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What Has Your Journey Been Like?

written for Kellie’s Free-Write Friday prompt

The “blogosphere” is a somewhat new experience for me. I’m still learning much; in fact, I’m barely able to post my own writings. No joke, this is the second time I’m writing this post because I just lost the original writing!

What I’ve come to enjoy most about the blogosphere is the genuine sense of “community” that can be found when one is actively engaged with other bloggers. It’s really quite a wonderful community to be a part of! Plus, there aren’t any speeding tickets given out in this community! (Can you tell I’ve been the victim of a couple of “small town speed traps”?) πŸ™‚

It has been a real joy to read your blogs and get to know you through your posts. Fellow bloggers have inspired and encouraged, made me laugh and cry. Thankfully, I’ve laughed more than cried! And you’ve also made me think. An example of this was earlier in the week, when I read a post by a blogger who is new to me. In his post, he shared the story of how he came to a faith-relationship with Christ. I commented (a brilliantly insightful comment I’m sure…lol) and moved on to read another blog. However, this new friend invited me back to his blog by asking a really important question: “What is the story of your journey with God?”

That question has stayed with me all week. It’s stayed with me because I think it is not only a great question to ask of others but is alsoΒ a crucial question to ask of ourselves from time to time. Today, I discovered the perfect photo prompt to motivate me to write about this question. My personal journey has been a drama and a comedy (you’ll understand if you ever see me *try* to dance). My journey has been poetic, but it’s also been some very poorly written prose (of course, that was mostly due to college assignments!). I was fortunate enough to become a Christ-follower at a young age. However, I’ve been stubborn enough to choose several “wrong paths” in the years that have followed. In spite of my obstinacy, God’s love has been constant and His Grace sufficient. The longer I live, the more I realize I am completely dependent upon God’s faithfulness!

And now it’s your turn to share. I’ve been so blessed, and even honored, by the honest comments so many of you have left in the past. So I end today’s post with the same question for you: What is the story of your journey?

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67 responses »

  1. This first comment was originally an explanation of why my post looked funny. Since then, my beautiful wife has corrected my mistakes…just like me, this blog would be in really poor shape without her!…thank you Sweetie!

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  2. New View, my story is, somehow not surprisingly, much the same as yours. I always believed in Jesus, as far back as I remember. I was confirmed around the age of 12. I never “left” Him but He somehow was given a lesser position in my life from the time I was 17 until I was about 30. I was having too much fun. I’ve been a struggle to Him, I’m sure, since then too but I have always known He was with me. Now my trust is complete, not like Mother Teresa’s, but complete to me. I look forward to growing old with Him.

    Reply
  3. Without giving it a thought, I can say I’m in this club. Came early, left, came back, left, got totally off track, then without even realizing it was happening, wandered back into the fold and see no possibilty of ever leaving again.
    I don’t regret my past, or condemn myself for anything I’ve done, or not done. I believe it was all research and training, and everything that I’ve said, seen, done, heard, and so on, has combined to make me the person God needs me to be right this minute. In a nutshell, the past is irrelevant, the future is in God’s hands, and the most important step I will ever take is the next one. Everything matters.

    Reply
    • Wow….those are some great words of wisdom! These words especially resonated with me: “the past is irrelevant, the future is in God’s hands, and the most important step I will ever take is the next one. Everything matters.”

      You’re such an encouraging blogger/poet/author…thanks for your comments.

      Reply
    • “the most important step I will ever take is the next one” … That IS a brilliant expression of wisdom, Charles. I’d write it on my forehead, but I’d get it backwards. And that would not be helpful. If the last step we took was the most important, we’d bury ourselves pretty quickly living in a state of hopelessness.

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      • but if you *really* wrote it backwards, it would look correct in the mirror! πŸ™‚

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        • Oh yeah. What I meant to say is that I would write it in such a way that it would appear backwards in the mirror. What what I was really saying, metaphorically speaking, is that the reverse of this statement would be a dangerous belief.

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          • I know what you meant about the reverse …Just having a little fun πŸ™‚ Unfortunately though, far too many of us live the “reverse,” constantly choosing to live in our past rather than embrace the future. It is honestly one of my biggest struggles of late.

      • I love it, too!
        I’ve heard a story several times, that asks the question, “Wy do you suppose the windshield of your car is so much bigger than your rearview mirror? Because what’s in front of you is much more important than what’s behind you!” DOH!

        Reply
  4. My journey has been a winding road with much pain and confision, love and joy, a quite bit of growing faith. Through all our shared experiences, my Lord and I have grown our friendship. I’ve been blessed.

