A Change of Plans

20200222_112738.jpg
February 22, 2020

Saturday was going to be a great day…I woke up early and excited to take maternity pictures and to later celebrate Aaron and I’s 6 year wedding anniversary. We had just left my grandmas to continue taking pictures at our church when the unthinkable happened.

In a flash of blue, a speeding car flew past a stop sign and plowed into our 2010 Prius, hitting my passenger side. At that moment I didn’t see the miracle, I knew only the horror of being in a serious accident, slamming my head into “something”, I honestly can’t remember what…and thinking to myself as the dread reached my inner being, “my baby!!”

I can’t really explain the feeling, or feelings that all overcame me in those moments. Aaron was alright and my mom and uncle who had happened to be driving behind us stopped and tried to help. An ambulance was called and I demanded to go with them, all I could think about was my baby.

I’ve never had an ambulance ride, nor have I ever stayed at a hospital. This was totally against my plans! My first hospital stay was supposed to be the day I gave birth to my baby! And yet, there I was on my anniversary stuck in labor and delivery under observation for several hours.

As time passed, I began to realize the miracles/blessings that took place…what satan meant for evil, God took and turned it into good (as only He can do). A “change of plans” became a “change in perspective” for Aaron and I both.

It turns out that Aaron and the other driver swerved just enough so that instead of hitting my passenger door, our front tire took most of the blow. Also, our airbags didn’t deploy (something that has happened to me twice before) which saved us from receiving more damage. My seatbelt didn’t tighten around my belly and even though I hit my head, surprisingly, a bad goose-egg was all that came of it.

As for our baby, he was completely unharmed…and our observation yielded only good results. I was able to see our baby on the ultrasound again. the last I saw him was at 21 weeks pregnant, today I am 26 weeks. He was active and punching (all day) probably due to my nerves, but otherwise, he wasn’t in distress.

They told me that if I had been farther along, the results could have been different. Right now, he still has room to move and is protected by all the amniotic fluid and space. With each passing week as he grows, that space gets smaller as well as his “protection.” As I was reassured by doctors and nurses that I was lucky…I knew deep down that “luck” had nothing to do with it.

God saved my life. Again.

So many reached out to us in this time, even the maternity ward nurses blessed us, one nurse, in particular, took a liking to me and I found myself happy to see her each hour during my baby’s heart monitor readings. Before the end of her shift, she sent us a little surprise…

20200222_182319.jpg

A cake and some pizza! On top of that our pastor and his wife brought us chipotle…many people helped us to celebrate our anniversary. satan’s “change of plans” couldn’t stop our celebration! Nor this new perspective of an even greater thankfulness and appreciation for all of God’s blessings and provisions.

Not long after, I was allowed to be discharged and sleep in my own bed! And Sunday, I saw the love of our church family through the live stream, while my amazing mother made us dinner in my kitchen. Aaron and I again had a celebratory feast!

20200223_125535.jpg

Today, I am no longer really stiff, the whiplash has faded away and the bruise on my head is healing nicely. Financially, things are working themselves out and we choose to trust God in this just as we trust Him with our lives. My follow-up appointment went great! And my doctor even said, “God was looking after you.” Amen.

Emotionally I still am healing but with each day I feel better and less traumatized by the ordeal. It really was the greatest scare of my life (and that’s coming from someone who has had to face a fear of this caliber before). It will always amaze me how quickly things can turn, how a beautiful day can come to a crashing halt in the blink of an eye. All the more reason to thank God for every moment, to pray for protection regardless of how well life is going for you, and to remember that there is an ever-present enemy that never sleeps, and is after the children of God, those born and unborn.

At the end of the day, I learned that I still trust Him. That despite my recent doubts and unanswered questions about healing, I still believe He is Healer and He is Good. I realized this when my first response after the accident was to pray…

God, I’m sorry. I no longer desire to have all the answers…the only truth I need know is your goodness and your will. Anything, any thought that goes against this truth is a lie from the enemy. My beliefs are not dependant on what I see in this reality, no, they go beyond that. That is what faith is all about. Thank you, God, for protecting me and my family, we are yours forever…amen.

 

Has the enemy ever tried to “change your plans?”

In what ways has God brought beauty from ashes in your life?

