After going what's essentially amounted to 5 years without a real passion/conviction/desire for God, I really think I've found it. Not only have I found that passion to PLEASE God, but it's also come with convictions.
Conviction is something I've never really experienced in my walk with God before. A lot of it has to do with the church I am going to. Redemption Church has a lot of relevant, real and convicting sermons. Right now we're going through the book of James. So far, every week I've attended, I've walked away feeling I need to do more or change the way I've been doing something.
Week 1: Certain aspects of my relationship with T
Week 2: Reconnecting with people in the church/bible studies/community service
Week 3: Sick, didn't go, but HEAVY burden to start tithing again
Week 4: Serving/Leadership.
Not only am I having these convictions, but they aren't going away. There are emotions that are coming about because of these convictions. I truly am desiring to change these things or get back into the flow of things.
Relationship. Although I was looking to date guys, it was definitely halfheartedly. Not only was it halfheartedly, but I NEVER thought anything long term/serious could come of any of the guys I had talked to or went on dates with. I was just "getting my toes wet". I had written my list of requirements, but all the guys I dated/picked were lacking in one crucial area (among other areas). A belief in God. Not just a belief, but the desire, yearning for a relationship with Him. The passion to serve Him and to lead a family. T really is amazing. He embodies and has the desire/potential to be those things that I need. I've learned that in ANY relationship I am in, God must be first.
Anyways, back on topic. It's funny/frightening that I have found a relationship I could be proud of. I'm noticing how awkward it is for everyone else, that T and I are actually dating, but it is what it is and I am not going to avoid this relationship because it makes people uncomfortable.
Schooling. Although I've said many times "I'd never go back to school", I had often time asked The Ex to let me go back. He always said no because it would be too much of a burden on him having to pick up the extra slack of taking care of Z. He just said that he'd work more hours to make up for the income I could potentially make. After we went our own ways, the first thought I had was "go back to school". I start in May. The end result will help me to achieve my dreams. The dreams I thought were only possible because of the income The Ex brought in. Now I'm seeing that the more I rely on God, the more this is going to fall into place and truly help me achieve that dream.
Dreams. I haven't had real dreams since my friend S went on his first tour of Iraq. That was when I first moved to NYC, so 2006. Since then, not only has my relationship with God discintigrated, but the gift he has given me has weekend.
I went to my dad's house this past week to have dinner. After my dad left, I had "women" talk with my step-mom (that's what she called it). Among many things we talked about, she brought this up. She told me she had been praying for me in this area, that God would bring it back and draw me closer. Its ironic because that whole week I had been having very vivid clear dreams and they haven't stopped since then. Nothing prophetic or ground breaking, but definitely poignant, honest, vivid and sometimes scary.
All of this is happening RIGHT NOW. RIGHT NOW my life is changing in the direction I have only drempt of/prayed for. I CAN NOT BELIEVE that all of this is coming together after such a dark and empty period in my life, not just spiritually, but clearly in my marriage as well. I have prayed for a spiritual leader for almost 8 years. I have wanted to go back to school for at least 4 years. I have dearly missed my dreams. And secretly unbeknownst to me, I've wanted conviction in my life.
It is perfect timing. I'm realizing more and more as I'm away from The Ex and in a relationship with T, that if I would have been given ANY of this, I would not have been ready for it. I would've failed at it. I know this is GIVEN to me and they are all precious gifts. I am prepared for the responsibility and ready to step up to the plate. I want all of this and I will honor God by trying to do it the right way, because He is the one who has given it to me and can also take it away at any point.