Jen’s Gem: God’s knocking at your door. Will you let Him in?
It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over a year since I started my Elevate the Day blog and newsletters. Even more surprising is that I have been blogging for nearly ten years! From small beginnings with my Frittabello baby gift business newsletters to a Parenting for Purpose blog to this newsletter/blog where I share the lessons I’m learning and how my faith in God has transformed my life.When I began this endeavor I had no idea of the impact it would have. I just felt compelled to tell my story each week and hopefully help other people who may be going through a similar situation. Relying on and trusting in God has gotten me through a pickle or two and I wouldn’t trade these past few years for anything. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner. Who knows where I’d be now?
This is the message I give to my children. Some days they are more receptive than others but that’s ok. Each is embarking on their own life journey, separate and distinct. As their mom, I want to provide them with as many tools in their toolboxes as possible. The most important tool? A belief and trust in as well as a relationship with God.
I was raised as a Catholic and we went to church every Sunday. I attended twelve years of Catholic school. We said grace at every meal. I received all of the Catholic sacraments. I was in a teen choir (my deepest apologies to those within earshot!).
My children followed suit for the most part sans the Catholic school education and regular attendance at church. As a single mom for most of their lives, trying to keep two young children quiet and still for an hour was more than I could take on after working all week and caring for them.
However, as they got older, we attempted to make ourselves more of a staple in the sea of pews. It was a struggle. We changed churches several times for various reasons, not all good. Sunday mornings became a nightmare as I tried to get two teenagers out of bed to attend a service that put more importance on the proper time to stand, sit, and kneel than imparting the importance of a having a personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus.
I knew I had to do something or I’d risk having my kids turn so far away from God that no act on my part would turn them around. My own wiggly search for the truth had landed me in and out of several spiritual practices that all resulted in, well…nothing. A dead end.
Nothing fit. Nothing lasted. Nothing felt completely right. No wonder my kids saw faith in God as unimportant and transient. Their mother was showing them!
Today is a different story. Oh, it’s still tough to get them out of bed but the Sunday morning nightmares are long gone. For over a year, we have attended and become members of a church that has embraced us like no other. A church whose services are riveting, compelling, and some days (like today), life changing. Instead of running away from God, my kids are asking thought-provoking questions about Him. They are building their own relationship with God that they will carry through the rest of their lives and one day – to their children.
Since starting this newsletter, I’ve received many heartfelt comments from people who are on that wiggly path of faith, searching for their own relationship with God. I’ve also had people unsubscribe noting that they are “no longer interested.” While my ego was slightly bruised, I realized that everyone has to find their own path to God just like I did. I pray that they do because once you have an experience with God, you will desire nothing else.
You may be experiencing your own wiggles with your faith. With all that’s going on in the world, it can be tough to understand why things are the way they are. I get that. Many are blaming God for the daily tragedies that abound in our news feeds. Many have turned away from Him saying He must not exist as He allows these things to happen. Why doesn’t He stop it?
The answers to these questions have to be found through your own spiritual seeking. When you take the time to know who God really is – the truth – then you will understand why the world is as it is. Then you will have the answers to all the questions that have plagued you as they did me.
Rest assured that God welcomes your seeking, your questions, your hunger for a relationship with Him. In fact, He’s waiting to welcome you with open arms.
I’d like to encourage you to contemplate your relationship with God. Is it a real relationship or a regulated relationship founded in rules and dead theory? Is it one of love and peace or one of guilt and condemnation? I can tell you this. Real is better than rules.
Whatever it is today, it can and will be better tomorrow.