Meeting God – Again – For The First Time

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions. I have a hard enough time accepting myself “as is” without a yearly reminder to fix something about myself. That being said, I stumbled into a resolution this year that just might be what I need. I have resolved to stop trying so damn hard to deepen my relationship with God. Okay now you’re probably thinking I’ve given up or that I’ve hit one of those spiritual roadblocks that we all hit along the line. And actually it’s neither. I am simply going to relate to God from where I am right now. He gets it and more importantly, He gets me, just as I am right now at this moment.

I have been struggling with so many old wounds and so much of that pain came from trying to understand where God had been in the darkest hours of my life. I have been working so hard to “fix” my relationship with God that I was missing out on the one I already have! I can see all the good that God has worked in my life. He’s been working overtime for me and yet I still couldn’t completely trust Him because there were those times when it felt like He had abandoned me to the darker side of the world and my own bad choices. While my head could see the love, my heart refused to risk being broken again. That inner struggle is exhausting and spiritually debilitating. I have asked for God’s help repeatedly to resolve this and He worked around my childish attempts to blockade myself from His love.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, I took my mother to visit her best friend Nancy, who lives about an hour away in northern New Jersey. We all love to read and Nancy gave us a book that her spiritual director had given her to read. That was how I was introduced to The Shack and I have not been the same since. God’s hand was undoubtedly at work as I have read it three times now in a month and have given away copies to my dearest friends, my priest, and even my therapist. I have recommended it to dozens of people, even total strangers in the book store. I will not spoil the plot for those who haven’t experienced it yet. And that is what this book is – not just a story but an experience. Those that I have spoken with who have read it all relate to it differently depending on their own life experiences but no one was left unchanged by it.

This is a fictional story of an everyday man who experiences a great tragedy. Then a few years later, he receives a note from God asking to spend some time with him. He spends the weekend with God and what transpires changes him forever. Without being didactic, preachy, or cerebral this story cut right to the heart of my pain and helped my begin to heal the relationship I have with God right now. This is NOT a self-help book. There are no discussion questions or journaling suggestions. It’s just a simple story and somehow that made it so real for me. Somehow it was more approachable as a story, not a “how to” book.

If I hit the lottery tomorrow, I would give copies of this book to everyone I could. If you have not made a resolution yet for 2009 – make it to read this story. If the imagery doesn’t touch you deeply, at least you will enjoy a well written story.

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3 thoughts on “Meeting God – Again – For The First Time

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