31 Days: Live Intentional {Day 9} Who am I?

by Lisa on October 9, 2011

“Are you really even a Christian?” Huh? Maybe I didn’t hear her right. She paused for a minute. “I’ve never said anything like this to anyone,” she went on, “but I felt like the Lord really wanted me to ask you.” Dead silence. Neither one of us spoke, nor did we make eye contact. We just sat there for what seemed like an eternity. Slowly the gravity of her words hit me, I started crying. I was embarrassed and humiliated. I was confused. I was mad. And, I was shaken to the core. How dare this woman. Who did this Bible Study Fellowship leader think she was? She didn’t even really know me. I was going to church. I was making an effort to change my habits and lifestyle. I was working on my marriage. I was trying. Right? Right. And, I was in her stinkin’ Bible study for Pete’s sake. “Um…I’m ready to go,” I mumbled.

As an only child, I grew up in a home where my mom and I went to church on a regular basis, and my dad came with us on holidays. I remember mom joining various Bible studies and occasionally helping out at church activities. My parents took me out of public school and put me in a Christian school at age 10 because they didn’t “like the crowd I was hanging out with.”  I was baptized at 11, and considered that to be the beginning of my Christian life. By my sophomore year in high school I started going Young Life while Mom and I were phasing out of our consistent church-going-routine. I continued to move forward without Mom. I dropped in on church parties, went on YL retreats, hung out with nice kids, tried to get decent grades, obeyed my parents,  prayed when it suited me, and repeatedly never read my Bible. That was my Christian life.

After graduating high school, I spent one year as an exchange student in the Netherlands and two years as a ski bum in Sun Valley, Idaho. They were an eye-opening few years. Fun. Exciting. Filled with freedom. And, the slow death of my so-called Christian walk. My church became going out with my friends. My parties became a bit more raucous and the nice kids got to be more “fun”. Decent grades were boring, and why did I need to obey my parents now—I was in my twenties after all. Praying became a thing I did when I really needed something, and my Bible became a dust magnet on the shelf.

My life continued to move forward in the same motion for several years. I stayed in school for a few more semesters then got a job. I dated my future husband on and off for eight years before tying the knot. I developed good friendships in the smoking section, and thought watching the Jerry Springer show once in a while was my only real vice. But the years of emptiness and vain conceit began to take its toll, and by 30 I was tired. Tired of my job. Tired of arguing with my husband. Tired of feeling bad in the morning. Tired of the life I was living.

I talked to my sister-in-law. She suggested I join this Bible study. It couldn’t hurt, eh? I joined the Bible study. My husband and I started going to church together for the first time. We didn’t go out as much as we had been. We started praying. We met some new people. Life was looking rosy. And, I thought things were A-okay—till that night. “Are you even a Christian?” The words rung in my ears again and again. “Are you even a Christian? Well, are you?”

I wrestled with that question for more than a week, before realizing that in word I professed to be a Christian, but in deed I was not very Christ-like. My conduct and my words did not match up. While I had made changes, I had to make more changes. Serious ones. Real ones. The first thing I did was pray, “Lord, forgive me. I have been so very wrong. Help me. Change me. I put my faith and trust in you Jesus. You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” That simple prayer, that simple trust, that simple faith was the beginning of my true Christian walk. And, I have not looked back since.

Have things been easy? Has life unfolded my way?  Am I completely fulfilled? Do I never act self-centered jerk any more? Is my marriage perfect? Are my kids angels? The answer to all of the above is no. But now I am free. Really and truly free. Free to know it is not about me. It’s not about my merit. It’s not about my goodness. It’s not about what I can or can not do. It’s all about Him. His grace. His forgiveness. His goodness. His work. His redemption. His life living in me. Through me.

God is continually growing me, stretching me, and teaching me to trust Him. He is using EVERY circumstance in my life for His good and His glory. And, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you were to meet me today and ask the same question, “Are you even a Christian?” I would not even for one moment hesitate and say a resounding, “Yes” and then continue by quoting a favorite hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.


What is 31 Days? Read my other posts in this series here.

700+ 31 Days Participants

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

bellaartgirl October 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm

This, this is good. This, this is true. Thank you for sharing. Keep on keeping on sister! And please pretty please get some sleep cause you and me got some work to do this week! God is good. — xo the Woman

KeriAnn October 10, 2011 at 10:19 am

Lisa, this is inspiring and you are a beautiful child of God. Thanks for sharing yourself here in this space and in flesh and blood.

Faye October 10, 2011 at 4:13 pm

He always has us where He wants us. We can rest in that in all times. What a great testimony to prove that. Great thing is, He does this in all our circumstances. More reason for eucharisteo! Thanks for sharing your stories. They encourage and convict.

Leave a Comment