There have been a couple of times in my life that I have walked away from God. Not in a passive aggressive way or a "I'm just tired of going to church" way. No, it was in a very definitive and decided way.
I have even gone as far as to just say that God is a jerk. That's right. You read that right. I keep it real with God. Those couple of times that I walked away were moments in my life where I had waited for so long or prayed so hard for something and I had yet to see the fruition of my diligence and (what I felt) my patience.
I'm not here at this point, typing these words, to hash out why I did what I did or anything like that. I'm here to talk about the aftermath. What happens when I enter back in to this relationship with God when I have walked away from Him.
I can't tell you specifically, why I struggle in my relationships, but the way I treat my relationship with God is the same way that I treat all of my relationships with people. When I have done something dumb I feel I need to earn my way back in to their favor.
Now, that may be true for some people. In fact, I can say without malice, that I have a family member that is this way. When they feel they have been wronged they expect you to grovel, plead and beg for you to be back in their life.
But that isn't true of God.
Growing up in church, I heard about God's rules and His judgment. What I didn't hear enough about is His grace and His mercy. Hear is the real question I have to be honest about. Did I choose not to hear it? Did I only want to hear about God and His rules and judgments? Did I make a decision to not hear about His mercy and grace? Or when I heard it did I not fully comprehend what it meant?
Maybe, what I have gone through in my life was meant so that I could fully understand God's grace and mercy.
Maybe, God allowed me those times to walk away from our relationship so that I could fully comprehend the magnitude of His grace.
I was reminded yesterday, that some of my anxiety that I have been carrying is due to the fact that I am looking at God as if He is holding a scale in His hand weighing my good and bad. Though this thought wasn't conscience or intentional it was true. The person speaking to me hit the nail on the head. The year of 2020 brought me growth, but it also brought me uncertainty. This uncertainty was like a tightrope that I was walking and trying to keep balanced on. I didn't want to slip because it could very well make someone unhappy.
I did slip. A couple of times it was unintentional. The pressure was high and I stumbled. A couple of times I very intentionally just stepped off that rope. Deep down, I know that it was important for me to take a step off that rope and set some boundaries. Not because I am perfect or better than anyone else, but because I have two goals in my life. I want to be more like Christ. I want my actions to reflect the light of God shining in my life and sometimes that means I have to polish my mirror and sometimes I have to cordon off the mirror and not let some people near it. But this comes with consequences. This makes some people unhappy. This makes people question you. It makes you doubt yourself. It makes you think that maybe God is the same way.
He isn't. God isn't spiteful. He isn't an emotional manipulator. He isn't waiting to trap you with your words or your actions. God is love. He is mercy. He is grace. He is perfect in all of His ways.
So today, I am allowing myself to be inundated by the grace that God has already been extending me. I'm also going to just go ahead and step off that tight rope I've been walking on. God doesn't give us tight ropes to walk on to navigate our lives. He gives us a path. I'm not sure why I've been making it so difficult.