I am always amazed at the twists and turns that come about in life and the amazing things that God puts in our path(s) for us to do. Some folks call things challenges, others call them adventures, but whatever you call them, there’s always the opportunity to learn, grow spiritually and become closer to our loving Creator.
For years, I have noticed over and over again that there seems to be a fairly wide gap between secular society and faith communities. I have also noticed that many people want a relationship with God & Jesus, but there is so much about being a part of a faith community that they don’t understand and they’re afraid of “doing things the wrong way.” Many people fear that if they join a faith community, they’ll have to become different people – that they’ll have to “conform” or risk being ostracized. As Iyanla Vanzant writes in her book titled “Everyday I Pray” about her childhood experience in the Holiness Church, “Although I could barely understand a word the pastor was saying over the organ and the human orchestra, I knew something powerful was taking place. Sometimes I clapped because everyone else was clapping. Other times I clapped because I was afraid not to. I was afraid that if I did not clap, if I just sat there watching, God would think I didn’t love him. God would think I didn’t know how to pray to him. The conclusion I came away with was that I didn’t know how to pray at all.”
Through my own correspondences and conversations with many people, I have learned that this type of feeling of inadequacy and awkwardness prevails greatly in our society today. I find this extremely disheartening.
Among my most highest privileges during the past many years has been people’s reactions to my writing. The privilege comes not so much in people “liking” my words, (although that’s nice too) but in that people have said to me, “Gerianne, when you write about something, I get it. – I understand it much better now – where I really didn’t get it before.” Wow! For me, as a writer and a believer in Jesus Christ, this is indeed both humbling and an immense honour – for God to use me in this manner – even to the smallest degree.
For many years, I have felt God’s whisper in my ear. I had a sense that He wanted me to do something, but I wasn’t sure exactly what. At first I thought I was to pursue further formal education, in the theological realm (to an extent I have and will continue to do so) but I also found myself doing a lot of thinking about this gap which I see between the secular world and the faith world and I felt God placing a new adventure in my path. “Try to help. Take it further” (my writing pursuits) was the phase I kept having pop in among my random thoughts – over and over again. “Take it further. Try. Just try.”
I soon began to consider, (and to realize) that although we are often taught to believe otherwise, perhaps the importance of our efforts need not be judged by their size or stature, but rather in their simplicity and their sincerity. When attempting to dissolve a fear of any kind, I feel it is best to begin with small, simple things, in an attempt to show that there are benefits to be gained, if the fear can be dissolved. Before someone can even begin to understand their value to God, they need to know that God only loves. He will not and does not hurt people. They also need to come to understand that although “religious figures” are attempting to uphold their belief of what God intends, these people are only human and can misunderstand and miss the real point, as easily as the rest of us. Yet, as I said, the first step needs to be to dissolve the fear – even one grain at a time. To that end, I began my small effort by developing this web site, (www.written-in-faith.net) in 2002. Through it, I hope that in some small way I might be able to show people that God is ‘approachable’; that God loves each of us and Jesus loves each of us; and He very much wants to be a part of our lives. If I can do that, even for one person, all of my efforts will be worth it, for that person will know they are loved unconditionally, by the ultimate source of love – God and Jesus Christ.
With the kindness of Christ,
Here’ a poem to start you on your faith journey
I give to you these words,
Written in Faith,
in the hope that you might find
a path for discovering your own beliefs
and a never ending thirst for a discerning heart and mind.
May your journey with Him be a courtship
that will last a life time through,
for the worthiness of your travels
will bring a sustaining peace and understanding to you,
and your willingness to embrace new revelations
will inspire your true spirit and make it shine.
So, take heart that these perceptions
set forth in front of you
are meant to be a guide to the designated adventure
that is specifically chosen just for you.
May God always be with you
in your never ending quest for His love.
By: Gerianne B. Van Vugt