What I Miss About My Faith.

I was twelve years old, on the brink of becoming a teenager, when I tearfully handed my heart over to Christ.  I didn't comprehend the depth of my sin, but I was suddenly heartbroken over my need for a savior.

Ten years have passed since I sat in the third pew on the right hand side and surrendered my life on a Sunday morning in May.  And I know ten years is nothing but a fraction of a lifetime, but it feels significant.

After a decade of being with Him, I find myself examining our relationship.  Do I remain with God because that is the true desire of my heart or merely because that is what I have done these last ten years?

It's not a bad question to ask.  In fact, I could be wrong, but I think it's an important one to ask.  I've seen many people faithfully attend church for decades, but have no godly desire or passion occupying their bones.  And I never want to get to the point where my relationship with God finds itself existing merely because it's all I have ever known rather than because I consistently choose Christ.

But what I'm finding as I examine my heart and my relationship with God is that my faith has changed.  Like it is supposed to, it has matured and deepened.  Yet there is one thing I find myself missing.

I miss being peculiar.

Don't get me wrong.  I am definitely some kind of strange, as anyone who knows me can assure you.  But I mean peculiar as described in 1 Peter 2:9.

When I was in high school, I attended a sleepover where my friends listened to music about drugs and sex.  It upset me so badly that I locked myself in the bathroom, hit my knees, and prayed until my sick heart felt the smallest twinge of relief.  I was peculiar.  

While other kids excitedly murmured about drunken parties on Friday nights, I was excited to see what kind of church services we would have on Sunday mornings.  I was peculiar.

And I never realized how peculiar I was.  I never wanted to be different.  I just wanted to make God happy.  A very simplistic goal, but one that didn't always make sense to others.  Sometimes it didn't even make sense to me.  

Peculiar means 'odd' or 'unusual', but it also means 'belonging exclusively to'.  Particular.  Special.  My peculiar faith was evidence that I belonged exclusively to God, that His signature was clear and evident in my life.

And although I don't hide my faith by any means, I feel that I've lost some of my peculiar.  What once belonged exclusively to God now belongs mostly to God, but also to worries and doubts.  

I have let the concerns of this world strangle me into a position of begging God to move now or threatening to quit believing that He will ever move at all.  I have allowed life to beat the selfless out of me and instill a selfishness that pours my name into prayer more often than the names of others.

I don't believe like I used to, so I hold God at arm's length and tell Him He can only have enough of me to make me Christian, but not the complete whole of me to make me peculiar.  

And I think there are a ton of people like me out there, a ton of people who acknowledge God with their words and sometimes with their actions, but not with the whole of their lives.

And I don't want it anymore.

I want to be peculiar.  I want to belong exclusively to God.  All of me, completely and totally surrendered to my Heavenly Father.  And although I know my faith can't look the same way that it did when I was a teenager because I'm not the same person that I was as a teenager, I want the essence of that childlike faith back.  I want to return to my first love.

I want unshakable, untamable, peculiar faith.

Because ten years later, I still don't comprehend the depth of my sin.  But I am absolutely heartbroken over my need for my Savior. 

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