Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tuesday ~ New Year's Day

It's a new year now. Nothing has changed really, except for a few digits on a calendar. With each and every day coming to an end, it's sometimes strange that one particular day out of all the rest stands out as something special or significant. But I staid up 'til midnight with every one else, counting down the minutes until the significant moment of change. And as that moment came, I felt that ethereal door close on the world I knew. I felt the significance of a whole new year ahead, stretching out uncharted and unknown. Who really knows what you and I will face this year? Some of us will experience years very much like the one we just had. Some of us will find ourselves in completely new places as the months come and go. Some of us will have a year brimming with the meed of joy and laughter, while many, too, will have to drink from the cup of sorrow and sadness. Right now, it all stands a mystery.

Looking back over 2012, I don't feel much sense of achievement. It was not a good year for me, internally at least. I feel I spent most of the year fighting God, rejecting God and His ways, and looking for means of escaping this life. I did have good times in there, too. Some brief harbors of walking in step with God, or at least genuinely trying.

But it's hard to know, knowing what I know now. Most of my spiritually life has been spent trying to please God enough that He would reward me with what I want. Looking back over most of my time as an active Christian, I see that thread all throughout. I believed that by drawing closer to the heart of God, that would give me better chances of Him giving me my heart's desire. It's not hard to see why I'd mistakenly believe that. So much of what is taught for the Christian life is that the closer you draw to God the better your life will be. And the catch is – that it's true! Life is so much fuller, so much more complete the more we experience the true heart of God. But me, being the works oriented/method-following person that I am, I subconsciously believed that to mean that the more spiritually-minded I was the more I was a candidate for God's good pleasure. Hardly. So, I really did try and seek God's heart. I did  seek His face and I did desire to be a woman who fears the Lord. But my subconscious motive was for gain. All for my own gain and pleasure. It's really sobering to realize that, looking back on those times that I really was so close to Christ, when my life was an all-consuming passion to know Him more. I did want to know Him more... but I also wanted the more that He could give me in return.

That is why I fell so hard a few years ago and why it's been so hard coming out of it. I didn't get the things I wanted after breaking up with my almost-fiance three and a half years ago. It was a repeat with the second, albeit brief, boyfriend. Then there was just nobody. I had no purpose, my life seemed to come to an end. I didn't know who I was anymore. I was no longer sure of my very point of being here. Then my car search, which had become the focus of my life, was so frustratingly fruitless for so long. I never got to go to Europe and do the things I prayed for. Most of my prayers at that time went unanswered. Nothing seemed to work out, no matter where I turned.

Hence, my fall from faith. God didn't appear to come through for me. I'd spent years building up my relationship with God, but when I felt like He didn't hold up His end of the “bargain,” I so quickly lost faith in Him. But only as one would expect, since my faith was based on a “gaining” anyway. When I didn't gain, I then questioned the whole point of God. I grew so angry, so bitter. I came to believe that God only took for us, and never gave anything in return. I believed that God was cruel and demanding, instead of kind and generous. A misconstruing of my beliefs that had intertwined itself into the core of my beliefs, hidden for so long, had come to the surface and what I chose to do with that was not pretty. And I hated myself for being so ugly.

Once you lose faith in someone, even God Himself, there's no overnight fix. I mired in that pit for months on end, finally living in a world where I laughed at the works of the Spirit, I rolled my eyes when people prayed or talked about God, I never read my bible or prayed anything except angry words of accusation. Everything about God seemed like a joke to me. Something just to laugh at and mock; I felt more kinship with the world than any of the Christians around me. And I can tell you from the bottom of my heart, I have never been so miserable. When Christ isn't the point of your existence anymore, the hopelessness is like a sucking black hole, drawing you ever closer to a blackness where there is absolutely no escape. The very fires of a black hell seemed to constantly be licking at the soles of my feet, pulling me in.

 The Lord brought a way of escape, even though it was the kind of thing that I would have laughed at and mocked. It was a quiet escape, no earth-shattering quakes or supernatural manifestations around me. It was a slow escape, not instant deliverance. But gradual. Persistent. And so I'm here. No more black flames, although I can still hear it's malignant echos in my head. It's a slow journey coming back to full faith in Christ again. The lies keep popping back up, reminding me of how God seemed to let me down. I have to find those lies as they come up and replace them with truth. It's slow, painful, but I can feel the shift in my life. My faith is so very small, yet I know it's a faith that is seeking to follow after Christ for the sake of Christ, not out of a hope for gain. It's not a fake faith, pretending to be greater than it is for the sake of earning more glory points. It's a weak, little faith...but it's a faith. And I take comfort that Christ sees great value in even faith the size of a tiny mustard seed. Perhaps one day soon, my faith will move a mountain. But for now, my little mustard seed sized faith is a beautiful treasure in the store-houses of heaven.