    God Bless,

    Christopher

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  5. I’m on much the same journey. It’s not that I ever really “left,” it was that I wasn’t very mature in my faith. It’s a growth process.

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  6. You can read my story on my blog. I hope you enjoy!

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  7. Oh and I am still learning about this blog stuff too.

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  8. Nice post! I come from a religious family. I’ve been taught about God and Christ even before I started walking or maybe even before speaking. So your question make me want to write a blog about my journey with God. I really can’t keep my mind off your question. i keep coming back to your blog. Lol.

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  9. Great post! It really has me thinking! Let’s just say, “I’m coming up the rough side of the mountain!” God has been more than wonderful to me. I can’t complain! But…. I haven’t really been good to Him. However, I’m still holding on and I’ve asked him one favour, like David did, “that I will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever!” (and not just warm the benches :D) lol

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    • LOL at your bench comment! I love this comment….probably b/c I see so much of myself in it! So glad you brought up David. I’m reading through Psalms right now and am just blown away by David’s honesty…he really struggled to feel close to God at times….and as you have stated, he knew God was “more than wonderful” to him, and would humbly admit the times he failed God.

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  10. I accepted god when I was young, and faded in and out . coming to God when i was having problems. when my dad got leukemia almost five years ago, i walked the last journey of his life with him daily, taking care of him. God came back into my life then. I didn’t want to lose the hero of my life, i begged, i prayed, dad and i prayed together. now i take care of my brother. i still talk to god daily, but now like my best friend. i pray that he helps me accept what is happening, and i pray for strength, and compassion. god is my best friend, i have grown much through the past five years,but i m not near good enough to get into heaven, but i am working on it.i thank him for loving me enough, to forgive my sins, and that he will never leave me

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing your faith journey here. You always share such heartfelt stories, and this one is very powerful. I think it inspires much hope for anyone one going through a difficult season of life. I love the idea of talking to God as a best friend…referencing David again, this is exactly how it seems he spoke to God in his songs & prayers! And the good news of Christ is that, when we aren’t “good enough” He has already paid the price so we can stand righteous and forgiven before God. Beautiful…thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  11. Great blog and great question! I was raised in the church and taught Christianity from a ‘head knowledge’ place, and believing largely that there were a lot of things I had to do to earn my way to heaven. I got on my knees in 1982 and accepted Christ during a horrible, deep period of depression. Not instantly that moment, but within days, I was lifted out of the depression and totally changed, noticeably. The journey since has been growth in my faith and in knowledge of Him…back into depression in the late 80’s and I couldn’t understand why God had abandoned me. But I was hospitalized and put on meds then. So he taught me a lot through that actually…a lot of which I didn’t realize til later. But I learned that depression can be a very real and physical illness. He healed me miraculously once, and then through the doctors the next time to teach me that it wasn’t a character defect, but an actual illness. Lots of tragedies and trials and shattered hopes and dreams along the way…and numerous blessings also. And I have come to a total, undeniable realization of Him now that I can’t turn away from. I ache from the trials at times…but don’t we all? Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus, as the song says…and I do…completely. Thank you!! Blessings…Anne

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing Anne….this is a powerful testimony. Great reminder that God doesn’t make the journey “easy” for us…yet it is in the midst of trials and hardships that we often experience our greatest seasons of growth. You have blessed me and everyone else who reads of your journey with a story of hope and perseverance!

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      • Thank you so much…you all bless me too, and I have to thank God if in any way he takes my babblings and makes something good of them. πŸ™‚ I am very, very thankful! God bless! –Anne

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  12. I’m a natural-born heathen who was raised in a “Christian” home. You know what those quotation marks mean—we went to church, had Bibles in our house, and easily tossed around God’s name (“God is so good” and “God damn it” in subsequent breaths).

    As a teenager, I visited a non-denominational church and became a Christian without quotation marks. Over the years, I bounced drastically from one camp to the other, serving God and serving self, each wholeheartedly with utmost conviction and commitment. At alternating times, I’ve celebrated a deep and genuine faith in God or myself, depending on which entity I’ve found myself serving.

    My longest running love affair with Jesus happened when I became a mother and realized at the deepest level that serving myself was not in my child’s best interest—that she had to come first for the rest of my life and that the best way to do that was to place God on my altar. After having a second child, my relationship with God began to suffer and has continued to fall apart over the years. I’ve lived in a few pockets of spiritual depth and closeness in the past few years but have largely felt empty and as if I was trying to force myself to be a Christian without quotation marks. Somewhere along the way, I think I put the marks back on.

