Being a Disciple in The 21st Century– short thoughts

In the latter half of this semester, I have been tip-toeing around my relationship with Christ. At the very beginning of the semester, I submitted fully to God. I accepted how fragile I was and lay myself down in submission to Him. This attitude of submission was beautiful and fruitful, but unfortunately not long-lasting.

Faith is difficult.

Faith is really difficult.

What humans want to believe in and submit to something that they cannot hold in their hands and see with their eyes?

The past 6 or so weeks have been a cycle between various feelings towards my relationship with Christ: “I need to depend fully on God because I cannot do this alone,” “Screw faith and God. I am going to do what makes me feel good, whether it’s considered good or bad,” “I’m trying to reconnect with God but I just don’t know how to do it right so I’m going to give up,” ‘I can’t believe how incredibly faithful God is. Will I ever choose to have firm faith in him?”

Thankfully, God seems to have spoken to me through the pastors at my church and their recent sermons. It’s comical how each week the sermon content seems to hit me exactly when and where I need it. I have ups and downs with my faith and passion for Christ, but he just keeps on pulling me back towards him and I cannot ignore the light.

God does love irony.

One Sunday morning I was feeling so anxious that I took two Klonopins before church. And what happened to be the focus of that Sunday’s sermon? Anxiety. This isn’t quite so ironic, but this past Sunday the sermon was on the importance of spiritual family. In the two weeks before I heard this sermon, I was looking at some of my close friendships and wondering if they were worth holding onto. Some of these friendships and relationships were inside my church small group, part of my spiritual family.

Hearing that particular sermon only enhanced my desire to contemplate my spiritual family and how to support it in a healthy way. Besides putting distance between me and some unhealthy friends, I have made it a goal for myself to reach out to people in my community more. For me this usually means inviting a friend over to my apartment for dinner, usually a friend who I know also struggles with depression or does not have a firm relationship with Christ. Sometimes, however, strengthening my spiritual family (which is really just strengthening the church, and trying to be a disciple in everyday 21st century life) means simply taking time away from work to listen to a friend cry about stressors in her life, or to make a card for a friend to show my gratitude to them for their faithful friendship.

When I get excited about new goals I have and things I want to do, such as living more like a disciple, I tend to be extremely idealistic. I have to watch out for this. It is a-ok if I don’t an hour to focus on a friend every single day of the week. Baby steps are the way to go. I know that God is using this to grow me and make me more Christ(family)-centered and less self-centered.

As always, growing includes pains and gains…

But I’m in it for the long run, ya’ll.Love you, WordPress Family. I have not been posting much recently because I’ve been so focused on school, but don’t worry—I’m not going anywhere.

Peace, Tanya

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