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Monday, December 13, 2010

The B Team

As an eighteen-year-old college co-ed, I was disillusioned with life and people and most importantly, I was disillusioned with God. The Christian life had failed me. I had come to college and decided to find my own way. God had constantly let me down.

I grew up in the church excited about Jesus and His promises. At the tender age of six, I asked Jesus in my heart. I knew I would be in heaven with Him one day and I told all my friends about it. I even got in trouble a few months later in kindergarten for talking about my faith too much. Using words like heaven, hell, only, always and forever sparks controversy no matter what age.

But just a few months after Jesus and I became intimately acquainted, my daddy left our home. My parents announced they would be divorcing. My world collapsed and with it my precious little girl heart broke into a million jagged pieces.

I reasoned that if God loved me, He would send my daddy home. My daddy never came back to our home and in my faulty little girl thinking I lost the hope found in God’s perfect love.

It was obvious to me that God didn’t care about me quite as much as His more “special” girls and I began living my life of second best. I never doubted my salvation and I knew that God still loved me, just not quite as much as everybody else. I was second rate to Him, a benchwarmer, a B team player.

The eighteen-year-old college girl was tired of life on the B list. Disillusioned with rules I couldn’t follow well enough, promises that rang hollow in my heart and all the grown up worldly knowledge I could muster, I stepped outside of God’s promises with two feet. Now I had played dangerously close to the line and even poked a toe outside of His best but never had I decided to walk a different direction. As a freshman in college, I did.

After only a few short months, I knew this wasn’t working either. The world was just as hollow as God said it was. I felt like a total failure. I wasn’t a good Christian and I could never fully walk away from the truths that were buried deep in my heart. I decided I was destined to live a miserable existence.

Then I was invited to be a counselor at youth camp. Our church had just gotten a new youth pastor. He really understood me for some reason. He and his wife encouraged me like no one else I’d ever met. Just to be around them a little bit more, I said yes.

I sat in my bedroom in the wee hours of the morning the weekend before we were to leave. I told God this, “I’ll give You one week. If you are who You say You are change me. Use me and change me. I am available to You.”

I don’t know if that’s the end of the story of just the beginning but needless to say, I’ve never been the same again. The verse God used that week to show He could and would change things in me is found in John 14:14:

From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I'll do.

I found it interesting as I read today that later on in the same chapter, Jesus addresses the very fear that was holding me back in my relationship with Him. Being abandoned by my father. (Now for the record, my dad continued to be involved in my life and I saw him regularly but these are the impressions left on a young girl’s heart.)

This is how The Message puts it:

I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught. John 14:27

That’s a message this lonely little girl’s heart never gets tired of hearing. My Father will never leave me.

“be content with what you have, because God has said,
   "Never will I leave you;
      never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5


Andrea said...

AMEN!! GOD will do it all...we just have to be willing and obedient. Why does that sound so easy? and we struggle so much with it??
Love you,

Kimberly said...

I can relate to this in the fact that I had "father issues" too...he was an alcoholic, parents divorced, etc. God filled that void in my heart and yet to this day I struggle with abandonment issues. He continues to heal me and prove His faithfulness to me!

Lynn Cowell said...

When I saw the words "a freshman in college" it struck my heart. My son is a freshman in college and his story is very similar. Will you pray for Zach today?
I pray for you often. Jesus brings you to my mind,

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Hi Lisa been a while since I came by. I am still praying though for you. I, like so many, have abandonment issues too. 8 years old when they parted due to alcohol. Became the care-giver to my mom and younger sister. Thank God for the strength to turn those feelings around and know how my dad suffered too. Thank God for a wonderful husband and father to our 6 children. Life is hard, but it is the road to Him. Keeping on trucking. Blessings to you and your family. Hope you are feeling strong and well.

Anonymous said...

why don't you write that book? I would love reading your 'story'. You always speak to my heart.

Jen said...

I just think it's amazing how He uses the Word in our lives. I can read the same verse over and over and then one day, it's true -- the Spirit falls afresh and it becomes part of my life -- an answer to prayer, a word from God.

Bernie said...

I learned a long time ago that just because I was a Christian didn't mean I wouldn't have any problems, I also learned that my relationship with God was rock solid and he has always come first in my life. God has used me in many ways and I pray every day he continues too. Be well my friend, think of you often....:-)Hugs