 

Pregnancy: Ups and Downs

PregnantWoman-1024x683

“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”

-Carl Sandburg

I’m 24 weeks into this pregnancy journey, and boy…has it been a journey! Sometimes it feels like I’m in the back of a speeding car, other times, it’s as though I’m stuck in an empty void of “waiting.” I want to meet our child and yet, once he’s here, everything will change forever. That’s a good thing! But also, a scary thing indeed.

“Am I good enough?”

I am grateful that this question hasn’t crossed my mind, but that is only because of my faith in God. Do you know that He created you to be the best mother for your child? All of His created families are a perfect match, no matter how imperfect some of our moments are, that doesn’t change His belief in you. If God believes in you, then you are more than qualified for the job.  😉👍

At 24 weeks labor and the thought of “motherhood” still seems so far away, but getting closer every day. My focus has been solely “one day at a time” since the symptoms alone can be overwhelming!

Heart palpitations, pelvic pressure (makes it easy to overeat), Braxton Hicks contractions, fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, skin problems, stretch marks, and random mood swings!

Yes, those are enough to be getting along with, though the pesky nausea that so plagued the beginning of this journey is basically over, besides the oversensitive “gag-reflex” which makes brushing teeth a tricky business.

My only joy has been in planning the baby shower and feeling our baby move, kick, and punch on a more regular daily schedule. (Generally, he is awake in the morning and late evening though eating/drinking and bending can stir him to action also)

I’ve discovered that pregnancy doesn’t always come with that “glow” everyone talks about. I’m torn between loving the baby bump look and hating the skin problems such as stretch marks and random blotchiness that comes from the rapid expansion of your body. Sometimes I have that energy and joy that many said I would experience in my 2nd Trimester, and other times, I feel overwhelmed, anxious, depressed and flat out tired!

It is a rollercoaster of new experiences for first-time mothers and because every pregnancy is different it’s hard to not feel “alone” on this journey. Even with your trusted spouse at your side or other more seasoned mothers reaching out to you.

I fail quite often in pulling myself out of these moments but here is what I have learned so far, I hope these tips will be helpful to you as well. A pregnant mother’s mental health is just as important as her physical one!

  1. If you are feeling down, don’t withdraw or allow yourself to become angry. And don’t lay around!! You want to pick up your spirits real quick? Get out of the house and move around, whether that’s a brisk morning walk or just doing some chores around the house/yard. Moving seems to really work at erasing the depression and in fact, sitting around can be what’s causing you to feel down. It’s hard to get started, believe me, I know! But once you do I guarantee you will feel better.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Talk to people! Even if they can’t completely know what you are going through, talk to them anyway. Venting is a great stress reliever and being more vocal about what you are going through to your spouse or best friend will help them to understand you at least a little bit more. If you don’t have other pregnant women to talk to, go join a forum online or find a pregnancy group in your town/city. Maybe try pregnancy yoga, or take a class.
  3. Braxton Hick’s contractions a constant? First, be sure they are false contractions and not labor (an easy way to tell is labor is painful/regular/and gets worse with time). To help ease Braxton Hick’s, change positions, drink a lot of water, don’t overeat (that really sets them off for me), try to relax by doing something that takes your mind off of them like watching a movie or reading. If your baby is being particularly active or if you have to pee this can also cause a false contraction, just remain calm and reassured that these false contractions aren’t dangerous and are quite normal. What do these feel like? A tightening and releasing of the uterine muscles (you can actually feel them tighten with your hand).
  4. Heart palpitations! I have always had these off and on before pregnancy, now It seems they can be worsened due to my increased blood volume and the extra heart strain in general. Keep an eye on them, if they get worse or are followed by other symptoms call your doctor. Otherwise, try to eat right (don’t lay down right after eating), avoid caffeine at all costs! move around/change position. Drink a glass of cold water, and do some relaxing meditations to calm yourself (stress can trigger these). What do they feel like? heart flutters and an overall faster heartbeat.

