*Rachel is the quote-unquote “new kid” to the Tribe of Judah…and God is doing incredible things in her life.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I never doubted this all.
Not that I doubt God’s love for me, or that I should still be alive. Those are two pretty firm figures in my mind that I never believed. However, there are days where the snow is still coming down in massive gusts of wind, when I feel every mile of the 2,047 that connects me back home and to everyone there. I sometimes have brief moments where I wonder if I rushed it, what I could have done differently, if I could have somehow held onto the love I had with the man I loved in California. On the days here, when I have nothing to do but read or clean something, when the sky is grey, I wonder. On the days when I go online to and see Facebook covered in pictures with acid references and burning man pictures, I get the realization that none of that is part of my reality now. When the Kid Cudi song “Pursuit of Happiness” plays, and I wonder, did I do the right thing? Isn’t California where EVERYONE wants to be? The beauty of the nature, the ocean breeze, the tall trees that reveal behind them the constant blue sky? How I miss these things. On the nights where I am falling asleep at 8pm knowing that its only 6pm back home and that the party has not even begun, I wonder.
It’s a big step to leave everything behind you, and not one that I regret. Even on the days where I miss all of these things and get those moments that I wonder, I still get the moments OF wonder.
The moments that I realize with GREAT WONDER, how I am free from the bonds that once shackled me,
that kept me coming back saying “With this you will be more powerful, more peaceful, more free”.
But what is freedom is it keeps you always wanting more with no signs of giving in to its shallow promises?
If you are reading this wondering why I could say that about drugs and not God? Doesn’t he keep you wanting more? I’d say that I’d be asking the same thing. The only answer I have is that there are different motives. Before, I was only out for myself.
I was incredibly selfish in my actions, even in the way that I showed loved. I DID truly love who I was with, but when in love it comes with the terms that the other person will love you back. “I’m going to love you like this because I want you to love me the same way”. I know this might sound strange, or some people might just be thinking “well, duh”, but either way, I believe thats human nature. We love in the way we want to be loved, because we want to be loved! God is something completely different than that. I believe that God created the Earth. I don’t know when, I haven’t studied that deep into it yet, but because of my faith, I trust in God and the words of the Bible. Because God created the Earth, and created ME, I know that he shows love for me. ( Psalm 32:10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.) I love him because he loved me first, but its more than that! I am CAPABLE of loving him, of having a personal relationship with Him, because He sacrificed Himself so that I don’t have to go to hell, so that I can have the option of Heaven if I choose to accept.
That’s where most people have to make a decision. In my case, I feel like it all fell in my lap and I checked the “accept all” box and signed away out of faith. It was an easy decision because I had felt God speak to me, show himself to me, and tell me that everything would be ok, because it is His plan over my own. But other people are different than I am, and may think that God is real, and maybe even go as far as saying that He made them, but when it comes to the Bible and what it teaches, they draw the line. Saying things like “well, that was then and this is now”. Which I can agree to, to some extent, as far as discrepancies between Old Testament and New Testament, but with that said, many of the people that are using the excuse of that is then… haven’t read the bible to know the differences! When I decided to come to God, I decided that I trusted what the Bible said, I decided that I wanted a better life than what I had been living, I decided that I wasn’t going to give up hope, but instead move forward. I also decided to move across the country! Ha! But if you’ve read what comes before this than you know the circumstances that brought me here. But what you may not know is that God gifted me with everything I LOVE, because he loves me and knows the things that make my heart happy. ( 1 Timothy 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.) I didn’t ever want lots of money, I didn’t seek fame as my priority for my love of music, by the end of my time in California, I didnt want to look like everyone or “fit in” for the sake of fitting in. I wanted to be ME. I loved eating Mushrooms and Acid to try and see the beauty in day to day things, to feel spiritual and connected to the Earth. I loved smoking weed to relax, I loved gardening in the pot farm, I loved playing guitar around a bonfire of drunk friends and I did enjoy my time on the record label. I loved the community within the job where I worked, and the local coffee shop down the street where we would all go to hang out. Naturally, I miss these things, but because I have a God who GENUINELY