This is the last post on this blog. It took a long time to decide to quit writing fiction, to quit this blog, and to withdraw from social media (at least for a time).
I’ve been in love with writing for a long time. I’ve been cleaning out ancient boxes full of old school things and my first notebooks. (It’s so wrong that I can remember things that happened twenty years ago… I feel old.) Anyway, when I was five, I received my first notebook with a kitty on the cover. In all my notebooks and diaries since then, there are beginnings of countless stories and talk of becoming a writer.
I think for most of my life, I have known what I wanted. But also for most of my life, I have wanted the wrong things. In some cases, I have wanted right things but for the wrong reasons or at the wrong time.
This last year has been especially rough. People don’t crumble in a day, so I’ve heard. And I guess I never noticed the bitterness and discontentment creeping into my many empty spaces, making me instable and brittle until I finally broke.
There were some supposed highs and many lows – the highs being me thinking I was getting what I wanted, and the lows being me convinced life was not worth living.
It started with a thinking pattern. My imagination and creativity had let me escape reality since childhood. I remember the first time my reality became subject to my imagination. I shocked myself. And then I made a mistake.
I didn’t stop it.
And so my imagination took over reality, and I lived in a fantasy world. It felt really nice. I was loved just the way I wanted to be. I got what I wanted in whatever way I wanted.
Not many of you know that my father is a pastor and has been in full-time ministry for as long as I can remember. I have never been one to doubt God’s existence or His love and work. I have always known that as a ruthless sinner, I need forgiveness, which is only offered through faith in Jesus Christ. Still, as a child, I tried to please God by attempting (and failing miserably) to be a good girl and repeatedly asking for forgiveness, by memorizing Bible verses, and whatnot. I was twelve when I realized there was nothing I could do to gain God’s favor, but that I needed Jesus’ righteousness to make me right before God. Since then, I have been safe in the hands of the loving Father.
But I had a lot to learn.
I wanted God’s blessing but I knew that if I didn’t live in obedience and trust, I should expect nothing but chastisement. Yes, Jesus took away the punishment of my sin; but as God’s child, He disciplines and corrects me as any faithful father would his child.
I learned that no matter how enticing sin looks, it is a sour fruit in the end and not worth the pain. Honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking or if I was thinking at all. I have several childhood friends who turned their backs on God and live their lives independent of Him. I remember watching and incredulously thinking, “Why? How? How can they willingly and knowingly turn their backs on the Truth. They know the consequence. How do they live with it?”
Not long ago, I wanted to turn my back on God. And maybe I tried running away from Him several times. I had asked Him for good things, right things, honorable things; but He wasn’t giving them to me. And then to make matters worse, He seemed to be threatening to take away the person I loved most.
I remember sitting on my bed after several days of holding back tears. I probably have never cried harder and in the background my music was playing Chris Tomlin’s “Jesus Loves Me.”
Jesus – He loves me
He is for me
Jesus – How can it be?
He loves me
He is for me
My heart was screaming at God that no, He did not love me. He was not for me. How could a gracious God treat me like this? A God, who claims to be good and loving and righteous and merciful.
There were two options – either…
- God was a liar or
- I didn’t know Him the way I always thought I had.
There is only one reason why I didn’t turn my back forever.
God held onto me. He wouldn’t let me go. He had me in His hands all along.
And it was then I realized that even though I knew everything about Him, I did not know Him.
Yes, I knew that God is a merciful God and quick to forgive; but I hadn’t been able to ask for forgiveness or simply pray for a very long time. There was too much guilt and shame.
I had distorted my view of God. To me, He was small. He was finite, limited, incapable.
Thanks be to God, I picked up one of the 3,000 theology books (no joke) in our home and started reading. Basically, the author slapped me in the face and pointed.
He pointed to an infinite God. A God of infinite mercy and grace and love. A God who never loved me less or more than on this very day. A God that is far, far greater than my ugliest sin. A God who never changes. A God who keeps His promises. A God who died for a vile sinner such as myself. A God whose wisdom is perfect. A God who is perfect. Asking for something other than what God had planned for me was asking for something that was less than perfect. How stupid of me!
You can’t forsake something you love more than God. I clung to many things, but after coming to Jesus and weeping at His feet, He forgave me like He did the sinful woman in Luke 7. He forgave me much, and so I love Him all the more.
Jesus describes discipleship as taking up my cross daily. A cross, a brutal execution instrument. I slay myself daily for Jesus now. Believe me, there is a lot to slay.
Every single day, I fail. I fall. I mess up. But now, I don’t lie sulking on the ground, hopeless and frustrated. In Psalm 37, God promises that I will not fall headlong because He is holding my hand. The righteous ones have never been forsaken and never will be. I take God by His word now. And it gives me freedom. And happiness. The real kind.
Life just got that much richer.
As a part of forsaking things I once loved more than my God, I will no longer be posting on this blog. I’ll be dabbling on a new blog (It’s still under construction but HERE is the link), but it will probably have little to do with writing and such, so I understand if our ways part here. Otherwise, I’d be happy for you to drop by.
Oh yeah, and my name is actually Hanna.