open minded and questioning I was willing to be. But it was a
beginning, a crack in my confused and fearful mindset.
****
When I was twenty-seven years old, Mark and I and
our two sons moved back to the place I grew up, and after
looking into alternative worship places, we headed back to the
church I spent much time in as a child. This led to a conflict
for me. The life of peace and freedom that I heard talk of and
that I so desired was not realized for me in this particular place
of worship, and yet I returned there. We often gravitate to what
we know, even when deep down we long for something
different.
We spent two years living in this place before moving
away. During a Bible study on Galatians in this church, a
teacher shared a striking visual. It has come to mind over and
over in subsequent years. I clearly remember him saying,
“Following God is not something we have to figure out step
by step. It is like running through a field.” A vision of myself
running through a grassy, flower filled place with hair flowing
in the wind came to mind. This was radically different than the
messages I had absorbed around relationship with the divine
and “God’s will.” I had taken to heart a relationship that was
full of striving and effort on my part coupled with a fear that
any misstep would lead to a holy zap from above. “Like
running through a field” offered a stark contrast, and this idea
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