cares, everything I needed/loved lined up in one place that I didn’t even care about before a few months ago. But here, I can relax and have peace because life is well and I don’t have any worries. God provides food, housing and friends. I’ve heard this before and I love it “If you’re depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” I don’t know if it applies to all situations but I think it explains my life at this point pretty well, and man is it a good feeling. I get to work in a major community garden this spring! Food is a bit more important on this world than pot if you ask me, and I’m happy to be a part of it. On top of that, I get to play guitar all the time, and even have someone here who let me use theirs while I’m here to keep with me. I work with Interpose Studios interning to learn to mix and produce music, run live sound and become a better musician and song writer. There is a coffee shop opening in town called The Bearded Apple, and I have been able to help here and there with that project. But overall, I have a wonderful sense of community within the people I live with, eat with, and share life with. I no longer have hangovers, paranoia or problems remembering what happened, but I don’t mind missing those. I’ve noticed beautiful patterns in the nature here, seen the clouds move across the sky to the funky instrumental music that I still know and love and I’ve seen the snow dance in tornadoes to the bass in my ears. Life is beautiful, and real. I know everyone talks about how natural weed is, and compared to other drugs I’ve done, I couldn’t agree more! But whats MORE natural than weed other than finding strength and encouragement and peace through the creator of the universe? I have everything that I had wanted, and all of the things that I found enjoyment in living without God are the very same things that I find enjoyment in here, but without guilt, worry, or consequences.
I don’t know if you noticed, but the thing that I mentioned at the top of the page and the thing that I did not mention in the above paragraph is love, or rather, being in love. I feel so much love from God, but it different than being in someones arms and feeling the closeness of another human. But I know that I will not be alone forever, (Genesis 2:18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”). but that he has someone exactly right for me. Someone who is going to be following after God’s heart and wanting to please God above pleasing me, and I will seek God above my husband. I will put him before myself and he will do the same for me, and together our lives will be full of love for our Maker and each other and that is something to look forward to. (Which is much easier to say than to do, but at least there are standards now). But that is in the future and I’m not worrying about it now. But of all the things I was seeking in life, I doubt that finding a man will be the hardest to find and I already have all of the rest in seeking God, I don’t see how this area would be different!
Putting everything together with this,
-I know I that Yahweh Shalom has a plan for my life.
-I choose to trust the Bible because it has proven itself through historical tests as well as personally.
-When I follow the Word of God, things get better not worse.
While we as humans may complain about the laws that God has set before us, they are fair and make our lives easier when followed and complied to. They are not rules that bind us to something untrue or legalistic but rules that keep us from getting hurt spiritually and emotionally. They protect relationships and how we view ourselves. They bring families closer, and not farther apart. OUR GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE, JOY, PEACE, LONG SUFFERING, KINDNESS, GOODNESS AND SELF CONTROL. When we live by these same principles and take them on to live like God, we find strength in him and find that we can accomplish things we never imagined possible through HIM. I am happy to have a handbook of getting through this crazy world and see it as protection rather than bondage.
If you see this statement as making me sound weak, inexperienced in the ways of the world, or childish, then I couldn’t agree less, but would say the exact opposite. If I was all of those things, then I would have no desire to seek those things or seek God, I would only be out to please myself, and I already know where that road leads… I’ve walked it, alone. There is more to life than sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, though all seem wonderful while your living in the middle of it all, if you were to wake up tomorrow and everything that you had materially was gone? What would you have? If all your friends turned their backs and went away? Who would you have? There is more to life than what we’ve as humans have minimized it to, and I just want the world to know how great the love on earth really could be.
Life is good and I am happy and healthy. This weekend I will be getting out of this tiny town and going to Appleton, Wisconsin for a conference and hear teachings from Pastors from around the country, including John Higgins, who was a key part in the Jesus Movement in the 60’s and “had a huge heart for the hippies”, so naturally, I’m excited to hear what he has to say.