I have lived my life by one rule…and if you have been reading this blog or my previous incarnation, then you know what it is…
“Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.”
Now, I don’t claim to have always lived a good life, full of good deeds. I don’t claim to have always been the nicest person, nor do I think I am the worst. I am human and with that comes free choice, which leads to both good and bad decisions.
But at the bottom of it all, I have tried to live honestly…and fully. I have never once intentionally hurt another person and am the first to offer forgiveness. Even when someone doesn’t ask.
For those who know me, they know my heart. They know that I agonize over hurting people and want to right my wrongs. It’s been a life long battle, letting go of those that can’t forgive. It kills me to this day.
But these days, it’s a battle I am winning. I am learning to let go. To let these folks answer to God. Not me. Just like I will. If it weren’t for the love of my wife, my kids, my family and my friends, I would fold up, dive head first into darkness and dwell there all my days.
But see, they bring light, happiness and joy to me. They are what God put in my way…to show me my faith. To show me that just because I don’t go to church, just because I am not a member of a congregation, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my faith shown to me in many ways. Every day.
I had a rough time at work this week with a former employee. An employee that threatened my very life. And in this week, specifically today when they showed up unannounced, I saw God had put people around me to surround me, to protect me. I didn’t know until the person was gone and even with that, I had others calling me to check, to warn…I had others to escort me out, to make sure I got to my car safely. And then I had others to check on me later in the evening just because they thought of me. It was His way of showing me that His arms were around me, protecting me through others. It was peaceful.
God had shown me the path back to my children. I spent a few years allowing another to make me make small choices everyday….between this person and my children. I can see it now. It wasn’t intentional, I truly believe this. But there were choices and sometimes, I didn’t make the right ones. Now, God has put this wonderful being into my life and the choice is automatic. It’s kids first. Period. For both of us. Kids first. He put her there, to show me that He knew I needed this, that I needed to not be where I was and that He had my heart in His hands….and was leading me home.
God has put this being in my life to love me. To treat me as her equal. To show me that a relationship isn’t all about the angst. That it does take work, but not THAT much work. It’s been a whirlwind and I wouldn’t trade anything other than the fact that I wish I had been here five years earlier than I was. But He works in His time and I realize now that I wasn’t ready for this, that she wasn’t ready. We had to wait until His time was right. And we are on the same path, hand in hand…
My faith was shaken when I left my church a few years ago. It didn’t feel like home any more. It was my place with a former relationship and became her sanctuary. In the end, I felt judged by others that knew nothing about our end other than one side and I felt that church wasn’t the place to air such things. So I removed myself, surrounded myself with love and waited. I don’t know what for, but I waited for some sign, something that showed me a new church home….that I longed for the lessons of the Book, His word….
…I learned that my faith didn’t leave me. Ever. Just because I was testing it, I was questioning Him, didn’t mean He left me, that He questioned me. I had a purpose and I needed to settle into that and be still. My faith would rise up and fill me.
And it did.
Now days, I don’t question Him. I talk to Him. In my quietest moments, I am in my head, feeling my way through my faith. It is a sense of self where I feel it most. That I know I am right where I need to be and more importantly, who I want to be.
I think faith will see you through everything. Faith in something bigger than me, something that will tie me to another person. Our common bond in our faith. It doesn’t mean I have to be Baptist, Catholic or Jewish….I just have to have faith.
I try to continue to share this faith with others. And this year, I realized that I didn’t attend Ash Wednesday services, Maunday Thursday services or Good Friday services. I don’t expect to attend Easter morning services. And as much as I miss this, I realize that I don’t have to be in a room full of people to celebrate Christ and his life, his sacrifice for me and the forgiveness I have each day, even before I get out of bed. That God loves me enough to keep giving me chances and choices.
I intend to continue to float on my faith. To rise above the hatred, the ugliness and the pettiness of others. To realize that no matter what the past is, it is truly the past and it is forgiven. That my past led me to my present, and will light my path to the future.
I will continue to float on my faith, with love in my heart, with laughter on the tip of my tongue and forgiveness in my soul.
And on Sunday, as everyday, I will remember the season, I will rejoice in His rising and I will do so with light in my eyes and faith all around. I will celebrate His eternal life, His boundless sacrifice and be grateful that my faith cup runneth over.