You thought I was done, didn't you? Because the story should go that I found God, we fell in love and the music swelled as we rode off into the sunset together. But we all know that real relationships aren't like that. Real relationships are full of good times and bad times and getting to know each other and putting up with his leaving the toilet seat up. And honestly, even though I went to church for a while it took some time for me to come around. We even skipped some church during the summer. And sure, a relationship with God does not include toilet seats but it is a process. It takes time.
Do you remember when you first met your husband or wife? Do you remember getting excited to see them and talk to them and thinking about them non-stop. Do you remember talking about them to all of your friends because there just wasn't any other subject that held your interest for long? That part of the relationship is what we call "falling in love".
Well my friends, I'm completely falling in love with God. It didn't come right away. You know, because I played hard to get. But now? Well, I just can't seem to get enough. I am obnoxiously head over heels. The only thing I haven't done is write "I heart Jesus" all over my school notebooks. Because I honestly do feel like a silly, giddy school girl.
Don't even think that I'm comfortable with this, cause I'm not. I cannot even believe that I just typed those words! I feel ridiculous but I just can't help myself. I'm reading my bible daily, something that has never, ever, EVER even occurred to me before. I don't do it because anyone told me to or because I have a desire to quote scripture (I don't have that good a memory so that will never happen anyway). I do it because it's a way for me to know him. Kind of like when I was first dating Howie and I would snoop through his room just to smell his clothes and look through his photo albums. It wasn't because I wanted to violate his privacy, it was because I just wanted to be closer to him, to feel like I knew him better. It's the same thing.
I'm still not used to any of this because like I said, I feel awkward. I feel like I simply can't believe what I'm doing! I can hardly recognize myself! It's like how when you're young and you swear that you will never become your mother and then one day you wake up and you ARE you're mother. It's who you are but it feels weird to embrace that identity, embarrassing even.
I even attended a Christian women's conference and didn't even feel that out of place. I have to be totally honest with you in saying that if I had gone to that very same conference a year ago, it would have made my skin crawl. In fact, I'm doing things that I simply can't believe I'm doing. I- ME-The person who once proclaimed herself "agnostic" is now in a bible study group *gasp*.
Maybe it's because it's new and exciting and interesting but I am simply bursting at the seams with happiness. My cup is over flowing like wake-up-in-the-morning with a smile plastered on my face kind of happy. Sometimes it is external because I'm grinning and bouncing and beaming. Like I just swallowed a hand-full of ecstasy and washed it down with a gallon of Red Bull. Other times, it's completely invisible. On the outside I am simply still yet inside I'm filled with the kind of contentment and joy that I never knew was possible. My mind is quiet and I feel focused and full of happiness. I am 100% fine with the world. That isn't to say that I'm perfect or that I don't have a lot of work to do because boy howdy, there is like major construction that needs to be done. Like, rip me down all the way to the studs and re-build from the ground up kind of construction. But that will all come in good time. In the meantime I am going to sit back and enjoy the trip.
All of this has been a journey that started all the way back to as long as I can remember. There have been so many dead-ends and detours. There have been road blocks and rough terrain. I think the loss of my mom was the catalyst that brought everything to a head and therein lies the silver lining to her death. At bible study the other day one of the women was asked how she endures the pain of a child with severe medical complications and the fear that she could lose him at any moment. She said, "I have to remember that as much as I love him, God loves him more." And that moment right there was the moment that I finally got it. That God didn't take my mom because he didn't love me. He took my mom because of how much he loved HER. It's never been about me.
I will always be Licha which means that I will always be silly and sarcastic and dirty minded. I will always have a compulsion for chocolate and salty chips. I will always love Ultimate Fighting Championships and bull riding. I will always be loving and caring and giving. I will always be the fundamental things that make me who I am. But also, I am different and will never be the same.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."
2 Cor 5:17 (niv)