Without thinking of course I say “yes”, because that’s what I am supposed to say, right? But do I really believe that in my heart? Am I representing that in my life and writing?
I have been writing for over three years now. Who else is a fan of the “On This Day” feature in Facebook? Mine always pops up some random article I wrote in the past 3 years. Reading back on my past articles, I can see not only how I have grown in my actual writing skills, but also in my pursuit of Jesus. Noticeably, most of my articles seem to follow this patter/formula:
1. Difficult circumstance or condition in my life
2. Feeling of hopelessness, confusion, fear, etc.
3. Yay Jesus.
The upside is that every article I write, even the ones for my kids’ birthdays, brings it all back together at the end with ‘Jesus.’ This is great. Yes, in the christian life, it all should come back around full circle to Jesus. But what exactly happens between step 2 and step 3?
I am learning that a huge chunk of my audience are not ‘believers’. So many of my readers, as well my actual peers in life, are the mis-churched, the de-churched, the unchurched, the consumer christian. I fear that my authenticity may have been missed by some. To someone who may not be aware of the presence of the Lord in their life, it may look like I go through a hard time then just hold up a “Yay Jesus” banner at the end and then live happily ever after.
I really believe that the Lord has put me in a place in my community and around my peers to be a light in the darkness, to love the seemingly unloveable, and to represent Jesus in a world where it seems like there is a constant pull between the “religious” and the “worldly”.
Dear Unbeliever, UnChurched, Mischurched, Broken Soul,
I am here to tell you that it is hard being a christian. It really is. Some make it look easy. Some may shake a finger at you and tell you that if you just let Jesus into your heart (which is not even a literal thing BTW), that everything will be better and you will always feel loved and that you will live happily ever after. Yay Jesus.
Nope, that is a big fat lie. I apologize on behalf of all the other Christians for this mistruth. Loving Jesus is hard. Your life circumstances do not get any easier. In fact, they sometimes get harder. But eventually your heart changes, therefore, the way in which you respond to difficulties changes.
Loving Jesus means you get over yourself and your need to feel happy or satisfied all the time. There is never really a ‘happily ever after’ on this earth. It’s a constant battle.
Loving Jesus means that he shows you things about yourself that you can’t stand. And you decide to change them because you love Him and want to be more like him.
Loving Jesus means you stop relying on yourself. Your ‘self’ will eventually fail you. Promise.
Loving Jesus means that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. Even when it seems there is no end in sight and you wish someone would just hold up a Yay Jesus sign in surrender, there will eventually be an end. And when you reach that end, you will be grateful for that which brought you through to the other side.
So to answer the question at the beginning… Is Jesus really enough?
Yes. So much yes. Yes He is enough. He is absolutely everything. The motivation for behavior and heart change, the pulling force that gets you to the other side, the steadfast tree that never moves, the soft blankie to snuggle in. But he most certainly is not a happily ever after. And please forgive me and my fellow believers for ever discounting him and his grace in that way.