were saying I just couldn’t take to heart and apply to myself. I want to believe that if we just establish a culture of prayer and worship around the whole earth, in combination with the gospel spreading to every nation, tribe, and language, that we will call Jesus back somehow. But I don’t see that promise anywhere in scripture, that we can somehow prepare the earth enough that he’ll be almost attracted back. I don’t know, it could very well be that Jesus will return for us in the next 20 years. I hope so. But if he does, I don’t know that it will be for the reasons they were suggesting.
It’s difficult to be a thinker in YWAM. YWAM as a whole is very feely. Very emotion and experience based. Charismatic. This has NEVER been my way to relate to God or the gospel. I’ve always been a thinker, a seeker of understanding and knowledge. I struggle, wondering if I’m arrogant, cynical, stubborn, or prideful almost every day. My whole class LOVED this week. The leaders couldn’t get enough of it, and I’m kind of dangling on the edges somewhere wondering if I’ll ever see him as beautifully as they do. I want to. I crave the kind of love they have. Will my quest to always understand before I experience limit my actual knowing of God and Jesus? I don’t think it has to, but I do think I have some unlearning to do. There has to be a marriage of mind and heart, logic and emotion in this walk with God.
I believe God led me to this place of “feelers” for a reason, because He wants to bring out my compassionate heart and really show Himself to me as a friend and companion and personality who is alive and vivid and interested in my life and attached to me. And He wants me to be able to experience His love and presence with my emotions. Like actually love Him. But I also believe there was a reason that He built my foundations in the Way. I believe He wanted me to be able to look into Orthodox Christianity with an eye that has learned the exact opposite of almost EVERYTHING that they speak here (slight exaggeration…but some days it really feels that way) and question both sides. God keeps telling me that discernment, wisdom, and understanding are a big part of His plan for my life and who I am. As much as it would be so much more comfortable to just let go and believe everything I’m told, I don’t think that’s what I’m supposed to do.
Where does this leave me? Uncomfortable. But I truly, from the bottom of my heart, believe that it’s soooo important to be uncomfortable sometimes. And not just “oh, this is a little awkward” uncomfortable. But that “oh crap, I just jumped in the deep end” uncomfortable. The uncomfortable that comes with visiting another country whose language you don’t understand. It teaches you so much about yourself in an instant. It highlights flaws and strengths alike. You start to recognize assumptions you thought everyone shared, and realizing that another perspective exists is terrifying and exhilarating because it makes you question everything and sets you adrift for a moment, but also frees you to entirely new possibilities. You recognize the comforts and luxuries that you took for granted in their sudden absence. Some you realize are important enough to never leave behind again. Others you realize you’re better off without. I’m starting to see what pillars of truth I believe are absolute and unshakeable foundations, and which areas have a little leeway. Some of those areas are unexpected. You start to see that your worldview isn’t everyone’s worldview, but that not everyone needs to see things the same way and the variety is actually amazing. You figure out how to rely on God because no one else really understands you. It’s quite a ride.
Well…honestly, this wasn’t where I thought this post was going, and I’m not sure how to “land this plane.” Stay tuned for the follow-up post that I actually intended to write today! I love you guys. Really really. Thanks for tagging along on this occasionally crazy and probably sometimes nonsensical journey! I love hearing from you guys and knowing that my journey is helping you, in some small way, along yours. Love and aloha!
(P.S. and COMPLETELY random. I’m really thrilled about the appropriateness of the image for this post. You can just see “HOW DID I GET MYSELF INTO THIS!? WHAT HAVE I DONE??” alllllll over my face. But, I climbed a palm tree, which is pretty bomb, and no one got hurt. So it was actually a friggin awesome experience. And a perfect visual representation of me in YWAM.)