    Reply
    • I planned to respond to this sooner. Really wanted to reply with the “perfect” words. After a few days though, I think the best response would have been my first response…lol…which would have been something along the lines of….

      This is such an honest response and one I think all Christians (or “Christians”) can relate to. In almost all of the comments on this thread, it seems that seasons are a major part of our journeys. Seasons of struggle eventually yield a greater harvest of faith and closeness with God. And seasons of faith help pull us through the seasons in which we find ourselves struggling again.

      Your comments certainly resonated with me: as a Christ-follower who has spent too much time on “my own path” instead; and as your husband. I’ve seen you live out a genuine heart for Christ. You have done so in ways that literally cause me to tear up thinking about some of the moments in which I’ve seen you live and share the joy of Christ. I can honestly say that I’ve never seen another person live as beautifully for Christ as I’ve witnessed in your life over the years. Those were years when I really should have been a better encourager & supporter by joining you in devotions & conversations about our “journey.” Even though I wasn’t as actively engaged as I should have been, I hope you know that I recognized and admired your life of amazing love for God.

      And I know how hard the past few years have been for you spiritually. Again, I wish I were at a better place spiritually during most of this time so I could have been a better encourager, help-mate, & prayer-warrior in your life. But I am confident of God and His great love for us, and I know that He is indeed faithful to complete His mighty work in all of our lives. In spite of what you may feel these days; in spite of my failures in servant leadership; God is faithful! I like what Sarah posted in the “bummed out” post: even when I’m not able to boast in my love for God, I can boast in His great love for me! And I am more convinced than ever of God’s incredible & enduring love for His people!

      I’d love to tell you all of this in person…and I do from time to time. But you were kind enough to share so honestly in this forum, that I want to share my thoughts just as openly. Lord knows (really He does), you’ve seen me at my “best & worst” over the years. Knowing what my “worst” looks like, I am more thankful than ever for your love for Him & His mighty work in our lives.

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      • Like I said in person to you a couple of minutes ago, this probably isn’t the best moment for me to be reading your loving, thoughtful, and encouraging reply. In case you’ve already forgotten, all three of our children are screaming, pinching, and pulling each other’s hair. And somehow, all I can think about is how much I like snowcones.

        Whatever gets me through, right? πŸ™‚

        Reply
  13. Speaking of losing writing multiple times, I’ve just had the most obnoxious time trying to reply to your comment on my “Acts Project Explained” post. Strangely, I was able to read your comment through the toggle on my “New Post” icon, but when I tried to respond through the comments on the actual page of that post, it wasn’t to be found anywhere. Shrugging my shoulders, I set about replying thru my initial view, and finally gave up when I couldn’t tab down to hit “enter” (every time I did, I lost the whole note). It was actually quite funny. A good reminder yet again that my words do not count for nearly as much as His do.

    And that, in a very convoluted paragraph, is my story.

    In regards to yours, and your very nice comments on my blog, HERE is what I initially set out to write, pared down ;-): I’m compelled to respond to your words with….your words :). In researching your corner of the blogosphere, I came across a hilarious conversation re: your “About Me” (or lack thereof, ha!). Here’s what you said, and how I feel very strongly:

    “I’m so appreciative of your kind words. It’s been a bit overwhelming to discover how many talented people reside in the β€œblogosphere.” To have one of those very talented artists say such complimentary things is extremely encouraging.”

    Well put, new friend! Excited to continue on this journey with this great cloud of witnesses. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • You just referenced one of my favorite verses! Very cool.

      I’m glad you found the humor in the “about me” section…my wife and I have literally “lol’d” hysterically at some of the comments there…it just kind of took on a life of it’s own.

      Love your “convoluted paragraph”, by the way. After reading your blog, that seems to be very “you” as a description of your journey. Really sounds as though you, your hubby, and the kids have a lot of fun together! And I’m inspired for sure by your enthusiasm for God!

      Reply
  14. What a great post! I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s comments, too. : ) Well, now for my journey. I’ve been raised in a godly Christian home my whole life and accepted Jesus into my heart at the very young age of 5. Even though I’ve always been mature for my age, I didn’t understand much then, but I did know that Jesus had died for my sins and I wanted to show Him I accepted His love. When I was about twelve, I realized that though I was saved and that God had forgiven my sins, it just wasn’t personal. So I rededicated my life to Him and began a journey of trying to know Him intimately.

