Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fall to grace: Aftermath, part 10

For the whole story, read this, beginning with Part 1. The condensed version can be found in Part 6. Links to the entire series can be found on the blog sidebar.

Now what?

I knew I was taking a risk in finally posting online the whole story of my "fall to grace". I thought of just posting Part 6, the "condensed version", since that was what I had posted publicly before. But, for several years, I had felt that God was urging me to share more of my journey. Several recent events, emails, and other online conversations indicated strongly, at least to me, that now was the time.

It has been such a blessing to me the way that God has used this series of posts to encourage and minister to others. I'm grateful for those who have encouraged me by posting their comments and by emailing me.

When I was deciding how to tell my story, I was tempted to take a more theological approach. But, frankly, there are those who can do --- and who have already done --- this much better than I possibly could. I was also tempted to write it less personally, more guardedly, more "safely". But then I decided to let the story tell itself, to share my journey as openly as possible. After all, it is an intensely personal story. I hoped that the value in telling it was worth the risk.

Knowing that my journey has resonated with others, that readers have found encouragement in my words, that we have all been encouraged to focus more on Jesus than on our own feeble efforts --- ah, that has made it all worth it.

But I also knew, in writing something both so personal and controversial, that there would be much room for misunderstanding. I expected accusations of antinomianism; surprisingly, these have not come yet. I expected that those who still believed and lived as I once did would probably not react with enthusiasm to my story. I expected that some readers would not understand what all the fuss was about, and why I dedicated so many posts to this one topic.

I didn't quite know what to expect from my readers who also know me in "real life". Some walked through this journey with me, and felt that my telling of the story was long overdue. For some, it was like a "trip down memory lane". Some who didn't know me "back in the day" still rejoiced over my finding greater freedom in Christ.

But the response has not been all positive. I've been accused of studying and reading too much --- an accusation I find interesting since I am almost ashamed to admit how little I have studied over the past few years. Yes, I studied intensely eight years ago, but I have hardly kept up that sort of pace since then.

I've been accused of not focusing enough on Christ, and this is something I take very much to heart. It is, I cannot help but admit, entirely true. I do not practice His Presence as I should. I do not pray without ceasing. My walk with Him consists of too much stumbling, too much standing in one place, too much balking, too much foot-dragging, too much running off in wrong directions. As one of my favorite hymns says, I am "prone to wander...prone to leave the One I love". May He "take my heart and seal it". I am so thankful that He is sanctifying me; my efforts are so inadequate. May I turn my eyes more on Jesus. May I walk more closely with Him.

In addition, I have been accused of self-righteousness. May it never be. May I always remember that the only righteousness I have is the righteousness of Christ. Mine is but filthy rags. God forgive me when I forget this.

Friends, pray for me. My journey is far from over. I want to fight the good fight and run the race with endurance but, as those who know me know all too well, I am weak. I can only hope that Jesus will give me the strength I need, that He will carry me, that His grip on me will never fail.

I believe there is much value in our redemptive stories, especially when we try to tell them to the glory of God. Over the past few months, I've caught new glimpses of the journeys that some of my friends and acquaintances have been on since we hung out together back in the day. God has brought many of us to a place of greater freedom in Him. Some of the roads we have taken have been rockier than others. I would encourage all my fellow travelers on this journey towards Jesus --- all of those who follow Christ --- to share your redemptive stories. You never know how your story may bless someone else, and how the telling of it may be used by God in your life as well.


  1. It was great to read through your story, Rebecca . . . I had your blog bookmarked, hadn't been there in a while. I am no friend of Reformed Theology, so say it mildly (my somewhat and likely unnecessarily harsh "Controversy With Calvin" poem, ). It is the siren's song that has - to me - been the most unlikely stumbling block to trip up some the brightest and the best. I have seen them fall one by one. A darker prison that that which many of them escaped, that of careless, worldly, self-centered Christianity. May the Lord have mercy on us all. In the end, only Jesus wins.

    The Lord bless, keep, and encourage you.

  2. Rebecca, I have visited your site a few times to read through the whole "Fall to Grace" story. It has helped me to understand a dear friend who is Reformed. I grew up in a non-denominational
    church. I was living a vibrant Christian walk, when I was side swiped, or more accurately left hooked- by Reformed homeschoolers. My walk with the Lord has taken years to recover. Thanks for sharing your story. It blessed me.

  3. I just ran across your blog via your old comment at the Biblical Christian blog - the Thursday, April 06, 2006 "Christian womanhood: two different views" post.

    Thought your comments were brilliant.

    I'm a 29 year old newlywed. I love my husband and I love politics and I love my church. We want kids. But I'm not a housewife or a kitchen wife or whatever either. I do housework. I cook. But, as you said, these don't comprise my identity. I'm my husband's wife but first of all, I am a servant, priest and child of God almighty.

    My political roles particularly put me on the outside of expectations for theologically conservative Christian women. I love my church but find the restrictions on women difficult. Maybe it will be easier if I have a passel of children to focus on someday. I have plenty else to focus on now though, and the male-centric culture still bothers me. I think it's wrong even though it doesn't seem to bother many other people...

  4. Dear Rebecca,

    I came to visit your site for the first time yesterday, from thatmom's. It was fascinating to me to read how your journey, your fall to grace. This interests me greatly. I'm at the beginning of a journey of my own, I think... it's exciting, frightening, but I realize I now approach God in prayer with much more confidence and a feeling of intimacy and assurance... and I appreciate God's grace so much more. I would love to contact you if I may, I'd like to ask you something but I see no e-mail address here. How can I reach you?


  5. "... to read how you describe your journey" - I meant. Sorry.