So as I continue to embark on this journey toward health. I am finding Angie. Something that I feel I’ve lost touch with in these last several years is a really deep, intimate relationship with God. I mean, I had always had a deep quality relationship with God, all throughout my young adult years and then when I got sick in 2000, I guess I saw God in a different light. I felt like He was punishing me somehow. I didn’t walk away from Him or turn my back on Him, but I put a huge distance between me and Him. I stopped reading my Bible and I stopped listening to a lot of Christian music because it just hurt deeply. I honestly felt like I was being punished. As a side note: I know that all of the medical trials I’ve gone through were NOT a punishment from God. In fact, it was never His heart’s desire for me to be sick…..but this is another post for another day….
Then when I had the stroke in 2009, I don’t know something woke up in me. I woke up from the stroke and it was like on subconscious level I had been in God’s presence for the entire time I was almost comatose in the hospital. I can’t fully explain it. You hear about people “seeing a bright light” all of that but that wasn’t my experience. My experience was different. I didn’t see anything visual, but I definitely felt something deeply in my heart. I remember going to church the first Sunday I was out of the hospital and standing in worship and tears just streamed down my face. Not because I was sad or actually crying, but because I knew deep within my soul that I had stood in the very presence of God somehow on a subconscious level. I wish I could really do it justice, but in those days and weeks following my stroke my relationship with God was the most real it had ever been.
Since the stroke I’ve lost some vision in both of my eyes. Enough that it makes it difficult to read, as a result it’s hard for me to open my Bible and read from it. I feel a lot of guilt about it actually because I desire to have a close relationship with God and I know that tin order to have that I need to spend time learning about Him. How else can you do that than to read His Bible? But on top of all of that, as you’ve learned through my blog that I struggle with perfectionism and that’s in every area of my life. In particular, I struggle with “punching the clock” in my relationship with God…..like…..if I don’t read my Bible for x amount of time a day my relationship with God is less than, etc. It’s something I am praying that God cuts out of my life and I think slowly He is.
On Sunday we visited a church here in Houston. I’m not sure that it will be out “home” church but the message was definitely spot on for me personally. It proved to me once again that God can use anything to get my attention. The pastor was talking about what it means to abide in Christ verses “punching a clock or checking items off a “to do” list to have a relationship with Jesus. The message spoke to me because at the end of the day it isn’t about the exact amount of time I read my Bible, but it’s more about the constant conversation that I am having with God throughout the day. It’s about abiding or dwelling in His presence. I think about my marriage and when Jeff is home I just want to be in the same room with him. It doesn’t even matter if we are talking, I just want to be where he is. To soak up as much of him as I can, to be close to him. This is the type of attention that God desires from me. He just wants to be in the same room with me.
So as I continue to journey toward the new Angie, I’m excited because for the first time in years and years I feel like I have a renewed desire to be in an authentic relationship with God. One where I soak up His presence, not because I have to but because I want to!