    However, the past year or so I’ve not had the most trusting relationship with God, to be transparent. I’ve not let Christ have influence over my decisions and I haven’t been very trusting as far as my future goes. But I’ve realized that that was getting me nowhere and it just left me feeling exhausted and empty. I knew I couldn’t handle my life by myself. I’ve let God back into my life and am now beginning to allow Him full precedence over what has always been His. (Jeremiah 29:11 has become my life verse.) I’m only 17 now, and so I know there will be many changes ahead, but I feel confident in the fact that God is in control. And that’s a good place to be. : )

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    • That is a GREAT place to be! So great to hear about your 17 year journey Bethany! It will continue to have it’s ups & downs but you are so far ahead of where I was at your age. Thank you for this comment! You have really brightened my day! πŸ™‚

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  15. great question…i will give the condensed and go from there…grew up in church…very conservative church…gave my life to christ early on but was then asked to leave by the pastor because i no long fit around 16…i had let me hair grow out and was singing in a metal band…i ran from god at that point for about 3 years, figured he did not want me…came back after i ended up in the hospital…too much other things trying to fill the void…started walking it again…about 8 years later, became a pastor…was a youth pastor, then an executive pastor for about 5 years…left ministry about 3 years ago and had to deal with what life after ministry meant…considering i had given up much to follow a call, but in the end it was a blessing because now i go into places most churches would not…

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    • Such a great share Brian…I knew you had been a youth pastor for some time, but did not realize you were also a senior pastor. And you’re so right about being able to “go places most churches would not.” We seem farther & farther from “the least of these” whom Jesus emphatically stated we need to care for and nurture. For example, the story of your pastor asking you to leave really fires me up with a righteous anger.

      Many blessings in your ministry “outside the walls” of the church….where ministry is most desperately needed! And especially in the world of art! I do see a lot of bright spots currently where Christians are feeling called to use their artistic abilities in sharing “faith journeys.”

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    • “now i go into places most churches would not” … Love this.

      Reply
  16. Wow! What a question! Even at an early age, I always had a sense of God orchestrating my life. I can’t remember ever not believing that. My journey has been more one of “correcting” incorrect beliefs about God, such as bad things happening because I deserved to be punished by God, or that I wasn’t good enough to deserve God. It has taken a wonderful bible study group of friends to actually understand what being saved is about and to understand that I’m not the horrible, unsave-able person I thought I was (until in my 40’s).

    Reply
  17. My writing journey –

    I initially started to write rhymes, then it was poetry & lyrics. After awhile I stopped writing for a bit unless it was a school assignment or what not. When I hit college, I tried to pursue poetry again and ended up on a new journey. Composing articles for my college paper. Writing is my niche. Long story short, my current college editor & chief is giving me a hard time about laying out my stuff in print.

    SO I have now become a blogger so that my thoughts may still be expressed. I was a little discouraged, but at the end of the day writing makes me happy ..

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  18. great question.. i grew up in a catholic environment where faith was more something to show but not really what you would live…so i left church and had some really crazy teenage years where i was doing lots of stupid things… then i saw a movie “the cross and the switchblade” and knew god was calling me but i didn’t respond…and did more stupid things until my boy friend met some christians and challenged me to join him for their meetings…i didn’t want to go first but finally went and learned that there is unconditional love and forgiveness…that was how it started…smiles

    Reply
    • Claudia, I love your comment. Very powerful & touching, plus it reminds me that I STILL need to see that movie, “cross & the switchblade.” This is a powerful story of God’s heart to reach us with His love. Such a great illustration of His consistent efforts to make us aware of the unconditional love and forgiveness you mentioned.

      Reply
  19. lol, I was having similar thought this week regarding my blog vs reading everybody else’s blog. There are so many good blogs to follow up on, I barely have any time to write my own..lol. but thats okay because I enjoy participating with other blogs as much as writing my own.
    Now going back to your blog and the question. What is the story of my journey? If I have to sum it up in a nutshell, I woke up one day and I had a wife and two wild boys. But there never goes a day where I am not thankful to my God for proving me with these three blessings πŸ™‚

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  20. You are going way too long between posts. πŸ™‚

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  21. I loved reading all the comments and your replys to this post. I especially liked your reply to Shawna, “Seasons of struggle eventually yield a greater harvest of faith and closeness with God. And seasons of faith help pull us through the seasons for which we find ourselves struggling again. I think this would describe my life journey and how thankful I am that Jesus was there with me all the time even when I didn’t ask for His guidance. Blessings to you my friend.
    Joy

