Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fall to grace: Aftermath, Part 2

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.

One of the ways that God dealt with me was in the area of my emotions. Reformed folk are, to understate it a bit, not known to be an emotional bunch. There is a reason for the nickname "frozen chosen". I had so focused on loving God with my mind, that my relationship with him had become almost completely intellectual.

In addition, our years in the OPC Church, with its staid, rigid --- even at times somber and stifling --- style of worship service, had made me wary of any sort of emotional approach to worship and praise.

Now that all changed. I felt undone by the love of Jesus, and I was overwhelmed by how emotional I became.

Mike wrote me:

You CAN have a satisfying emotional relationship with
Christ and be logical and intellectual in your faith at the same time. There is a middle ground, you know. Remember -- I convinced you through logic and scriptural exegesis -- not emotions.

I responded:

Mike, don't worry. I'm not about to park my brain and become some emotionally-driven person. (I can see it now. My posts on the Gothard discussion will start saying, "Why argue theology? Let's just all hold hands and sing 'They'll know we are Christians by our love'. It doesn't matter what you think about Christ, just how you feel about Him! Warm fuzzies, everyone!")

What I really want---and what scares me too---is to know Christ with everything in me. I don't want to just have some sort of mind-y relationship with Him. I want that too, but I want the passion and the glory and the freedom of really, really knowing Him intimately.

I wrote to another friend:

I realized last night that a big part of the tears is that I feel completely shattered and undone by the love of Jesus. It's too much for me. Way, way too much. And I've also realized that there was some catharsis stuff going on too. Kinda like when I broke my toe during pregnancy and cried for half an hour---not over the toe but over everything else I hadn't cried about for a long time.

I've started reading Swindoll's book, "The Grace Awakening". I feel like I'm being all brave and daring and wild to be reading something outside the Reformed camp. (In fact, I even asked Mike for reading suggestions. Scary thought.) It's funny that God is using people who hold theological positions with which I disagreed strongly---that He's using them so powerfully in my life right now. Humbling, but also hilarious in a way.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca, I'd be interested in hearing about where you finally settled emotionally. I guess I'm not this far in your story yet. God has been working overtime in my life this week, tearing away more and more. I'm not ready for grace yet. But when I am, I would be interested in knowing what books helped you. Do you recommend Swindoll's book? Did you have to pick through a lot of other "stuff" to get the good parts? My foundation is too shaky right now to have to do that. I want really solid, foundational teaching.

    Thanks for telling your story. It's hard to hear, but I appreciate it.