The Last Dance

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Today, when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled (Hebrews 3:15 , NLT).

Introduction

imageToday I have the honor of introducing a dear friend, Rachel Haas. My heart sings to the same tune as hers.

Rachel is the most talented writer I have met in a long time and I wish my introduction could have been accompanied by a drum roll.

Rachel’s blog is the only one my husband follows faithfully. Thank you, Rachel for trusting me with your words and all your patience. You are a special lady.

To visit her, just click on her photo. Over to you, Rachel …

My Bleeding Heart

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I grew up in the right places. I grew up a good Christian girl, the right kind of person with the right kind of friends.

I had a WWJD bracelet and I knew every step to the dance of Christianity.

I was one of “those people,” the kind that got saved before she started kindergarten, who never drank or smoke or partied.

I was a good girl.

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That is, until I started asking questions.

I had no idea what lay on the other side of that door. None. I had never dared even peek outside. They said there was fire and brimstone on the other side.

There were questions there, the kind that belied faith and stripped away the supposed surety I had in the parroted Christianity that I had been embracing since my four-year old lips had formed the Sinner’s Prayer.

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They didn’t realize that I was already asking questions.

They expected me to walk on water.

They placed emulating their picture of Jesus on a pedestal, gesturing grandly in the direction of their Jesus-shaped golden calf.

I had two choices: bow down and embrace the floor, where I belonged or turn around and walk out the door.

And so I stood up, dropped the facade, took my husband’s hand, and together we walked out the door.

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That was step one. It would be another two years before I even considered taking another step. That first motion of foot in front of foot had been frightening enough.

I had thoughts, a whirlwind of questions that churned inside me, but I had no idea what to do with them. So I wrote them down.

Privately, of course, never even dreaming of voicing them where anyone else might happen to catch a glimpse of my tumult. I mentioned it to this friend, or that, and the responses were always the same: be careful. You know better.

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And maybe I did know better. But that wasn’t exactly going to stop me.

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I stopped seeing the sanitized Jesus after that. I’m not sure when it happened, but something had started to break inside me.

There was a damn with water churning and frothing behind it, waiting for the moment when I would pull out my finger and let the levy break.

I had to drown.

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And I had to be the one who said yes.

I went under the water, hair tangled and mud on my feet. I came up drenched and messy. I found myself blinking in a new Light. I discovered a new kind of faith, almost the opposite of what I had been taught growing up.

There was nothing tidy about this Jesus. He was dirty and bloody and human, Word made flesh. I started seeing myself in a new way.

Yes, I have walked away from the name “Christian.” I can’t stomach the taste in my mouth right now. But that’s all it is: a name. Jesus is not defined by the name His children are called by others.

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I am the boy Shasta whispering in the darkness to the Thing unseen, “who are You?”

And the gentle roaring comes back, a whisper on the breeze, a sacred breathing on my face.

“Myself.”

Rachel

P.S. Thank you so much, dear Rachel, for allowing us to accompany you for a while on your walk with Jesus.

Thank you to everyone who supported and encouraged me this year and I wish you all a great New Year filled chok-a-blog with Jesus. Thanks for blessing me with  the honor of having you as guests at my blog. You are all so precious and loved.

Sweet blessings xx

Mia

Linking-up with the ladies at my Tea Time and Link-Up page.

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28 thoughts on “The Last Dance

  1. Pingback: Lessons I’ve Learned | My Life. One Story at a Time.

  2. Mia, thank you so much for introducing me to Rachel and for linking up for Three Word Wednesday. This truly was beautiful. Thank you for sharing with us Rachel.
    Blessings,
    Beth

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Rachel and Mia! It really resonated with me as this year I’m looking for Jesus like I never have before and fully expect that to be a wild and dangerous ride. Thanks for the reminder that meeting him is the goal, regardless of how it looks to others.