Eating right, having a good sleep/exercise schedule, and a good support group will help you through this difficult time. But I can’t stress enough the importance of drawing close to God, the one who understands you fully and what you are going through. I find peace in leaning on Him, reading His word when I’m afraid, and listening to worship music to ease my worries and emotions. Pray and surrender it all to Him, the only one who holds you and your child in His arms. With Him, you can do anything!! (Philippians 4:13)

 

 

Rescuing Villains

2017-05-12_hH9osCC50n.than.jpg

Do you know we are in the business of rescuing villains?

Truthfully speaking, we all fell when Adam and Eve ate the fruit and therefore, we are all guilty and equally worthy of death. “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus didn’t die for the innocent, he died for the wicked. He died to cleanse away the dark stain upon our hearts. He died for those spitting and mocking him just as much as he died for the disciples who realized only afterward who Jesus really was and why he came.

We are villains who have been redeemed and now seek to redeem the rest of those still clinging to darkness. Still lost in the night. But surely there are those who are more worthy of death than us? Surely, we weren’t quite so dark in comparison to thieves and murderers?

First, this question doesn’t apply to our present state. As we accepted Jesus, a new creature replaced the old. An evil thing died and a pure thing was born in us. The Holy Spirit is God with us, and in us…He is the one perfecting us and convicting us daily so that we never awaken the old dead self again. That is why the phrase “I’m just a sinner”, or “I’m only human”, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As new creations, we are freed from the chains of sin and with the Holy Spirit within us, we are more than merely “humans.” At least in the context of our actions, there should be another power at work within us.

So today, if you truly believe and have been washed clean then yes, you are no longer guilty of such crimes nor comparable to those who are still very much lost and under penalty of death (by choice).

Second, my answer is that God never said one sin is greater than another except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. A crime that discredits the works of God and glorifies the works of the devil. It is a tactic satan was first guilty of in the garden when he called God a liar, a term that only applies to the devil, the “father of lies.” (John 8:44)

To God, any sin is an act of rebellion and treason against righteousness and justice, or in other words, every sin separates us from Him irreparably outside of grace. Therefore, if you have lied, even just once, you are a liar. If you have looked upon a woman lustfully, just once, you are an adulterer…the list goes on. Now, with this in mind, if you were never cleansed of your crimes, how great would the list be?

We proved ourselves villains, rotten to the core, in this….when God came to live among us in the flesh, we killed him. Surely, we weren’t friends of God.

It may sound harsh, considering there were those who didn’t swing the hammer, didn’t force the crown of thorns onto Jesus’s head, those who mourned and cried out for him to be saved. And yet, Jesus died for them too. In fact, he died for all the pagan people and those who had yet to be born, you and me.

He died for his mother, his brothers, his disciples…his people. He looked down from the cross at them all and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

Standing before God is different than standing before the world’s judicial system. And both the Bible and society talk of earthly punishments varying based on the severity of the crime. I personally believe that although all unrepented sin leads to death (hell), the severity of one’s unrepented crimes will be punished accordingly in the afterlife.

Just as our rewards will differ in heaven, so will the level of punishment in hell as Jesus stated in Luke 12:47-48: “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes shall be beaten with few…”

If we can store up treasure in heaven, I’m sure the latter is also true. That we can store up for ourselves punishment…but at the end of the day, even the richest person in hell is still in hell, what difference does it really make? Hell, in essence, is “hell” not because of fire and brimstone…no, what makes it hell is the complete and utter absence of God’s presence. Something that even the most lost, poor, broken parts of the world are not without. Think of your loneliest moments, even there God was still watching you, waiting for you. No one knows what it would be like if God completely withdrew Himself and you were locked away far from ever feeling His warmth, light, joy, and hope ever again….that is hell.

Who would be there to save you? Who would be there to comfort you? All the protections you took for granted against the evil of the world and the works of the devil against your life, they would be removed and you would be vulnerable, stripped bare before a very angry and resentful satan and his demons for all eternity.

I don’t say this to frighten, in fact, I long only to make the point that all sin “earns” death (hell). And true repentance is available regardless of the crime one has committed. In my heart, this doesn’t seem fair…that is because I live in a world where mercy and grace must be equally earned. You’ve heard people say, “you have to earn it!” whether they are talking about trust, forgiveness, freedom, or the clothes on their backs…very few things in life are given freely.

Grace is a gift, and the only way we receive it is through repentance. So long as we have to free will to truly repent then we have the free will to truly receive all that Christ paid for on the cross. It defies “fairness”, which if we were held to that we would all be dead anyway, that would have been “fair.”

