Tuesday, April 20, 2010

why i love jesus. really.

blogs can be a funny thing.
sometimes i need to be reminded of why i started one in the first place.

i really, really love to write.
i also really love to make people laugh.
and also, i just really love people.
ever since i can remember my dream job has been to be a writer for SNL. sitting around a room, one upping each other, creating genius material, eating junky snacks and being around people that are way funnier than me. but for now, 30 rockefellar plaza will have to wait, cuz i'm to busy preparing homemade organic baby food for my 6 month old and homeschooling my older kids.
(for those readers who don't know me that well, nothing about that previous sentence is true).
which leads me to this latest rant.
those readers.
i might be talking about you. here's the thing. i like to think i have a pretty good idea who reads my blog. my family, most of my close friends, some acquaintances, and the odd internet blog stalker. just kidding. about the stalker part. not really, cuz how else would you find this? in any event, every once in awhile i'll run into someone i haven't seen in awhile, or get an email from someone i don't really know telling me how much they enjoy my stories and horrible grammar. i recognize that a big part of having a blog is opening yourself up to not just those closest to you, but to people you don't even know. so, for those of you that are new to my blog, here's a bit about the biggest part of me. and if you have been reading for awhile and didn't know this... i guess its a good reminder for the both of us.

i am a christian. not like someone who goes to church cuz its good for me, or talks loosely about faith and love, but a christian... like the real deal. you might even use the words born again... shriek!!!

i became a christian when i was 21 years old. without telling you the whole story, it was something that when i found it, i realized i had been looking for it my entire life. i knew christians in high school, but was pretty sure they weren't for me. i spent the first part of my college years reading self-help books, pondering buddhism, researching deepak chopra, re-visiting a course in miracles, but nothing ever seemed to stick. i'm not tryin to hate, it just wasn't for me. the way i became a christian wasn't by yet another book, it wasn't by some life crisis or painful event. it was simply by seeing another person's life and realizing she had something i wanted, and it wasn't tattoos. everything about her life screamed jesus, but her approach was so not abrasive. honestly, she just loved me, and listened to me and then one day invited me to church.

after i made the plunge and started to really take a look at my life, i realized in order to get my shiz together i needed to start looking at my influences. i begin to break away from those closest to me-- friends i had known my entire life. i often joke that to my high school friends me becoming a christian was more scandalous than me starting to smoke crack. the gossip about my new found faith was that juicy.
i'm not saying i didn't give them reasons to talk, for with all new things comes a certain zealousness. for me, that included moving to the UK to be a missionary (loosely termed) my first year of marriage. i wasn't trying to push my old friends away, or rid myself of everything i once held dear, it simply became a time that took extremes to rid extremes (in my case certain self-destructive behaviours).
without sounding to 'christianese' i really had a lot of shit sin in my life and was feeling super helpless to overcome it. the things i was involved in may seem harmless to most, but the reality was, i was experiencing a lot of guilt and shame. and to complicate things further, those around me were living the same way, so i felt suffocated and often justified in my behaviours. the long and the short of it was i was not happy. i had more pain and sadness in my life from my lifestyle than i wanted. sounds cheesy, but i really said to myself 'there must be more to life than this.'

as i mentioned before, when i experienced God for the first time, i knew it was exactly what i had been looking for my entire life. some may say its what we were created for, others not so much. i can only speak for myself, but i felt such an intimacy with God that i really, honestly just wanted to get to know him more. i spent a lot of time with like minded people, read my bible, went to church, etc. it was really an amazing time in my life, a time where i felt like i was really able to build a solid foundation in God that would sustain me for most of my life.

then i got married, had a few kids, and even though i felt like things were cool with me and j-town, i knew i was not living the intimacy i once relished in. i felt satisfied by the love from my husband and kids and the simple joys in life. there have been surges over the years to try and get back to that place, and try as i might, i just can't. that time in my life was filled with lots of time... and little responsibility.
though my 'faith' looks different than it did 10 years ago, i have NEVER doubted how real God is in my life, and in those around me. i've seen Him in the tears streaming down my husband's face as he lifted my veil, i heard Him when my firstborn came screeching out, and i've even felt Him as i sat with my best friend and cried tears for the loss of her mom. the thing is, God feels just as real and relevant to me today as he did so many years back, it just may look a little different.

though some parts of me waiver in the 'christian rules' sense of the word... i mean i voted no on prop 8, i've been known to drop the f-bomb on this blog, bitch is one of my most favorite words, i love me a few good vodka tonic with lime, and i like to get dirty with a little T.I., but the truth is i really, really love God... and i don't want anyone to think differently.
today as i sang in church one of my favorite songs, 'into marvelous light i'm running, out of darkness out of shame, by the cross you are the truth you are the way,' i was reminded again how real God is, and how it really truly is because of HIM that i really love my life.
i feel a freedom these days like i've never known, not to sin recklessly, but to love. to love the way jesus did. when you read the bible its crazy how often jesus did exactly the opposite of fox news what the religious right of the time thought he should. he really loved everyone, in every circumstance. at the end of my life do i want to look back and say, 'well, i followed all the rules and worked hard to never blow it' or do i want to look back and say, 'yeah, i really blew it. a lot. but i loved hard and played hard. and life was good, and God, you were why.'

18 comments:

Team Calamond said...