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    • Thank you Joy….I always love reading your comments & posts. You are such an encouraging woman…and the energy/creativity you have just blows me away! πŸ™‚

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      • Thank you, but I am afraid my family would not always agree with you. Last night I was happily blogging when I suddenly realized I had not put the chicken casserole that I had made earlier in the oven to bake. Now it was after 7:00 and no dinner was cooking. My husband calls it, life B.B. and A.B. (before blog and after blog.)
        Oh and I forgot to mention the picture you posted, loved it.
        Joy

        Reply
        • LOL…a.b. & b.b….we may have to start using those time references around here!

          Thanks for complimenting the pic, by the way. I can’t take any credit for it, though…it came from a photo prompt I linked to above. Hope you’ve had a great evening in spite of a late dinner! πŸ™‚

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  22. My journey would best be described as a playful cub tumbling around trying to learn all about being a lion while His daddy, resting on His paws with a smile, watches with pleasure and gives the occasional nudge.

    The story is much longer than that with many ups, downs, twists and turns and yet, I still feel like I’m just getting started in the way of learning about the surpassing worth and immeasurable riches of knowing Jesus Christ.

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    • What a great word picture / analogy for your description! “just getting started”….I’m sure there are many who have been Christians for decades and would tell us the same πŸ™‚ Awesome post…thanks for sharing.

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  23. purpleowltree1234

    Holy crap! What a question!! I might steal this idea of yours in blogging one day, too.
    Long story as short as possible: I was born into a family while my parents were at Bible College training to be missionaries (Christian non-denomonational). Ended up in the Philippines with missionary parents when I was two. Left Phils for good (living, not visiting) when I was 15. My Bible Translator missionary dad was a paedophile, and got put on the International Paedophile List by the feds in Australia when I told them what he’d done, when I was in my 20s. Result of this childhood: I turned 1000% away from God. Understandable! Then some people we knew in the Phils (Martin and Gracia Burnham) were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf and held hostage for two years while they were forced to hike through jungles with their captors. I have HUGE empathy for people who are hostages or terrorised (communists were meant to kill my whole family, twice, in our remote village before I was six). I was DESPERATE for Martin and gracia to have peace that surpasses understanding, good health, hope, comfort, strength, etc. The ONLY thing I could POSSIBLY do was to pray to God and beg for these thigns for them. And all these things for their three kids who’d been rushed back to the US when they were kidnapped too. So for almost two solid years I prayed like crazy for them. Night and day. Then there was a gun fight between Phil Army and the Abu Sayyaf, with the Phil Army trying to rescue Martin and Gracia. Martin threw himself on top of Gracia. He was shot and died on top of her. She was shot in the leg, but rescued and reunited with her kids in the States. No words to express that. End result for me, I realised it felt a lot better talkign to God than hating him. My Christian core beliefs TOTALLY CHANGED to God actually being a God of love and grace, and God not condoning the crap I’d seen so many Christians doing. I’ve left churches altogether, but still meet with my old pastor, who lives out a life of grace more than I’ve ever known any other person to do, other than Jesus of course. I have a strong faith in God and Jesus. I have zillions of questions. I’m wary – extremely wary – of anyone who talks about their faith like it is superior to anyone else’s or like they’ve got an extra “special” connection with God. I’m extremely wary of anyone who tries to make others believe in God. My faith is very private. I almost NEVER talk about it. It is an evolving, fluid thing, with its core being Jesus and my belief that God is love. In NO WAY can I tolerate seeing God as a father. I’ve walked out of churches before when people even mentioned that more than once. I want to run a regular Father’s Day program for people whose fathers are abusive, so anti-fathers-day people can be together, not alone, and do art, talk, cry, laugh, whatever will help us heal a little. If you asked me in five years time about the story of my faith journey, this would only be the beginning, and I’m sure there’d be more to tell by then. πŸ™‚
    Rach.

    Reply
    • Rach, I have goosebumps (some might say “Godbumps”) reading about your journey. So much pain, but such a beautiful way in which you talk about God’s grace, mercy and love. I’m so thankful to have read this…you just have no idea how much it means to me that you have shared this!

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      • purpleowltree1234

        It’s sometimes a lot easier being open with people you’ve never met and will never meet, whom you’ll only ever know through cyber space. πŸ™‚ You asked, anyway… Ask and you shall receive.. πŸ˜‰
        Love from Rach

        Reply

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