We, therefore can’t question who is worthy to receive a gift because that puts the giver in question. Do we really want to question God’s judgment?

And so the greatest story unfolds…the only story where the hero dies for the villain. The only story where God dies for mankind and restores them to Himself. The only story where the true villain “satan,” stands already defeated and all we must do, is take back what is ours, what Christ suffered to return to us. Our inheritance.

 

 

Gender Reveal!

20200131_112526.jpg
1/23/20-21 weeks!

I was so excited the night before the big reveal that I could hardly sleep! Tomorrow I’d finally know a bit more about our baby.

It was a long wait in the waiting room with my parents, husband, and grandma…I was more than happy for them to share this moment since ultrasounds have changed so much over the years. My mom and grandma never had the opportunity to see their little baby in the womb or to know the gender.

We all crowded into the little dark room and I craned my neck to see what I’d been growing so impatient to see over the month.

My baby, no longer a still little peanut, but a moving and almost fully developed person! We “oohed” and “awed” until finally, the lady pointed and my mom was the first to say, “it’s a boy!”

I’m pleased to announce that I’m having a boy, June 2nd ❤😊

I couldn’t be happier, especially with so many baby girls being born right now in my circle of family and friends. I’m going to have a son!!

Right after my appointment, my mom and I went to our local pregnancy center where Aaron and I have been regularly taking classes and we picked out our son’s first outfits! (our town is blessed to have this center and others like it which are stock full of baby clothes and supplies for expectant mothers!)

We then prepared for our big gender reveal! Getting balloons and wrapping them in a box to take to our church that evening.

20200123_151857.jpg

Finally, as evening came and Aaron was with our pastor and his family at the church (for band practice), mom and I lugged the very light airy box, thanks to the balloons, into the sanctuary and prepared to record the big moment.

Though I obviously shoved way too many balloons into the box, it was a joyous occasion! And when asked, “what’s his name going to be?” Aaron immediately said, “James” to anyone who asked.

I’m still open to ideas as far as names go but at the end of the day, no matter what we name him, he has a name already in heaven that we know nothing about and that will fit him more perfectly than our earthly names. A good pick-me-up to those who don’t like their parent given name I’m sure!

Thank you all for reading/watching our big moment! And welcoming young James into our family ❤ your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated and felt! He is a healthy baby and though I’m battling a rather nasty sinus infection right now, he is safe and sound and kicking me in the bladder as I type this actually…

Love and God bless you all!!!

 

 

Hide-and-Seek

b70489_2ba11f3e2f9c472cb1a1a78f9376e31e_mv2.jpg

“Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” 

-Genesis 3:8

Though it was fun to play Hide-and-Seek as a child, there was always a certain level of anxiety at being found. The whole point of the game is to avoid detection and there was nothing greater than finding that special hideout that no one could find. A few times I found such a place and waited till the voices calling for me died away and a somber, “we give up!” reached my ears.

Amidst all my hiding though, God never lost sight of me. Be it game or reality we cannot hide from God. Not just bodily, but our innermost thoughts as well.

The scene above with Adam and Eve hiding in guilt and God searching for them reminds me of a parent gently calling out to a child who had lied or done something wrong and hid in fear of punishment.

Oddly enough even animals seem to display a certain level of guilt at times (whether they learned it from us or have fallen natures of their own). My dog Kota knows when she’s done something wrong and will attempt to quietly conceal herself somewhere until I coax her out. It’s quite hard to be mad at either animal or child that reacts in such a way because it demonstrates a consciousness of their actions even if the underlying emotion at play is selfish.

I would be more concerned if a child flaunted their bad behavior and laughed at punishment than one who genuinely desired to take back what they did. Perhaps there’s still hope for such a child, and for all mankind so long as we feel a conviction to do what is right even amidst our own selfishness.

God’s call to Adam, “where are you?” may seem rather pointless, since He knew exactly where they were and what they had done. And yet, there is always more than just the physical going on when it comes to God. He felt them pull away from Him spiritually, felt them fall from His presence the moment they ate of the tree. And so, “where are you?” becomes all the more painful to hear.