Hols, Thanks for sharing with us your love for God. It has been truly amazing to see the transformation in you over these past ten years. You are truly an inspiration to me.

zaiahbird said...

You are so attractive to me right now...all I need is a little wink and I'll be over the edge. I love you.
(P.S. This is not Brandon.)

Sobriety Checkpoint said...

Holly, you are so great! I love it! Wonderful story....I have a feeling we could be really good friends!

Erin said...

I loved this post. And I want you to know that the way you love him shows... Because you love people like no other... for reals.

Erin said...

way to let it all hang out there. i remember all the scandalous gossip. you kinda had your own would you rather -- be known as a born again or a crack addict? i'm glad you chose jesus over the pipe.

ParadisoPerDue said...

Great post Holly! :) I love it when people explain their faith in an intelligent and also emotional way- I have great respect for you and the way you feel. :)

ParadisoPerDue said...

ps... on a light note Lealah and I were discussing your career dream the other day and if you ever write for SNL it will be the BEST SNL writers team ever- she can attest to me telling her how witty you are :) (and she agreed!!!)

Jen Schlenker said...

i love you. thats it. call you later. ;) keep loving, keep clinging to jesus, he is for real.

Lea. said...

Hollsy, this scripture came flooding into my mind when I read this. "Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." You've never stopped laying it down for me, for this I'm humbled and honored. I prayed God would bring me a best girlfriend almost 12 years ago...He answered! Thanks for sitting with me, through ALL of it...and laughing with me all the way home:) You're beautiful, sister.

Julie said...

Holly Girl, you are The Woman. :o)

Trisha said...

Hey dear..we chatted and like I said, it was great to hear your story and I have a great respect for your love of your faith and the honesty that you bring forth on such a topic. Keep doing what your doing, cuz it just seems to make you glow!

Anonymous said...

Love you friend. May we encourage and hold one another accountable to live for Jesus and in doing that love others. Let your light shine!

Drea

Katy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Court said...

Holly,
Loved this post. I feel you captured a piece of how I feel. I sometimes feel I don't fit into the "Christian" mold for so many reasons...I like the occasional swear word(or maybe a little more than occasional), most of my downloads are "explicit" (like my Jay Z:), I don't see a problem with drinking in moderation, I don't home school, and we watch TV...even Disney and reality TV. It doesn't mean I love Jesus any less or that my relationship is any less real, I love Him with a passion.
When I first became a Christian I too did a kinda flip with who I was around, etc. Which is only natural. Maybe I was afraid to be too much "of the world", I didn't want to loose the sweet security and joy I had found. But what I have learned over the years is that I can love with abandon ALL people and it just makes my walk with Jesus all the more real. My Christian life has come with hurt and heartache but my security hasn't faltered, or when it has it has been only temporary...I love how you phrased it "...i really blew it. a lot. but i loved hard and played hard. and life was good, and God, you were why"
Thanks Again for sharing!!
Courtney

Kelly Meirik said...

it's so easy to follow religious legalism (looks diff. for all of us) rather than embrace & live out the true essence of what our religion is suppose to be. i've often contemplated lately what MY convictions really are. it's so easy for me to (mostly subconsciously) conform to what i think will win me favor with people, the church, or whatever. i don't even know i'm doing it until i get someplace i don't want to be & feel resentful or something.
i'm learning to live REAL before God as much today than ever & i never would have thought that i was fake before. i related to God with whatever way relating to Him was demonstrated to me by whatever group, click or church i was a part of...i read somewhere that we spend most of our time protecting our fragile egos. it's crazy how much we do that. it's funny how what we want to achieve we miss, we go to extreme. it's always so much more simple. one of my favorite verses is 'a broken & contrite heart, i have yet to deny.'
anyways, i can be jumpy so i'll stop writing now. :) loved reading this post holls. i so appreciate your thoughts & wish i had a friend like you to chew the fat with around here like that. why don't i call you more??!! :) Bless you.

mariah schwartz said...

Wow! I really liked this post. I can relate to it on so many levels. I really like the 2nd to last paragraph. I also know all about the searching...I think I still am. I know where I want to land, I just can't quite find the where to and how...you know? Anyway, thanks so much for sharing..I think your blog is becoming my US weekly in the mail..it's that good, instead of waiting on the front porch for the mail lady to come, I'm waiting by the computer waiting for you to post!! You are so inspiring..maybe God put you on my path?? I know he did when I was pregnant with Cade..for sure. You came to me at a time when I needed to hear what you had to say. :) thanks for all of your inspiration...keep it coming!

Tee said...

Holly,

Thanks for posting...This is my first attempt to be a better commenter. I think you know I am the one from 28723 ;) I also loved hearing your story and thinking back to when we worked together. I remember you and Brandon walking out of Chumash auditorium once for campus crusade and I was sitting at the info desk. I also remembering inviting y'all over for dinner before you left for UK. I made orange beef, I think it made you sick, and then I asked about your faith and how you knew. I also remember coming back from Uganda and bringing you the Last Supper carving that "our other friends" thought was more embarassing (due to the faces looking all jacked up) than thoughtful... Well, maybe it was. But I think about you often and when I do, I think about your faith.

I am still looking for my faith. I'll let you know when I find it.

hayes@atlantadings.com said...

Are only girls allowed to comment on this? If so, then forgive me. :) Quite enjoyed it Holly. Im encouraged by your openness. Hayes