In 1971 I headed to college….the University of Michigan to be precise. I was ready to have fun, to be out from under the thumbs of my parents; I was ready to spread my wings and fly…or so I thought. As I began to move in what proved to be a path toward darkness and destruction, God continually attempted to intervene, to direct me in the Way in which I could truly learn to soar (at times) and be free (always in reality, but not always experientially). But, I refused to listen.
Those were the days of the Jesus Movement and Jesus freaks, and that first fall semester seemed to be filled with those freaks attempting to share their Jesus with me. Having been raised in the church (confusingly in a family who did not practice what they professed), I would rebuff them, proudly, using the very Word they spoke. Then, a hippy friend of mine became a Christian…I was so disappointed; I had thought he was so cool. With eyes that had changed from cloudy to clear and a countenance that was strangely peaceful, he would tell us about Jesus and his experience. I still didn’t listen. Finally, he invited a friend and me to his church on Easter…a Baptist church. (Horrors of horrors to my Wisconsin/Missouri Synod Lutheran upbringing….some of you know what I am talking about) There was an altar call (even worse), and I knew God was calling me forward….but, I didn’t go; I remember thinking I couldn’t because Lutherans didn’t do that emotional stuff. (Isn’t it odd how our man made religion can keep us from true spirituality?) I had made my choice, and the God who had been trying to save me from myself let me go my own way.
Out of His great compassion and mercy God called to me again, following four years of more choices that sent me on a downward spiral to the point of an emotional breakdown (a far cry from the flying I thought I would do). This time I chose to open myself to Jesus and believe. That was the beginning of my journey into healing from the inside out. Just the beginning, even though at that moment I entered an eternity with Him, He had much to do to transform me into the person He created me to be. And, He still has much to do.
I am weak, Lord…You are strong. Continue to empower me to choose You.