The Shack.

The Shack Poster

This is a great movie.  This is also the second movie I have seen in a theater in the last 5 years.  It was so worth the $30 after ticket, popcorn, milk duds, and soda…yes, I live large when I do go to the theater.  I loved this movie, the characters were the kind you fall in love with, the message was deep and thought provoking…I cried for two days.  Many people say it is life changing.  It was for me but I’m also in a vortex of great change, healing, and finding my faith.

I’m sensing that the world as a whole is trying to find it’s faith with all these movies coming out lately about God, Jesus, Faith…The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel being one of many.  This was a book made into a mainstream movie and coming to theaters April 7th.  I’ll be there for that one too, along with my milk duds and popcorn.  Gives me a headache every time but it’s just not a night at the theater without the deadly combo.

I’m a former atheist that has been working her way toward a relationship with God.  This movie doesn’t answer a lot of questions, however, it is a warm and fuzzy feeling that will plant a seed within our hearts if we are just open enough.  The rest we will have to venture out and seek on our own.

Some places I’ve been doing the research with is Lee Strobel’s books.  He interviews all the highest of the high smarty pants philosophers, historians, the atheists turned Christian professors and scientist.  He asks all the questions and gets all the answers that some of us need to reach a final verdict.

I went to church recently and the pastor held up the Bible and said, “Most people think this is just a book of parables and mythology.”  He talked about how so many people have questions and doubts that keep them from really growing in Jesus, from really immersing themselves in their Christian faith and embracing and studying the Bible.  I was that person sitting there in Church like an imposter on Sundays.

I, like so many others, love Jesus but I was sure he was no more than a prophet, a man who just really understood the workings of the Universe.  The Bible was no more than stories to teach us morals.  God was no more than a mystic Spiritual something rather that I didn’t understand.

But I got tired of not really committing.  I got tired of going to one Christian church one Sunday and then The Center for Spiritual Living the next Sunday.  I felt like a fake.  I’d sit in church and smile like a nice Christian sister and look about at all the “silly people” that really took all this Biblical stuff seriously.  Of course, I thought I was smarter, I had seen all the shows on the History channel and the stories on the internet.  There were so many beliefs, misinformation, and confusion that had me keeping things at arm’s length.

Then why did I keep going to the Christian churches?  Why do I keep trying at a Christian faith?  Why did I keep coming back to the Bible?  I’ve been trying to read that book for 9 years now.

Because I now know that I was being led here to this very place.  I hungered for God and home.  God knows our hearts and it was in mine to know God, to know who Jesus really was.  I was attracted to the church but I had been raised to be leery, that only simple minded people fell into that trap of religion.

I tried going other routes.

I looked into Buddhism but it never really got my interest past a big and gold Buddha I have in my living room for decoration.  I looked into Taoism.  I love the idea of going with the rhythm of the seasons and listening to your heart.  That is Gods work right there.  Zen…don’t know much, looked it up on Wikipedia once.  Hinduism, I just love all the fables and statues.  I had all sorts of them in my house.  What is strange is that recently, as I delve into my study of God, each one has been broken and thrown away.  They have been broken by Bali and the kids playing in the house on different occasions until almost all of them are gone.  I had some of these for years.  Is it a message that I don’t need all these false idols, to just bring the focus down to one thing?  I didn’t idolize the Lakshmi’s or the Buddha’s…but they were in my window sills and on my desk.  They say God can be a bit jealous.  Food for thought.

Years ago I started attending The Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa.  I took 3 or 4 twelve week courses on Prayer, Meditation, Self Reflection.  It was the most healing thing I could have done.  Far surpassed any sort of therapy.  I also got sober at that time.  That was when my journey really began.  I was also trying to read the Bible.  Best to have some guidance with that and not start with the Old Testament.  It’ll scare you if you’re new to the scene.  God was kind and led me to the Center for a more gentle approach.

But here we are 8 years later and my relationship with Him is no stronger or clearer.  I’m healthy and happy and God has blessed me plenty, however, I still don’t know God enough for my liking.  Now, my love of this Jesus character has grown but I still am thinking he is just a man.  So, I go to the Center for Spiritual Awareness here in Sacramento and I love it.  I cry during praise and I enjoy the messages…well, to be honest, I usually space out during the messages.  I still think they are good….what I do hear.  But I need something more…something more solid and grounded.  I need to know where we all came from.  I need to know God and Jesus.  I want to learn how to be a Christian all the way around.

I’ve been drawn to the Christian lifestyle for years.  I love the Christian and Amish fiction, the Christian music and movies.  As a matter of fact, since getting sober and having babies, it’s all I can take.  I can’t take the violence and sex in most movies and the crudeness in mainstream music about drinking, bling bling, sex, and whatever else.  I can’t really take this world the way it is now.  I’d as soon move to an Amish farm and live out the rest of my life if they weren’t so hardcore and would allow music and TV.

Our home life is boring to most but we absolutely love it.  We don’t do drugs or booze, not even aspirin.  We don’t fight and yell in our house.  I nag Bali but I’m working hard on that.  We laugh a lot, we are positive and grateful for everything.  We have a good start on this Christian thing.  I just need to watch my mouth.  Bali doesn’t cuss, he’s a step ahead.

So, I get tired of this fence riding and I ask God for answers.  I always get answers when I ask and I know and love this.

And that is why I cried for two days after seeing The Shack.  That was God talking to me in the deepest and most loving way.  He also sent Lee Strobel and all his books.  I’ve been reading like crazy and I found some internet sights that have filled in the other nooks and crannies.

Today, I believe.  I’m still solidifying it all in my mind.  Although I have been on this journey almost 20 years and seriously for 9 years…it’s hard to go from a doubting Thomas to a full-fledged believer.  For me at least.  But I feel good and I feel like I’ve been starving and malnutritioned and I’m now getting full, nutritious, delicious, and homemade meals.  I can’t get enough and I’ve been starting my mornings off with my coffee in hand and Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyer.  Never thought I’d be into Creflo Dollar but it seems everyone is speaking directly to me lately.  I read a little bit of the Bible daily.  I chose Joyce Meyer’s The Everyday Life Bible (of course, I adore this woman).

So, I feel good.  My family will probably disown me.  Change is hard for everyone.  Ah, but this world is bright and filled with hope and light.  I’ll be living here until I really go home.


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