  4. The sinner’s prayer is only words if it is not experienced with a burst of glory. The cross is not beautiful – it was ugly and Jesus was willing to die for you and me so that our messy lives could be changed into LIGHT our of the darkness. May we each one of us in 2014 EXPERIENCE a fresh walk with Jesus and see him face to face knowing that we are loved and are worthy to be called “Christian.” Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

  5. Beautiful truth – until we’re ready to walk this life with Him beside us – to ask the hard questions, to face the uncomfortable things in us – we cannot know the real Him. Kind of like owning a pair of soccer cleats – they’re no good till they get worn, sweat filled, dirt cracked! Thank you both Rachel and Mia:)

  6. Thank you for sharing Rachel with us. Sometimes we don’t know how loved we are by Jesus or how strong our faith really is until we try to leave it behind…or until it is put to the test. You only know when you ask the hard questions. Happy New Year, Mia.

  7. Beautiful contemplation on the power of names…the ones we call ourselves. Rachel’s choice of images reflect yours and her words compliment. What a great idea to host her on the blog. I’m happy to have “met” her. New Years Blessings to you both!

  8. Mia – Thank you for introducing me to Rachel. Jesus never intended for Himself to be neat or contained in a box. And when we see ourselves for the “mess” that we truly are, we can embrace Him with wide open arms. Thank you for sharing so transparently Rachel! May you both have a blessed New Year!

  9. It took us going to the mission field where I learned how to truly walk with the Lord, to accept grace, to give it out, to fully understand that I was no longer under condemnation. I learned the difference between doing something for Him because I felt guilty verses doing something because He loved me so much. Life here on earth is messy and He walks with us through the mess…lovely piece…heart stirring. Thanks Mia for featuring Rachel on your blog.

  10. I love reading Rachel’s blog too. Such an authenticity, as is evidenced in her words here. Not many are brave enough to admit they might cringe under the name “Christian”, but I get what Rachel is saying and admire her devotion to Jesus. It’s his name we claim!

    Thanks, Mia, for sharing Rachel in your space here. Happy New Year to you!

  11. Following the rules of legalism has had massive effects on the church, and I mean church, as in us, the ones who know our Father through the sacrifice of His Son, not the buildings people go to perform rituals.

    I too walked, no sprinted, away from the ones who lived their lives by following rules, quoting scriptures, then judging others who didn’t follow their rules… it was the lack of love that comes from knowing our Father that chased us away.

    It’s our job to share the truth of our Father in love, not in judgment upon the people that He loves as much as us… Moving post.

  12. Mia, thank you for introducing us to Rachel through Recommendation Saturday! Her words are beautiful, her heart she shares… even more so.

    Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

  13. Rachel, I see it is a journey out of the red light district of religion and into the arms of our Beloved. Then starts the process of Him washing us of a that defilement of religion and those religious ways that have been caked onto us and this can take a while, but He is kind and patient and finishes what He starts until we are His pure and spotless bride who loves HIM above all else. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Mia, thanks for sharing Rachel.

  14. Rachel: So lovely to find you here at Mia’s today! Yes, our Savior is not “tidy” at all…. I am thankful for that, though (because I am such a mess!).

    Mia: I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Rachel is in my SDG small group. Thanks for giving her voice space here. What a blessing to see you two are friends! 🙂

  15. This was beautiful.

    I love when we are given the gift of seeing the real Jesus. There have been several authors who have helped me with that. C.S. Lewis, for sure – (loved that reference to Shasta!) I vividly remember Lucy asking Mr. and Mrs. Beaver if Aslan was a safe lion. Their answer? No, of course not, but he’s good. I love that. I have also enjoyed John Eldredge’s “Beautiful Savior” and Philip Yancey’s “The Jesus I Never Knew.”

    Rachel, you have captured the essence of meeting Jesus, the real Jesus, Himself, face-to-face. THAT is an encounter that will change us forever. And no *label* will ever work again…thankfully.

    GOD BLESS!

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