Adam and Eve do not attempt to keep hidden but reveal themselves and already their guilt shows in how they respond to their Father. “I heard Your voice in the garden…and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself” (3:10). When before, man walked with God at ease, now he is ashamed of his nakedness, truly afraid or “aware” of the great divide between them…aware of the flesh and its wants and wills, as C.S. Lewis explains in Mere Christianity:

“(The Natural Life) wants to be left to itself: to keep well away from anything better or stronger or higher than it, anything that might make it feel small. It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world, just as people who have been brought up to be dirty are afraid of a bath. And in a sense, it is quite right. It knows that if the spiritual life gets hold of it, all its self-centeredness and self-will are going to be killed and it is ready to fight tooth and nail to avoid that” (pgs. 178-179).

The knowledge of the flesh and its sinful desires came alive that day and selfishly cowered and hid before God and His perfect light, where no darkness can remain hidden. Man recognized his own dirtiness and felt stripped bare before God’s perfection.

And Adam continues to act selfishly amidst God, longing to protect himself, he blames the woman and my guess is in that moment, as Eve looked in shock at what Adam, her husband, had said, a thorn was driven into their marriage and all marriages to come…a very real threat of betrayal and division between man and women who were made to be one and united. A reflection of Christ and His bride (the church).

Eve then places the blame on the serpent, who although is guilty of deception, never once forced her hand to take the fruit or to place it to her lips.

And thus begins the war, when before Adam and Eve were going to reign in power against the evil of the world, now they face the devil and his demons on a more even footing. Having handed over their authority to him, they are cast out of the protection of the garden (God’s presence) and thrown into the merciless world to toil, grovel, fight, or freely succumb to the darkness they chose to embrace.

It is a sad situation but thankfully, it is not the end of the story. The old Testament is what it was like to live in a world where satan had the authority, man was separated and afraid of God, and men ruled unjustly over women. Without the Holy Spirit, man faced his sins alone and very wholly succumbed to them, once to such an extent that God flooded the world in order to purge it and give Noah and his family a clean slate.

We landed ourselves in a filthy mess, and then Jesus came.

Authority is ours again, the curse is no longer applicable to us, and man can walk with God again, in fact, God resides in man’s very heart.

Do we still play this Hide-and-Seek game?

I believe the world does, they even lie to themselves in order to cover up the feeling of guilt that is so painful. If only they would realize that it is much easier to step out into the light and be washed clean, to surrender. Guilt is a tool that should lead us to repentance and freedom. And just as we cannot hide from God, we cannot hide from guilt. Eventually, it will find us and consume us, and the demons will whisper their lies into our weakened hearts, making us feel condemnation in the place of healthy conviction.

Nothing good can come from hiding. Particularly hiding from the light. Satan resides where people hide and just when they think they are safe and alone he pounces.

That is why it tears me up to see people caught up in the religious spirit of the Old Testament and those who up and leave their church body and think that alone they will do better to follow God.

These are traps of the enemy to cut you off from the source of life. The religious spirit chokes a man until he feels so tired and dirty he can’t step foot in a church. And to those who leave the church, whether it is due to the religious spirit or some other issue, their resentment and belief that they don’t need a spiritual family will give way to pride and leave them open to deception and attack. Very soon, such people come to spiritual ruin and doubt in all they once believed.

We were made to do this together, to work as a team in conquering this dark world for Christ. He is coming back someday and is awaiting a united church, one bride. A body only thrives when every part is working together in harmony. A body that is riddled with disease won’t take much of a stand against the world and its disease. (In other words, it takes a healthy doctor to heal a sick patient).

It’s time we stop hiding and start doing. We need to know what it’s like to be uncomfortable again, to do things we’ve never done before because we know God will catch us when we fall. Lives are at stake and time is running out. If the church has hurt you, I get it. Honestly, someday I will share my spiritual story and you will see that there were many times I could’ve rightfully (in the world’s eyes), left or abandoned church. But praise be to God that I follow Jesus, not man or “a” man. That I’m not looking for a perfect church that follows Christ, but that I’m looking to a perfect Christ who is bringing us all on a journey toward becoming more like Him.

