I grew up knowing God.
I went to church every Sunday. CCD and CYO on Wednesdays. I knew why we celebrated Christmas and Easter and the importance of the seasons. I knew prayer was a conversation with God and I could talk to Mother Mary and the many Saints for guidance and help, too. I understood the monumental achievement of obtaining the sacraments.
God is a steady, quiet, ever-present force.
I grew to know Jesus after my separation.
I bought my first ever Bible. I read His good word. I sang worship songs. I craved to know Him just as I heard others knew Him. I longed to hear Jesus speak to me in those times of darkness and loneliness. I repeated scripture when my heart needed to remember. I learned of the love, grace, and mercy that is unending in Christ.
Jesus is light, love, and hope.
I grew to wonder if I was Christian enough.
If I could say that I am a woman of Christ because I do not read the Bible every day. I do not have any scripture memorized. None. I couldn’t tell you the stories of Ruth, Rachel, or Hagar. I didn’t go to a parochial school or college. I do not belong to a women’s group, small group, or Bible study. My hands never raise in song or praise. I do not shout out amen during prayer or sermon. I am even to the point I do not belong to a church. I am very hesitant to physically rally around others in prayer.
I have kept an open mind. I tried on a couple different types of religious practices. I wrote and spoke more boldly about His love for me and the transformation He has given my heart. I read others testament and stories of Jesus.
Yet, there is a looming question in my heart if I am Christian enough.
I swear. I drink. I tell dirty jokes. More often than not, I do not always turn to God right away in my joy and suffering. I question Him. Every day. I do not spend daily devotional time with Him. I choke on prayers. I have cursed Him and His name many times. My marriage was not built on a foundation of faith. I am a divorced woman who dates and has sex. I question why God allows bad things to happen. I have resentment and disdain lurking inside of me. Some may look at me and question whether or not I am a true Christian.
I am not the typical portrayal of a Christian woman.
I know this.
I love God. I love His son, Jesus.
I am a sinner.
I know in my heart of the grace and mercy I receive from Christ’s death on the cross. I start my days in thankfulness and gratitude. I ask for guidance, wisdom, and forgiveness. I pray to be more like Him. Even though I know I will always fall short. I work to be more kind and more giving. I extend my hand out to my neighbor. I admit my faults and confess my sins. I repent. I attempt to live and love like Christ did and does.
I know this.
He lives in my life
He lives in my home.
He lives in my parenting.
He lives in my children.
He lives in my relationships with my family and friends.
He lives in my healing and grieving.
He lives in my actions and words.
He lives in my future.
He lives in my heart.
I grew to understand that God and Jesus live in all of us differently. Just as He made us all different. I accept His purpose for me will look different from the woman’s next to me. My journey with Christ is not the same as my friend’s journey or the top influential Christian woman’s journey. I am not your typical Christian woman.
I know this.
So does He.
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