I’m losing control…of everything. I have been disillusioned for a long time because the truth of the matter is; I never had control to begin with. I’m learning to be okay with that. Now that I’ve captivated you with the vague intro (don’t blame me, blame my English teacher) let me dive into a little of what I mean with all of this “losing control” malarkey.
I grew up in a Christian home. I was loved and nurtured in the faith. My parents, like many Christian parents, wanted me to grow deeper in my knowledge and faith in the Lord. I was sixteen when I decided that God had called me to ministry in the form of a Youth Pastor. So I began my studies. I’m not sure where I picked up on the Calvinistic mindset. I always thought it was my parents, but after recent conversations with my mom, it turns out, neither her nor my dad hold those views. This paradigm shift in and of itself is a head trip to me.
So, I got married and began slowly, achingly pursuing my degree to become the “Youth Pastor”. As I did so, my wife decided (yes, on her own merit. I had nothing to do with it! Well…) to have a few babies. We are done having babies after having had number six…Yes you heard me right…SIX!!! I’ve been going to school throughout this chaos. To give you some perspective on where I’m at, I have been going to Liberty University for six years now and I am just about done with my Associates Degree. But as my wife and I have grown older and after losing our second child to SIDS, our views on God began to change. We still believed in Him and still loved Him through it all. But our idea of faith and God’s will begin to take an interesting journey.
I can no longer say that there is a plan for everything. That doesn’t make sense anymore. Some things can’t be planned. I began questioning, “What kind of God would let my daughter die?” This wasn’t a question of disbelief but a question of an expression I’m coining for lack of a better term as “misbelief”. I had misunderstood what God was doing in our lives and how He worked. At that time, I believed that God was basically my genie. With that, sadly, I believed that I was special above all others because the gifts that He’d given me in regards to talent seemed to be of great influence in my life. Honestly, I was soaking up God’s glory with it.
The day my daughter died, a shift began in my thinking. I’m not any more special than any other creation that God has made and my daughter has affected more change in her 3 month journey on this earth than I had up to that point. She was more focused on God’s will on her life than I was on mine. That’s when the reconstruction began, and it was and is still very hard. You see, I was a Biblical theologian in the Calvinistic view. I had all the answers. People would come to me and ask a ton of questions and I gave a haughty answer because I knew it all! I had the rhetoric down to a science.
But now it doesn’t make as much sense. Now, I don’t have all the answers. And in this moment, I have never felt more alive. I know it’s odd that the less about God I know, the better I feel. But again, if I’m honest, the god I was selling was the god I made in my own image. So now I’m seeking the God who is. I’m realizing, I know very little about the God that is. This idea sparks a romance in me that I haven’t felt in a long time! I have come to discover, I’m courting God again. And it’s lovely. It kind of reminds me of the Jars of Clay tune, Love Song for a Savior. The chorus line repeats, “I want to fall in love with you.” I remember knowing someone who didn’t like that song because they thought it was disrespectful to associate romantic love to the Deity of God. But I think that’s exactly what the church is missing. We don’t attempt to romance God anymore. He just wants some flowers and for us to say we love Him again. That’s the least we can do for the the Maker of all, isn’t it?