And here we are at the conclusion of this little series. Here we are at the most recent point in my life. It is the reunion show at the end of a reality tv series where you find out what has happened since every one left the wilderness, the proposal was or wasn’t given and everyone has moved out of the house or ranch and returned to living real life. For me, though the journey had just begun when I decided to put the gun down and start on a slightly different path.
Over the next several years, I spent a lot of time reading. I studied religion and looked at all of them. I looked at every Christian religion that I could and tried to find out what was the “right” one. I tried to discover the one that truly had God’s blessing and was the correct way to follow Him. During all that time, I discovered that for the most part in almost all of the religions that I dealt with, they look ed a lot like the world that they were supposed to be different from. They wanted to get people to want to be in their building and call themselves by their name. I heard references to denominations far more than I heard references to Christ and so I pulled myself back from the ledge of religion and turned to Christ.
I sat down in His lap and tried to listen for Him. I went on a solo journey for years. I went on a journey that allowed me to not try to find the one true religion in Christianity, but rather one that said, do not be afraid to go anywhere with another believer. Do not let their religion keep them from loving them and walking with them. Share Christ and not a name on a building. I found that to be the first step in slowly becoming somewhat whole. I have continued on that path for the remainder of my years up until now. I have never been let down because I am not depending on the religion to fulfill any of my needs, but rather I am relying on Christ to lead me to the people that will love me for who I am.
That is what brought me to my wife. She filled another gap that was missing in my life. She was on a similar quest of following Christ. She wanted to be in fellowship with anyone that wanted more of Christ and I was drawn to that. In marriage I was allowed to experience what it is to be Christ in a whole new light. I no longer was just a lost sheep or the bride of Christ, but rather I was now the groom. The verses in Ephesians started to mean something. I started to grasp what it meant to be called to love my life as Christ loved the church. The calling to love my wife as Christ loved me. My wife is extremely special to me and she is an amazing person with a huge heart. It is a joy to have her by my side. She has taught me about the heart of the Lord as it equates to loving us. I am able to better understand what it means to live as Christ since being married to her.
A few years into our marriage we decided to have a baby. We were blessed with a daughter. She has taught me more and more about the heart of our Lord than I ever thought possible. I get to experience the joy of being a father. Through becoming a dad, another part of my life that was missing was filled. It seems like every time I turn around, she is teaching me something. Being a father has allowed me to grow closer to the Lord as I can understand in my little brain a little bit about why He created me. Or rather, why I think we were created. It seems to me that we were created, not so that God could have people worship Him, or to live life by a rule system, but rather we were created to be loved and to learn to return that love. When my wife and I decided to have a baby, we knew we were taking on a challenge, but we wanted to have a family. Sometimes, I sit back and think that we have made God, far too complex. He desired a family. He desired to love us and share His life with us, so He created us.
It is simple, but it is the simple things in my marriage and in being a father, that bring the most joy. When my daughter laughs or took her first steps. When she smiles big when I come home, those are the moments that I remember. When my wife sits beside me on the couch or surprise me at work with an afternoon drink from Sonic, or just when she tells me why she loves me, those are the things that make me happy. Those are the things that make me slowly start to understand what the heart of God might be like. It is through those little moments that I can start to see what God truly desires from us. He does not desire that we change the world as individuals, but rather He wants us to love Him and follow His example. He desires to see us learn how to walk, as well as see our smile when we know He is present. He desires us to be a family of believers.
I am sure that over the next several years, I will see and experience more, but for now…that is my life and I am content.