Like many, I've rather given up on making resolutions per se, but I know each of us, as we begin a new year, have hopes for this year – goals to accomplish or dreams to fulfill. I hope to master flash-photography this year, perhaps also get closer to finishing my book five years in the writing. But there are also some more significantly difficult things I must do this year. Like buy a plane ticket to a place I swore I'd never got to again and face the ghosts of my past that surround the place. I need to walk those roads and sit in the places, replacing those painful memories with new memories; memories made as I stand in victory over the past, healed and moved on, praising God for His hand over my life. There's also some friends I hope to visit, friends strong in the past, steady in the present, and Lord willing, friends forever in the future. And after much inner debate with myself, I'll come out and say it: I wouldn't mind getting married this year. *grin* But I also don't mind the safety and familiarity of the place I call home and the people I call family.

All in all, I hope for this coming year to be wondrous. And as I ponder how to wrap up this post, I'm reminded of the very title of this blog. Nothing less than bread. It comes from Matthew 7:9,11:  

  "Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?...how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him?"

The Lord gives His very best to us, whether it comes through joy or through pain. We never receive “stones” from the Lord when it's bread that we need. And as this new year unfolds, I know that whatever I face and whatever I feel, my life will indeed be...

...nothing less than bread.


  1. Wishing you a wonderful year, Kellie - hope it's filled with great things and learning for us all. :)

    Happy 2013!

  2. Oh, my word. This was *exactly* what I needed, Kellie. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Your journey is so similar to mine, and I'm slowly pulling out of it, but that inner core belief that God just takes and doesn't care about anything but making us miserable - that's exactly me.

    The last two years have been the hardest of my life with my aunt and brother passing away, a terrible relationship experience, losing our church and having people we loved like family turn on us, and people we trusted show their true colors - the combination of grief and stress sucked me into depression and with it I just lost the belief that God ever wanted to give us GOOD. In my black hole I failed to see the many enormous - but subtle - answers to prayer that He gave. It's been the most horrific and miserable time, especially as it followed one of the highest points in my spiritual walk (isn't that the way it is? :)). I still am struggling with that numb feeling, especially as circumstances haven't really gotten better in my life, but I think I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel. :)

    Anyway, loooong comment, but just had to share what a complete and total blessing this post was. Happy New Year and I pray that the Lord blesses you exceedingly abundantly above all you could ask or think this year! :)

  3. Oh my dear friend...I hope I am counted as one of those friends steady in the present, though we've only known each other but a few months. <3 Coming to know *you*, & your faith-journey--such as highlighted in this post & of course our emails--has been an inexplicable blessing. Reading this, my heart hurts for you, having to endure so much...but to *also* see how far God's brought you, & how He is restoring you...well. Let me just say that your heart is a truly beautiful work in progress...as we *all* are in many different ways. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    I hope sometime in 2013, I can pick you up from an airport & give you a *huge* hug. {And yes, that's a formal invitation! =D }

  4. Gosh, it's amazing how alone one feels when going through something like this, but then you find someone who is willing to speak out and suddenly you find that you are not alone in your struggles!

    I've recently realized that I've been trying to "prove" to God that I deserved a husband, Maybe if I just worked a little bit harder and gave up a little bit more, God would bless in me in the way I wanted Him too.....needless to say bargaining didn't work (I always seem to try though) and instead of appreciating the blessings He was showering on me, I became distant and angry with Him.

    I finally admitted to myself what I had been doing and knew I need to stop, but couldn't seem to stop being mad that He was "ignoring" all my good deeds! This move has really made me rely on God, no more safety net of familiar places and faces for me! It really made me realize just how much I have been missing my relationship with my Savior!

    I've slowly been getting back into the habit of meeting with Him every day and though I know the ground lost is not going to be gained back instantaneously (I wish!) and the fears and doubts still creep up on me and gnaw at my edges, God is good and He's with me all the time. He has never forsaken me even when I had shoved Him aside and neglected Him!

    Thanks for being brave and posting this, I'll keep you in my prayers! =)


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