Thou Shalt Not
There was one thing I heard clearer than anything else during those early morning church services.
Thou shalt not.
I heard the words the Pastor was reading from the Holy Bible kept on the pulpit. I heard the Thou shalt nots, and that the payment for sin is death. I believed those words.
I still do. But he was telling me the thou shalt nots, without a word about how not to. Basically, he was telling me what to think, without teaching me how to think. What I never heard was just how to not do the Thou shalt nots, or how to receive forgiveness for my ill doing.
Surely, God didn’t punish little girls with the death penalty, right? But how could I know? Since they never told me (or I never heard) I only knew for sure that I was a wrong-doer.
I heard the words God so loved the world, but to me they were overshadowed by all of my wrongness. How could He love someone who was just so wrong?
Fast forward again, to when I was that young mother, going to that different church with my children, without their daddy.
It was there that I began to understand my Father’s (God’s) love for me. How it extended much farther than I could have ever believed.
The story of my earthly father is for another day. Suffice to say that our relationship made it very difficult for me to understand that “love” could be any other way.
John 1:12 (ESV) but to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. All God wanted was for me to receive Him.
The wrongness of my childhood was nothing in His eyes. It only mattered that I look to Him for guidance.
The choice was mine. Wait. I get to choose? I had never even known that there were options. My wrongness, just was. It was what it was.
I had an encounter with a woman at this time, which I barely knew.
Here is what she said;
“When I see you, I see a chalkboard. This chalkboard says that 2 + 2 = 5. No matter what you do, or how many times you erase it, you cannot get the answer to come out correctly.”
What she told me next, totally floored me.
“God wants you to know that it wasn’t your fault.”
What? I knew at that moment that all my wrongness, was not my fault, I just had not been given all the facts.
On that day I received three things; Freedom from wrongness, choices, and a Father who loved me regardless.
It was then I realized that I would be in a totally different “classroom” being taught in a way that I could learn.
Oh what a glorious day!