Posted by: Hope | November 11, 2007

A Retreat to a Life Change?

This past weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I went on a fall retreat with my new youth group I started to attend recently. I was really hesitant at first to go, but now am very happy that I decided to go. While I was there I did a little bit of journaling (not much…but enough) and I figured I would share that with you here.

WARNING: Bad grammar, would advise against reading if you are a grammar natzi. (at least the actual journaling from the weekend has horrible grammar, not so much everything else)

11/9:

If I seek God I will find him…how? Through his spirit. How do I know I found him or not? At what point do you know you’re there? I dont want to make the mistake that I made the first four years of my Christianity thinking that I was saved and then in all reality I was not (or so I assume). So at what point are you saved? How do you know that you? Well, right now I don’t really believe you can know. Comprehension of such is all way beyond us. So then, how does a Christian go on without ever “knowing?” I thought that I knew, and maybe I did and all this time I’ve been foolish.

—At this point I ran out of time to write more, so this is all I had for Friday night.

11/10:

I’m speechless. Tonight we went to a place in the woods….when we got there it was pitch black. We went and sat at the bleachers and spread out. The only bit of light we had was shining on the top part of a cross at the bottom of these bleachers coming from a flash light. From there we stood up and held our rock above our head with two hands for a long period of time. At first I stood there like my normal self–stubborn and trying to avoid emotions. But then I began to think. I said a lot of things to myself about the cross and the power of it all. I soon became extremely “convicted”–it was completely out of the blue. I soon began to gasp–trying to keep myself from crying. When I realized that I was being convicted I asked myself if this was real or just emotion. I told myself that I could not do this to myself AGAIN! That is, say a prayer, cry a bit, then soon go back to being Agnostic and allowing my pride to block me from Christ. I still wouldn’t allow myself to cry. I didnt know my answer. But once I got back into the van, I could no longer hold it. I then began to shed tears that were unstoppable. Then again, I caught myself and forced myself to quit. When we got out of the van I was still debating what my answer was. When we walked into the building music began to play and I stood there and said “If I do this there is no going back” I refuse to allow myself to go through that again. The confusion is too intense, not something I can handle. That was that, I accepted my convictions and that moment is when Gods grace came rushing in. I laid on the floor and balled the entire time mostly saying “who am I?” I still don’t know all the answers, but my mindset is not the same as the Lord, so who am I to question?

–When typing this up I did my best to type it word for word for what I said in my little journal. My hand writing was hard to read as I was writing as fast as I could. The grammar is clearly horrible, and a lot of it probably doesn’t flow really well. But, you get the picture of what happened this weekend.

Now that I’m home I’m trying my best to keep my mind on the Lord. I am going to take on Christianity and I’m excited for this new beginning. However, I am also extremely scared. I’ve been down this road so many times that I’m afraid that I will wind up just being Agnostic again after a certain period of time. I don’t know how to keep myself from getting stuck back in those doubts to the point that it pulls me from God. I still proclaim that I do not understand Christianity to a full degree and I still have a few things that I have a problem with. Whether or not I’ll ever have an answer I do not know. But I pray that I don’t allow it to hinder me anymore. I feel that I’ve found a great group of people to watch over me and guide me through my walk. First General is a great church and I love the people. It’s Baptist! Who would have ever thought I’d wind up in a Baptist church? (haha David 😉 )

So, if you’re a Christian keep me in your prayers. If you’re not, support me…please. I realize a lot of you reading this are my friends that are non-Christians and may feel that I’ve slipped into an emotional fall like I have so many times before. But I really feel this isn’t the case. So please support me, even if you disagree with me.

So thats it, I’m on the road again. I’m not perfect and I’ve got a dirty mouth (cuss a lot) that I’m trying to clean up. Since I’ve been home I’ve swore three times. Each time was towards my brother cause he was annoying the crap out of me. Maybe my impatients is a key to my cussing problem. I dont know, but I know its not right or pleasing to God. This is gonna be a long road…I can tell already! But at least this time I realize I’m not doing it alone, but with God…and a great group of people. 🙂

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Responses

  1. This is interesting. Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts. I hope you find some answers. Have you looked into Christian apologetics? If you are struggling with doubts as to whether you can actually believe in Jesus, you might want to try apologetics as a faith booster. If you get a chance you might want to look at some of these non-denominational websites – Creation Ministries International, Leadership U, ICR, Christian Answers Network, Every Student, Boundless, True U, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. I hope that you’ll find the answers you’re looking for!

    You might also want to look up authors like Ravi Zacharias, Lee Strobel, Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Wieland, C. S. Lewis, David McCracken, and maybe John Bevere’s ‘Driven By Eternity’ if you’re wondering if you’re really saved.

    Have a great day!

  2. Hope! I know that we do not know each other personally, but reading your posts makes me feel like I have walked this spiritual journey with you. I just want to let you know how ecstatic I am to hear that you are opening up your heart to Jesus again. I will definitely be praying for you. If you ever need encouragement or if you’d just like to hear my testimony sometime…email me: Cacity87@yahoo.com.

    May God bless you!

  3. fikalo: apologetics is what lead me to my doubts! 🙂 I’ve head several different apologetic things. Thanks for the links though. I’ll be sure to check them out.

    Thanks,
    Hope

  4. Cassidy:
    Thank you for continuing to follow through with reading and commenting my blog. I thank you for that!
    I don’t know where I stand anymore. I’m still seeking, I suppose. I’ll continue to update (or try to at least…) and if I ever need anything, I’ll be sure to email you.

    Thank you for continuing to check in!!
    Hope

  5. apologetics is what lead me to my doubts! 🙂

    I have a similar problem. I don’t have all of those doubts weighing me down anymore but I do have “wonderances”, where I wonder what the answer to the question is, like what’s up with all of the evil in the world, why doesn’t God swoop in and rescue everyone, everywhere all the time and does God only save certain people ;), so I have had to just go with what I know is true in my heart and from past experience and let the skeptics do their skeptical thing without me. Do we really need to known exactly how the transmission in our cars work to be able to get in and drive them?

    You’ve mentioned your flaws in a couple or three of the posts that I’ve read so far. You know that none of us does anything good apart from Jesus, right? All of the things we need to change, we can change by God’s grace. Think of His grace as fuel. You’re still making the decisions about where your car is going. As long as you stay on the road with all of the fueling stations on it, you’ll be okay. Stay too far away from the road with the fuel and you’ll stall. Don’t concentrate on how often you stall – in fact, stop keeping track… what a drag that has to be! Concentrate on pleasing God. It probably seems like the same thing but it isn’t. The difference is subtle but the outlook is majorly different. Stop looking back and start looking ahead. Somewhere it says, “Blessed is the man whose sin is not counted against him.” That’s what it means to live under God’s grace. We all fail. Expect it and try to avoid it but remember that God is your strength. You have the freedom to not sin. You also have the freedom to run to God the very instant you realize you have messed up.

    Here are some verses to think about:

    Ephesians 2:8,9
    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
    [Nothing you have done has saved you except having faith in Jesus. None of us will ever be good enough in this life. Each person will always have struggles. Our salvation does not fall off just because we made a mistake. That is not an excuse to sin with abandon, but at the same time, God is not standing there waiting for you to fail so He can condemn you.]

    Galatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    Romans 7:24 – 8:2
    24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
    So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
    1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

  6. […] buddies” I have. Some of them think I’m a Christian again after my recent retreat. So I don’t feel like bursting their bubbles and informing them that I’ve slowly […]


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