Three weeks ago to the day, I posted the MOST vulnerable and stomach tightening terrifying blog post I ever have…and at the same time, it was an incredible move of freedom being made on my part. I told the world hey, I went through this scary ordeal and all these other things happened, and through it all…I was brought back to God. Admitting that my heart knew there was something more out there and saying it out “loud”, finally. I felt pulled by this force bigger than myself to understand Him and create a relationship there or rather, mend one that was so broken and lost for years.
The response? Unbelievable. Unbelievable. I am STILL answering those emails…that is unreal to me. I love you guys so much and I didn’t do it for the views or publicity, I did it for the “someone PLEASE tell me you get this and I’m not alone!” and I did it for the “look how human we all are being connected by our experiences and flaws” and I hoped it would change one life. All of my big big blogs? I hope they change ONE life. And guess what?! Most of them do based on the response and heart pouring messages sent to me. That is valuable to me. I am using my platform for good things and so proud of it!
The day OF the post, my best friend emailed me and said she didn’t want to speak to me again. The day after the post, Ellie had a terrifying fever for the second time in weeks and we rushed her to the ER where she got sick all over me and we had a bad scare.
Two days after the post…my brother died. Bam bam bam like a slap in the face, a punch to the gut and a SHOT to the heart back to back crappy events all weekend.
Later that week, Cammy got a fever and started getting scary sick, too. Then Mike..he got sick and was annoyed and miserable.
So that’s back to back after my post about reconnecting with God. YOUR EMAILS AND TEXTS AND LOVE AND SUPPORT MEAN THE MOST TO ME…..ALL OF IT. EVERY SINGLE ONE. So many of you told me Amanda, this is kind of similar to the Devil almost trying to sneak up and attack you after you JUST LITERALLY announced your decision to reconnect with God…I mean seriously it truly felt that way! I didn’t know what to think for days of getting hit so hard. But the most beautiful thing happened and it was so unexpected for me….the comments where people insisted that I should believe that I wasn’t walking alone through this, and that God was there with me…those for some reason (and for the first time in a looooooooooooong time, you’re reading this written by one of the least religious people ever for so many years previously) — they were the most comforting. That is big for me, and very different and strange but I love it. I felt better thinking that He was there and protecting me through this horrible couple of weeks.
Some of you said — “please don’t let this disconnect you!” or “shake your faith” — and I’m telling you today, it didn’t! Strangely enough the horrible series of events just brought me closer…and that surprises me. It really does. It really, really, really surprises me…but how awesome is that?! Instead of feeling defeated like I need to run from him again, I feel even more prepared to continue building this beautiful relationship.
My incredible, inspirational and dear dear friend Katelyn James sent me two books I am loving, and I’m not too far into them yet but one a lot of you have heard of…called “Start Here” — and the other is a daily devotional. Start Here has a way of being so FAIR to us who are new! When I say fair…I choose that wording because you know what, I don’t know all the books in the bible and actually I know hardly anything about it anymore…and so many people when they talk to you about or blogs, etc– they assume everyone is on the same page…literally. One day, I would love to know the books, the scripture, the verses…but I don’t right now. I would not know where to begin..but this book is named perfectly…I get to start there, somewhere simple and easy.
My favorite part so far, one of the first points made says, “The problem is that most people turn the idea of “following Jesus” into “following rules” — and that’s not the point. The story of the Bible makes it clear that the point of knowing Jesus is for a relationship, not rules.”
The perspective is just so….clear. It makes sense. It lifts WEIGHTS, too and definitely seems to be a lot lighter than the kind of religious environment I grew up in at my home church. When you’re raised at one church with such stuffy views…it definitely tends to turn people away more than attract them. Personality wise, I am finding what fits me best and even visited Saint Andrew’s By The Sea in Nags Head last Sunday (just Cammy and I) and we LOVED it! Until she started barking like a dog..we had to leave then..but I WENT for the first time voluntarily in DECADES! 🙂
Here’s to learning new things, continuing to reconnect and to understanding better. I am LOVING this journey!