First, some very exciting news. Stephanie and I are working together with another couple, Chase and Tressa, to form a new organization. Our goal is to be what a number of the relationships in post 5 were about to other families in the hospital. You can catch that post here: https://www.rlshawver.com/a-battle-plan-principle-5-the-power-of-relationships/
If you noticed, there’s a new section on the site to sign up. We have a lot to put together, but know there are people who are hurting and fighting for their loved ones. I want to help them find other loved ones.
Now I’m going to talk about another type of relationship. It’s a very important relationship, but I want to tread on it lightly. I want to talk about my relationship with God and how it was the only thing that kept me sane and together in all of the darkest moments of my life. Some of those moments happened after Samuel’s surgeries, and are as intense as the Samuel’s, at least it was on my body and mental health. One of those situations I talk about here: https://www.rlshawver.com/authenticity/
There are a few points I want to cover about my relationship with God, and I think they might help you as well. I’m going to break them up into multiple posts. Those topics are:
• Healing the hurts
Today, I want to talk about healing the hurts of your relationship with God and I want to share a few stories.
First, I want to talk about healing the hurts. The Introduction to my book covers a number of religious hurts I grew up with. Some of them were due to people’s direct actions, and some of them were due to confusion from others teachings, and some were due to my own misunderstandings based on my premises.
One of the ways I was hurt directly was the judgmental attitudes of the church. I think most of us have been, in some ways, emotionally damaged by this. To be honest, I wasn’t even the one being judged – but I saw how so many in the church looked down their noses at the people who didn’t come to church. I saw how they looked down on my family because my brother was ADHD, and my sister wasn’t treated fairly. I saw how they looked down on my mom because she came to church alone.
It wasn’t until later when I started my Amway business that I was really challenged with being judged. Everyone had a negative opinion about what I was doing. No one once stopped to ask me why I thought it was a good fit for me. It was exactly what I needed at the time, and God has made me the man I am because of their coaching.
When I was older and I started to read the story of Jesus on my own that I realized that Jesus was also judged by the religious establishment and found to be unworthy. The very religious leaders who should have known who Jesus was, were the ones who pushed Pilate to crucify him. I had to learn that Jesus hated judgmental attitudes, and He reprimanded those people. To be perfectly honest, God seems to enjoy picking out the people that are outcasts. Every one of the legendary warriors who stood beside David was an outcast. A prostitute saved Israel and is listed as one of the matriarchs of Jesus (only 4 are mentioned).
At a bigger level, I had to learn that the church doesn’t always faithfully represent God. To find out who He really is, I need to talk to Him about it. The same went for the confusion by others and myself.
I needed to seriously dig into what God said about me. I had to fight through anxiety, fear of punishment, and a significant amount of bad information to get to know who God is.
My sincerest hope and prayer for you is that you can look past your hurts and say to God, “I actually want to get to know you for who you really are, not just who I think you are and who others tell me you are.”
The reason I say this is that I’ve made the mistake, when I was going through something bad, of thinking that God was punishing me. I had a girl I fell hard for break my heart. I thought God was telling me that I wasn’t good enough – and so I avoided God. “:If I can’t live up to His standards, why would I want to know Him?” I thought. That was never the case. Had I made a different decision there, I would have had a much different life. When Samuel was going through his struggles, I knew God differently. I had spent a year reading of how God loves me in Psalms and how He fights for us through our circumstances. I knew God was for me, not against me. I pray also that you come to this point.
If this post impacts you, make sure to subscribe. Come back next week for more and I will cover some of the other three topics. Catch that next post here: Principle 7.2 – Paraclete
You can catch the other post below