November 10th, 2011
My spiritual walk has been characterized by the cleansing process of laundry. Before I came to Christ, I was dirty and filthy. I had been soiled with dirt and disgusting odors. I knew I needed to bathe and become clean, and it was by the power of God’s grace and living water that I was able to be washed white as snow. With Christ I felt new! There was a comfort in the feel of my spiritual freshness, but just as my laundry can become soiled in a single day, so can my heart. When I walk out the door, I am allowing this dirty world in. My heart hurts because what I thought was clean now feels ruined, but as I walk through my spiritual journey, I know I have God walking right beside me with a fresh bottle of Clorox.
In everybody’s spiritual Journey, they begin to find their different strengths and weaknesses. I have come to the conclusion that some of my strengths and weaknesses come from the fruits of the spirit. The first one I have encountered is love. When I was growing up, my mother taught me how to love everyone. She instilled in me a love for others and a longing to help everyone around me. When someone asks me to do something, I try to do it. I want to be like Christ by being a light for Him. When I show others I care, I am able to gain their trust and show them the true love of Jesus. But even though I am able to find my strength in love, I am also able to find my weakness. Because I have so much love and I want everyone to be happy with me, I get discouraged anytime I feel someone does not like me. I begin to shut down and avoid everyone who asks me what is wrong. I forget to talk to the lord, read my bible, and focus on the blessings of life, but by doing that, I notice I am seeking my identity in others and not God.
The second Fruit I can relate my spiritual journey to is self- control. I have found that I have a huge weakness when it comes to self-control. In my spiritual journey, my emotions change at a rapid rate. I can go from one day feeling horrible and guilty, crying to God to forgive me; to another day being happy and excited, thinking that I am such a great person and people will be able to see Christ through me. One example I have took place this past summer. This past summer I went to Honduras. While I was there, I began to feel dread and torture because I was away from my family. I knew I was doing the will of God, but I could not bring myself to feel excited and happy. Whenever I was able to talk to my mom, I would act like I was the happiest person ever and there was nothing wrong. I would write in my blog about all the blessing I was receiving, but I would act like all the horror and anger never existed. I hate the fact that I can be bipolar in my emotions with God. I wish all I had was a positive outlook, but when it comes to my selfishness, that outlook turns to horror.
The third fruit I can relate my spiritual life to is Joy. When I encounter joy, I feel such a peace in my heart. Most the time my joy comes from standing alone singing or hearing a great speaker in Chapel. When I have joy and peace, a smile does not leave my face. Sometimes when I talk to people, they will tell me they see me glowing, and whenever I hear this, I think about all the blessings God has bestowed upon. When the Love of Christ comes upon me, my joy begins to overflows. Soon reality seems to disappear and I feel as if I am in a dream that no one can disturb.
After I acknowledged my strengths and weaknesses parallel to the fruit of the spirit, I started to look at where I was at in my process of Faith development. In faith development, we begin by being dependent on others and seeking higher authority. When we find somebody we know we can lean on, we eventually start to cling to them and what they believe, but stray from reflecting and thinking things through in our own lives. When we reach an age we feel we can be more independent, we start to separate what we have learned from the authority figure we spent most our adolescent lives looking up to. So where do I fit in? What stage am I dwelling in? I have seen throughout this semester the actions I have made when trying to improve my spiritual walk. I noticed I have been looking for people to help me stay on track and remind me to pray and read my bible. I tried looking to those who I felt were a higher authority and began to adapt all the things they were doing, but forgot to reflect on what it was doing in my own life and in the lives of those around me. At this very moment, I can see I am still stuck in stage one, but as I get older, I will eventually begin to progress to the stage where I learn to transition to an independent; leaving all that I clung to behind.
As I progress in my faith development, I am so also learning how to live my life devoted to Christ. To a live a devoted life, I have to be willing to do things that I may not want to do. For example, if I want to be devoted to reading my bible every day, I would have to be willing to set aside time for it, even if it meant getting up 15 minutes earlier. I want to try and do all I can for Christ and live a life fully devoted to His plans for me, but to achieve this goal, I must first come into a relationship with Him. Before I gave my life to Christ, I was lonely, I had lost all my friends, I felt guilt that pierced my heart, and I allowed Satan to tell me lies that in reality was not true. I know I am not perfect by any means, and when I live my life devoted to Christ, I begin to see a change in my attitude and daily walk. I have realized that God allows me to go through trials so that I may learn to stand in faith at anything that may come my way, because I am to be formed to the image of Christ, and unless I live my life completely for him, I am walking on a wide path that will lead to destruction.
So, as most can see, I have a lot of progress to make in my spiritual journey, but I have come to the conclusion that I am here to learn to rely on God, grow in Him, and share the good news of His love and Mercy; which He so graciously bestowed upon each person who has come to know Him. I must strive to conform to His image and live a life fully devoted to Him. No matter what trials may come my way, I know Christ is right beside me. He is the one I must seek in all that I do; my identity is found in Him.