By: Cindy Lundhagen
(A continuation from 5 March) So there I was sometime in the summer of 2014 linked into a church via the internet…sporadically listening into a random podcast…and I was finding myself engrossed in the story. Then I started listening in from the beginning of what they called a “series”. That summer, I don’t recall what the specific topic was supposed to be, but it was all about history in distant lands and I remember being so frustrated that I couldn’t see the maps the pastor kept referencing. And I went back to all the archived podcasts and I began listening to them too…until I was caught up with everything out there. And I found myself patiently…and then not so patiently…waiting for the next Sunday’s sermon to be posted. I wasn’t able to connect all the dots or always completely follow the story line…but the message was clear. The Jesus (or God) being discussed was the same one I recognized and was beginning to know more fully…a loving, merciful, almighty God. If I knew anything at all about God at this point, Psalm 59:10 described it – “In His unfailing love, my God, will stand with me”.
But it seemed God didn’t want me standing still. I got this overwhelming feeling that listening to podcasts, reading His story and praying were good…but they weren’t enough. God wanted more. But I didn’t. Like I said I can be an incredible rebel (I almost like the way that sounds) and I flat out did not want to go to this church or any church. All I can say is that God would not let me off that easily and an internal battle was being waged. In the end, it was again my sense of owing God my everything that finally propelled me. By this time it was nearing Christmas 2014. I decided I would go once…for God…but I would wait until after the Christmas season. If I was going to experience this church in person I wanted to do it on “any given Sunday” not when things would be garnished up for Christmas. So I waited until the first Sunday in January 2015.
This is going to sound crazy…but going to church that day was one of the most courageous things I’ve ever done. I was doing something I absolutely did not want to do and something that I did not have to do…but I did it because of my love for the God that I knew loved me. And there was no doubt in my mind that he was pointing me in that direction. So part of the puzzle seemed to be solved…”The Lord is my shepherd”…I was to follow His lead. But that did not make it easy. I sat in my car in the parking lot of the church…frozen and scared. I was scared that I wouldn’t know what to do when I got in there…especially if there were rules or rituals I knew nothing about. I was scared that it wouldn’t be what I so very much wanted it to be. But mostly I was scared that somehow I would be wrong about what God wanted. That would be the worst. I could not be wrong about God…I NEEDED desperately to trust in Him because I was going forward purely on faith…and my faith could not fail me now.
So I mustered up all I had left and asked God to go with me and then we moved.
Until the next continuation…
Cindy Lundhagen — Summerville, SC