Faith in Nothing, Except…

Angie asked me to write because it’s been so long since I have.  It’s not that I don’t want to share updates with her followers or that I’m not interested in trying to encourage people who are going through tough times – quite the opposite, I would love to be able to do that.  I just don’t feel like I can encourage anyone right now – namely myself.  The Lord says that he will give back everything that the enemy has stolen from us. And on the outside, I’m thankful because I do see that manifesting – I can even go as far as to say that I do feel HE is restoring me physically, (outwardly).  I have nothing to complain about right now.  I feel great, I’m taking care of myself for the first time in ages, my kids are good, I live in a beautiful home and have a great career and life is much more simplistic and weightless than it has been in a very long time. But on the inside, I’m completely lost.  I have no idea who I am and I say that in effort to run away from what I really think I am, which is nothingness and emptiness. I feel like a bottle that’s been poured out and there’s just nothing left – no more content – I have nothing more to give. Everything that the human brain contributes to our ability to heal ourselves just doesn’t seem to work on me anymore. All these self-help ideologies are like clinging symbols, making noise with no substance… And I think I could accept even that if I could just live inside of the separation, accepting my own duality with some clarity that protects me from what I never wanted to know, yet I’ve known all along.

In three of the gospel accounts, Christ said that we would be hated by the world for his sake. I’ve tried to wrap my thoughts around what that truly means and usually end up seeing only the acts – which could never be accurate because He made it clear that what seems good will be quite the opposite, (and the do’ers are told to depart from him), meaning this is an internal and spiritual warfare – never on the outside and never visible to the human eye or any other human senses. Angie often speaks of an interpretation regarding a “stench” not detected by the human nose – but it’s like a vibe or an energy that is perceived without reasoning as we cross paths with one another. And this very powerful spiritual fragrance (for lack of a better explanation) results in love or hate. So going back to what Jesus spoke in all of the gospels about being hated of the world, perhaps this is what it’s like to perceive the separation he spoke of. I see the evidence of not belonging here as I’ve seen it my entire life.  But now, I’m experiencing it all over again in a way that is much more intense than ever before. I’m losing faith in absolutely everything – piece by piece.  And it seems like I’m in this process of these false ideas being stripped away – everything that was once hidden being revealed to me (Luke 8:17), and with each new layer that’s pulled back and exposed, I lose a little bit more faith…. In goodness.. in humanity… Especially in myself.  Luke 14:26 says “If someone wants to follow me and doesn’t hate his own father and mother and wife and children AND EVEN HIS OWN LIFE, he cannot be my disciple” – that’s what Jesus said, not me.  You won’t hear that scripture preached in your local church today. And I thought I knew what this meant and I thought I was walking it out everyday – laying my life down for others and selflessly sacrificing ME to do what I thought Jesus would want me to do.  Basically, I’ve been putting God inside of my debt – “he owes me because I’m such a great person with such a beautiful loving heart”… the words I would never say but that’s how I felt inside – earning my keep… working hard to achieve righteousness.  I cared for the sick, and I ministered to prisoners and evangelized to kids and gave to the poor and all the while I had one foot inside of the grave because while I was walking and talking this hypocrisy, like I’m holier than others… I was utterly and completely self destructing from inside out. 

Is that was God wants for us? Paul said this in Romans 7… he said “I don’t understand what I’m doing.. What I want to do, I don’t do. But what I HATE – that’s what I do… And if I do what I don’t want to do, then I agree that the law is good. As it is, it’s no longer ME who is doing it, but it’s the sin that is living in me.  For I know that GOOD DOES NOT DWELL IN ME, that is my sinful nature.”  And he repeats this to elaborate further, painting a picture of a separation that he could see in himself.  The opposite of hypocrisy is to see myself for what I truly am and stop pretending that I’m “good”… because I’m just simply not.  My flesh is just as sinful as the next person’s.. I’m not better than anyone and no matter what I’ve done or given of myself, I’m still no better off than I was the day I entered this world – as it is written, “naked I came from the wound and naked I shall return”..

In the life of Solomon we see a man who achieved everything a person could achieve here on earth – wealth, fame, women, power,.. and in the end he said “it’s all vanity – it’s all MEANINGLESS”… If you read this text again and again, a sense of sadness will likely come over you – a realization that everything here is pointless… that you can achieve and buy and win and keep winning but you will never be satisfied internally.  So where am I at today?  I guess I’m somewhere between Paul and Solomon’s most cryptic testimonies – throwing my hands up and saying “what’s the point?”…. trying to embrace the fact that I am completely and utterly empty and maybe it’s OK to be empty?  Maybe it’s OK to recognize my own sinful nature and HATE MYSELF (Luke 14:26) before a God that is Holy and with a faith that doesn’t rely upon anyone or anything (especially ME).. but a faith that sees the good in nothing… except HIM.

Shamefully yours….. Jodi <3

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