I will say this, the body of Christ is under constant attack, not just as a whole but personally as well. Therefore, though it saddens me to see Christians hurting other Christians, I’m not surprised by it. Satan is out to get us, and he knows that division is the way to do it. One couple at a time, one pastor at a time, one person at a time. Therefore it is all the more important that we remain united, that we learn how to communicate and repent to one another without condemnation or anger, but in love. If we remain a united front, the enemy will be hard-pressed to find an opening for attack.

Be an example at your church, give younger Christians someone to look up to and mirror in action/deed. Just chase after God with all you have and pray that others join in. Pray over your church and it’s elders who are attacked most of all. Serve in areas that will benefit the body, Don’t hold out on serving till you know where you are specifically called, serve while you’re discovering that call. Even pastors have to pick up a mop, and worship leaders have to preach/minister. Just be willing to do whatever God calls you to in the moment. Promotion happens to those who “do”, not to those who sit and wait.

I pray that God will continue to do a work within all of us. No one has reached the peak, we are all still climbing and It’s our duty to lend a helping hand to our fellow climbers. Thank you for reading this rather long-winded post, and God bless you all!

 

 

 

20 weeks!

20190920_1729452.jpg

As of yesterday, I am now 20 weeks into my pregnancy (this picture is not exactly recent). I took this right before I even knew I was pregnant, a strange thing to look back on now, since it really wasn’t that long ago that my body was slim and entirely “my own.”

Another interesting thing to note was that I decided I wanted a shorter haircut around the time I became pregnant and I remember clearly that I wanted a more “motherly,” and older look. Why? People never believe that I’m 25 or that I’ve been married for over 5 years now, and in my heart, I knew that motherhood was the next big adventure awaiting me.

So at 20 weeks, I must say that I have changed as much as my body has. Perhaps it’s because, with each passing day, it all becomes more “real.” Only 20 weeks left and I will officially be holding a child in my arms, and not just in my heart.

Pregnancy so far has been interesting, and not overly challenging. I’ve had morning sickness pretty frequently during the first trimester, but only vomited a few times in all. My symptoms and doctor visits have all gone according to the book. No problems, healthy baby, normal bodily changes, and nothing to hint at an abnormal delivery.

I am thankful to God for this. And amazed at my own body’s abilities to cope with such changes, child-bearing is a natural bodily process after all. I find comfort in this when I encounter new symptoms or when my body continues to stretch and morph into someone I don’t quite recognize. It’s all worth it. And I knew what I signed up for when I wanted to be a mother even though personally I never experienced this. That is the joy of being surrounded by mothers is that they will gladly tell you all the things that pregnancy and labor entails…though I’ve discovered that those who had hard pregnancies and labors are the most vocal of the bunch.

The way I see it…God is with me and has the baby and my best interests at heart. All sin, including the fall of man, is covered in Christ’s sacrifice. To me that means the curse of painful child-bearing doesn’t have to be accepted today, it was a punishment for a sin that Christ died for.

I know, it may sound like a laughable dream of mine, but don’t all miracles sound laughable at first? I just see no reason in not trying to walk in the gifts Christ paid for today, we’ve got nothing to lose in trying and believing. It may, in fact, be necessary if we are to eventually activate these gifts…might as well test our faith now right?

Whether God gives me painless quick labor or not, I am still thankful to Him for this new life within me and I still choose to view that day as a celebration and a gift from a Good Father. Children are blessings. Amen?

Next Thursday is the big day that I find out the gender. I can’t wait to finally know! Perhaps once I know, a name will also present itself…hopefully I can discover the name that best fits our child and their amazing destiny in Christ.

Thank you all who have prayed and followed my pregnancy so far! And may God bless all you parents out there who have labored in love, I look up to you and honor you.

 

 

Questions

iStock-510624050_16x9.jpg

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

-Thomas Pynchon

Professors hardly like being asked that which does not pertain to the subject matter. Never had I the opportunity to ask questions of deep meaning, something to stir the heart and not only the mind.

In Greek Mythology, thankfully, no one questioned whether any of the phantasmal stories were true, and equally unbelieving was the professor who taught it. And so our questions where aimed at merely getting the fantasy details straight, not intending to really understand them or to discuss their believability.

