what i've learned along the way
Bible Puke & Bitterness
Published on January 20, 2008 By lobsterhunter In Misc
After sitting through a Sunday morning sermon on broken relationships and bitterness, I stumbled across a sealed envelope mixed in with a pile of Bible puke accumulated from the numerous churches I attended in the last year. Piles of old sermon notes and church bulletins littered my lap, as I carefully tugged on the fastened lip of the envelope, curious about this mysterious piece of memorabilia dated January 7, 2007.

As the adhesive loosened, the contents of the envelope revealed a handwritten list of personal desires I had drafted on a manila piece of paper over year ago. If my memory serves me correctly, I compiled this list on my final visit to First Baptist Church of Burleson. The pastor had preached a message on how God grants us the desires of our hearts, and I made up my mind then and there to never step foot inside that church again. At this point in my life, I was on the brink of despair, and my faith was at the end of its rope. I sat in that pew that day, angry and disappointed because the church continued to feed me the lie that Jesus was a product and if I believed enough, God would magically make everything in my life perfect.

The list of my desires scribbled on that folded piece of paper reads as follows:

• To be whole, healthy, and complete
• To heal from the wounds of my childhood
• To become a wife and mother
• To grow professionally
• To be a compassionate, grace giving believer
• To find the answers to all my questions
• To write a book someday
• To touch the lives of children who live in a broken world
• To overcome the effects of alcoholism
• To travel the world and be adventurous
• To become comfortable in my own skin
• To find someone who will “want me back”
• To learn to listen without judgment
• To escape pain

Not everything on this list has come to pass, but I cease to be amazed at how time can change a person’s perspective. The exact day I wrote this wish list, I arrived home to find the first Myspace message from a stranger named Chris Shade who six months later would become my husband. At the time, I struggled to believe that God wanted good things for my life, and bitterness had taken root towards institutionalized religion. Slowly, God began to restore my hope, and as the events of 2007 unfolded, I came to understand that my Creator is not ambivalent towards my pain. Many of the above desires have been fulfilled, and the ones that remain unmet are probably for my own benefit.

I’m still in the process of working through my animosity towards the church. My husband and I continue to attend services faithfully, but there are still questions I have not reconciled. I have a broken relationship with body of believers, and my sense of disillusionment only seems to grow over time. Unfortunately, this resentment is poisoning my soul, and today I asked God to begin a work in my heart only He can accomplish. I guess I will keep putting one foot in front of another, and perhaps a year from now I will re-read this blog and see the hand of God at work. Until then, I hope I’ll remember to invite God into the daily process of restoration.

on Jan 20, 2008

Heh...I can only hope the same will happen to me.  I'm downright caustic towards religion as a whole.  I'm clinging...but we'll see if God can drag me back into yonder grace.  I've gone through a good bit these last couple years and I've witnessed more than I wish I had...I'd like an answer...or at least some vague signal that somehow all of it makes sense in a world where pain and sorrow seem to be the norm.


on Jan 20, 2008
I'm downright caustic towards religion as a whole

I'm certain you are not alone in this description. I've been reading a book called, When Bad Christians happend to Good People, and there are lots of people just like yourself who reached their limit and walked away. But for the grace of God, I would probably fit into that category. Keep clinging onto the end of the rope, and perhaps God will show up in an unexpected way. I'm sorry pain and sorrow have been your companions. Life is not fair, and I will definitely have a laundry list of questions for God when I reach the end of this journey.

on Jan 20, 2008
Possibly misinterpreted scripture there... God gives you the desires of your heart... does that mean he gives you what you want, or that he gives you the right wants?
on Jan 20, 2008
Possibly misinterpreted scripture there... God gives you the desires of your heart... does that mean he gives you what you want, or that he gives you the right wants?

I've sit through plenty of sermons in which scripture is misinterpreted . . . This one being a prime example. God does have a way of changing our wants . . . At least some of the times anyway.