A Journey to tasting Freedom aka Jesus
I don't know what to say. There is so much that I want to say! I don't know where to start!
A long long time ago. . . When I was a young teenager, I found myself writing in my journal, 'I want to peirce through the veils of deception that enshroud this world. and later in my teens I wrote,' I want to be used by God to tear down the walls of religion. In my early twenties, having just experience the baptism of His Spirit, I stated,'I just want to serve you forever. There is nothing else I want to do on this planet.'
Now these were cries from the depth of my being that I didn't even understand at all. EAnd even as I wrote and stated these things I was searching for His love. I would run my own direction of stubborn hurtness and silly teenageness, but underneath it all I was always searching. I was raised in a family who definitely were Spirit-filled, though Anglican. So, I knew tradition well, in all sorts of ways. When I was 9, we moved from Victoria, BC to Aliquippa, Pa and lived alongside a community by the name of 'Community of Celebration' who had just moved there from Scotland. My dad was there to attend an episcopalian seminary. So, there we lived with the 'Fisherfolk' - any of you remember their music? and there I had my first experience of living together with a bunch of believers in a poverty stricken town.
What a unique experience - as i reflect on it now. . . 3 years later up and back to Victoria where my dad's first placement was the Cathedral there. The place where Bishops and Queens and princesses hang out. . . I rather liked the prestige and hated the boringness of it all. I even was one of the first altar girls there - as though that was a privelege a ha ha ha. So, there I was, revelling in my dad's position among prestigious church goers and absolutely embarrassed of it among my friends. Especially that dog collar. 3 years later we move on to smaller "churches"
I have not one close friend who is a believer. Joined a Youth For Christ Choir that was full of evangelical Christian school students who for the most part I found fake. Rather irritating. I liked to be friends with all sorts of groups of people. The skaters, the intellects, the hippies, the goofs. i like to skip classes and drink coffee all day. Somehow I made it through High School. . Loved the social life (my school was a strangely laid back sort of school). Did messed up things. Got into messed up relationships - very short ones - I never could handle a guy liking me too much. But played the line pretty well. I played the role of pastors kid and churchgoer fairly well - in the sense that i did not rebel out and out. I cared for my parents too much and my own comfort too much to go to the trouble of full out rebellion.
I drank a little, went to clubs a fair amount, worked at a busy downtown bar and grill restaurant with my best friends. Learned all sorts of warped and crude humour and tried it out on people just for shock value. I was one of those obnoxious attention seekers who would dance in the parking lot of our coffee shop hang out just for attention and fun. I became friends with a fellow who called himself gay and found myself hanging out at the 'gay' hangouts just for fun. Then, because I so longed to go to England I ended up going to a place called Lee Abbey which is an Anglican based Christian Retreat and Conference Centre in Devon England. I joined the community there for a year a while after i finished High School. I was 19. Still attention seeking and fun loving as ever. Loved hanging out at the local pubs. Loved wandering around and going on adventures with friends. Loved leading morning prayer in a rather shocking manner (when it was my turn). Got into various shortlived relationships. My first summer ther I was put on a team for a conference which had Francis and Judith McNutt as the leaders. I was there to take the conference guests horseback riding, lead some morning bible study things, partake of the conference and help pray for people. I was horrified when I heard that Francis McNutt was seen as a healer, as I was freaked out by sick people. (SAD - I know!) So, was not looking forward to being part of this conference. Ha ha. There I experienced baptism on the Holy Spirit. There I was healed of some certain abandonment things that i had experienced as a child.
There I realized that all I ever wanted to do was serve the Lord. Nothing else. After that very powerful experience everything started going extra wrong in my world. I was treated unfairly. . . I was hurt. I lashed out in my own obscure ways. I rebelled more. I did even more stupid things than I ever did before. I deceived more. I stayed out all night and came crawling under the gate so that the gatekeeper did not see me. I even 'preached' a sermon on hypocrisy one morning after sneaking back in. I could twist the required scriptures to serve my interest. I got into a relationship with a hash addicted scottish fellow from the pub. I think it was his long rainbow striped tuque, aloof persona, and scottish accent that got me. I ended up doing more than just messing around with him. I had never crossed that line before. I couldn't get out. He nearly talked me into moving to Scotland with him. I was stuck like I had never been before. One day he was gone. Just up and left back to Scotland. Devastated and relieved. Yet still questioning the futility of life. Could not read Ecclesiastes as i identified with the hopeless aspect of it too much. Moved back to Victoria in a hopeless quandry. Felt like I didn't belong anywhere. . .
There, where my dad was pastoring a group (many people from my past) I found some much needed healing. I was able to talk out my stupidity with some trustworthy people. There I experienced release. Then I couldn't wait to 'go to church'. God was moving powerfully in that group. It was still Anglican, but while I was in England God was permitted to move powerfully in that group of people. The 'Church' was renamed church of the Holy Spirit. Part of this was due to the fact that my dad saw such a difference in me right after I was filled with Holy Spirit when I was in England that he stopped resisting this new thing that was happening in some of the charismatic churches in 94. Anway, neat things happened. People were healed, people were overcome, people were delivered. . . There was such a sweet time. And I just couldn't get enough. For a year I remained part of this group. . . Toward the end of the year I resistantly found my self applying for a missions college in the states. . . I was a little freaked out at the idea of going to a bible belt evangelical sort of rules oriented place. . . But God mad it clear that that was my next step. Though I really had a warped perception of missions and abhorred the idea of going to Africa or China.
A couple months before I left I went to a 'Wholeness Through Christ' conference week with my dad. There my heart cracked open this deep rooted anger at men. I left the prayer counseling conference thingy with this newfound anger at men. Yet I knew it wasn't a bad thing. It was just something that I had held inside for a very long time. I also became very weepy. At any little thing - it would just set me off. The thing is, I used to try to be so tough and hard that I would rarely cry in the previous years. So, all of a sudden I am crying all the time. My mother suggests antidepressents. I recoil at the thought. I had no problem with crying more than normal. I had His presence. And off I went to Missions College. A small missions college where we worked, schooled, ate and slept all on the same campus.
To Be Continued
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