Unfortunately, not every class or professor is so relaxed about their subject matter. In geography, my professor, a scientist who actively studied glaciers and their movements, was unquestionably biased in his views of global warming. His world revolved around the large bodies of ice which melted at alarming rates in some areas and grew in others. To him, this was where the discussion both began and ended. Global warming was real and there was nothing else to it.

He was equally immovable in his stance on evolution, a field he had no authority to teach, it wasn’t his area of study. Presented first as a theory I wrote down the details as such, but once the test came around, the word “theory” had been removed. And the question before read clearly, “how was the world created?”

I don’t believe I received full marks on that particular test.

The point I’m making here is that the pupil was always either constrained or released to ask questions based on the open-mindedness of the teacher. And those questions reflected their level of freedom. In a class like the one above, one could hardly discuss the scientific proof against global warming, and so no such questions were raised. The teacher had the upper hand, and he decided what questions would be asked and answered.

Hence the quote above by American Novelist, Thomas Pynchon, ” if they (professors, teachers, politicians, scientists, and religious hierarchs) can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”  

Are we asking the wrong questions? Are we looking deep enough for the truth? When our hand shoots up in the air, does our heart go with it?

God pointed something out to me Sunday during the sermon. The word “question” was blown up big on the screen and I suddenly realized that the word “quest” is inside it. Ridiculous I know, that I should see such an obvious thing now of all times and yet it spoke to me. When we ask a question we are on a quest for truth.

A quest is defined as a “long or arduous search for something.” Or to put it more simply, “to seek out.” 

I fear that many of us are hardly willing to embark on a journey and would rather settle for some nice sounding answer. Whether it be a half-truth or a downright lie. Still others, I fear, ask questions only to promote their own conclusions. Instead of merely seeking, they seek validation for their own supposed “truth.”

And still, there are others who refuse to ask or be asked. They are the ones who long to zip up the truth, to hide it away and lead those who come asking on a wild goose chase. Why? If the real questions were ever asked, they wouldn’t have the answer to refute them. And so, in order to have control over the situation, they constrain you until only the wrong questions can be asked and answered without causing damage to their own agenda or egos.

What a malicious thought, but oh so common in our American society. We have simply removed the “quest” from question.  And soon, the entire word may just up and leave our dictionaries along with “freedom”,…unless we do something about it.

Christians seem to be given the label of “close-mindedness” by men of thought. But from one Christian to another we know the truth. We always ask questions! Only a fool would settle and (something the world fails to understand), only a greater fool would keep asking once the truth was found.

I’ve explained it before as a person digging a hole. They are on a “quest” to find the treasure (truth). After a time, their shovel finally hits something solid and they pull out the treasure box. The digger opens it to find that the treasure (truth) was not what he envisioned it would be. And so he tosses it aside and resumes digging, hoping that his ideal treasure is just underneath it…..he digs and he digs….forever.

Meanwhile, his friend who also found treasure has accepted it and has moved on to another hole to search for another treasure. This is a man who has found the answer to one question and is on a quest to answer the next.

We weren’t born Christians, merely, Christianity was the answer to one question, in this case, the greatest question of existence. It didn’t happen overnight, no we dug for years and we dirtied ourselves in this great quest. And we are quite certain of the treasure we have found, which actually far exceeds what we imagined!

Now with one question answered we go onward toward the lesser questions, but praise be to God that the lesser questions are that much easier to dig up now because we have Him as our guide and strength. Perhaps, the first quest built up our endurance as well.

I hope this example paints clearly the concept of both searching and finding. And I hope above all else that if you are reading this and aren’t a Christain, you will climb back into that hole you started digging, or perhaps pick up the treasure you found but discarded and give it a second look. You deserve to know the truth and to seek it for yourself, not to have others chain you down, removing your freedom to ask. Never take another man’s word, another man’s answer (which as you’ve read may or may not be honest), to such a question as this, your purpose for living.

Even as a Christian, I do not know the destiny God has for you, and no one can tell me my own destiny but God, and I must begin that quest alone. Another can’t do it for me, and nor would I want them to.

Put the “quest”, back in your questions and always have the courage to ask the right ones. Perhaps your venture into these new territories will lead others to such freedom in a society where the “Freedom of speech” is under great attack and scrutiny.

Ask. Seek. Find. and Repeat!