Week One

I did the first week’s lesson plan from the Frazzled Female in one day. That’s not how you’re supposed to do it, but it’s reflective of just how frazzled I am. This book is written by Cyndi Wood and if I’m going to be perfectly honest, which I usually am, I am having a problem with the language. I am a person who knows very little about the Bible, so it’s like I’m going from not knowing how to swim to jumping into the deep end and hoping I’ll figure out the breast stroke when I’m immersed in the water.

So, here’s a passage to give you an idea of what I’m talking about.

If you have made the choice to begin this intimate relationship with your personal Lord and Savior, delight in the fact that the Father longs to experience a deep love with you. He has so much in store for you as you learn about His extraordinary love and seek to know His ways.

Okay, I am forty-one years old and I’m just now exploring Christianity. I’m a good person. I volunteer. I take an active interest in my children’s lives. I vote. I pay taxes. I hold the door for people. I say “Bless you” if you sneeze. I’m kind to animals and old people. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think I’m a pretty good person, but after reading the first chapter of this book, I think I have a gutter mind. Seriously. When I hear “intimate” relationship, I think of, well, my husband. I do not think of Jesus. I think of Jesus as some long haired really cool guy that we celebrate a couple of times a year, but I don’t really know much about him other than he made water into wine and cured some people and was eventually executed on a cross.

Along with talk of intimacy in the above passage, there’s “delight” and he “longs” for and “His extraordinary love.” Is it just me or does this sound kind of sexual? Okay, so before you cast stones, I get the fact that it’s my own language problem and not Cyndi’s. She’s just saying I need to get to know Jesus—on an intimate level. Because he’s really cool and unlike most men, very open to intimacy.

I get that.

So, how does one get intimate with Jesus? Cyndi advises that we talk to him. A lot. Tell him what’s going on. In other words, she suggests we pray.

So, here is my second obstacle during week one. Yes, I have prayed in the past, but it’s usually about the big stuff (please don’t let the plane crash, please don’t let my mom have cancer) and it’s generally directed to—and here’s the problem—I don’t know. I worry that if I talk to Jesus about everything, like what to make for dinner or when should I let my daughter wear mascara, I feel like he’s going to tune me out when it really counts. Bad stuff happens to good people all of the time.

Reassuringly, Cyndi says that, “If God denies your request He has something better planned for your life.” So, what if you need a heart so that you can parent your young children into adulthood? Or you need a job so that you don’t get evicted from your house? And then neither of those requests is answered? What then? Does that mean death and/or homelessness is the better plan?

I would have serious doubts that I wasn’t praying loud or often enough, or that I wasn’t worthy of my request. Up until this point in my life, I was told to “Expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed.” Expecting Jesus to handle billions of prayers from “should I make tacos?” to “please don’t let my son die before I do” is a lot to ask of a man.

This is going to be a tough six weeks, but I do have a prayer. I pray that these women will be patient with me and my silly questions and not want to pummel me in a moment of frustration. And yes, it will be interesting to hear how my questions are addressed at the meeting.

I’ll keep you posted.

P

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6 Responses to Week One

  1. Pamela, I used to have a problem with that phrase “intimate relationship” too, or people saying things like, “I’m just so in love with Jesus.” But a friend explained it this way: “Think of that first crush…how you couldn’t get him out of your mind…how you would smile for no reason when you’d think of him…that’s what it’s like when you realize God is real… and he really does care for you… and you really can talk to him about anything.” So, I think of intimate in that sense, of that person you are so close too that you can count on them for anything or trust them with your heart.

    Btw, I’m excited about following your spiritual journey. 🙂

  2. Betsy Cross says:

    Since I’ve been on this journey for my whole life, I now think and speak in gratitude. I see what I have as blessings (the good and the bad) cause then my eyes are open to the lessons. Sure, I ask for direction, but it’s more like, “help me to see what’s already there.”
    You make me happy (joyful) with your honesty!

  3. JT O'Neill says:

    Yes, I have a problem with this kind of language describing a relationship with Jesus or God. I fully recognize that it is MY problem. I don’t ever talk like that and so the words seem phony to me. I can’t relate at all to that passage that you cited. It doesn’t compute for me. Mind you, I consider myself a compassionate and affectionate person – I throw out the “I love you’s” with the best of them. But I don’t talk like this and I dont’ know anyone who does. SO I have a language barrier to overcome if I were ever to become a part of this kind of community.

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