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Where Are You Today?


#1

We will start on chapter 2 later this week, so some of you can read ahead. I would be interested to hear people respond to this quote toward the end of the chapter:

“Something is awakening in you that may bring more frustration than joy at the outset, but if you don’t give up and if you don’t settle for “the best you can find,” that hunger will work in you and eventually you will find her, too.”

In a brief phrase (if possible) where are you in this process? Just starting and very frustrated, starting out and hopeful, a ways down the road but can’t see the light, beginning to see his church take shape, been at this a long time and embracing it all with joy? Something else?


#2

I love that quote. We felt the frustration for several years…sitting in the IC and thinking, “Where is Christ?” and “What are we doing and why?” It was so hard to make the break because we knew the ‘right answers’ that IC taught us and wanted to do the ‘right thing.’ But what joy to finally break free and know the joy of freedom in Christ! We sometimes still long for like minded friends (as those in our circles still think we have lost our minds and are going to ruin our children.) But we trust in God to bring us along to what He wants for us.


#3

I guess I could say that I have tasted what it is like to talk with other people that understand Fathers love, but it has been rare and it has been fleeting. I think I’m, like you said, “a ways down the road but can’t see the light” or perhaps I can see a little bit of light, but it seems like it’s far away in the distance ahead.

I’m encouraged by those last few words - “… that hunger will work in you and eventually you will find her, too.”


#4

Today we have more hope than we’ve had at any time that God has a place for us in His body. We are the bride, Jesus is the bridegroom. As I’ve mentioned in a previous, 25 years outside the walls could constitute a trilogy, but as we hang in there and keep crying out to God, He continues to work in us to prepare us for what He has for us. Strangely (or not?) we are fellowshipping with “died in the wool” IC’ers. Yet they accept us as another expression of the church and we have shared our vision and we respect them where they are in their journey. We get together for Bible study during the week and have amazing times. No friction, raucous discussions over doctrine, etc. Really an amazing dynamic for two couples who are so committed to their perspective as to the Body. Their love for the Lord is truly outstanding.


#5

Today, I am in a place of simply learning what it means to live in the moment and practice being present and I’m realizing the Father is always with me because he makes his home in me. In the past I was always striving to feel connected to him and now I don’t strive to feel connected but the reality that we are connected is more of where I’m at. It’s a good place to be, my anxiety level is much less. I still have anxiety issues because my nervous system is messed up because of past trauma but now I do not connect it somehow with my relationship with Father like I once did.

In the last month there have been connections made with people who I attended the IC with. These are relationships I thought might never be renewed.The conversations we have had were really revealing. I have realized that my perception can really be limited because no matter the Father is working in all of our hearts no matter where we find ourselves. I’m resting, waiting and learning to walk moment by moment.

Johanna from Federal Way Wa


#6

Been at this awhile. Had the right “head” knowledge concerning this new creation life, but lived it as another doctrine. Finding incredible joy in the moment to moment relationship with Him over the past year. Finding others that Father is working his love into, in an unlikely place, a congregation I started attending a couple of years ago because my wife wanted to, and felt led to be with her there.


#7

jolemon, I know what you mean about the anxiety level. I have friends in the IC who really struggle with anxiety and panic attacks. I don’t believe they are living in the peace and rest of a loving Father. But rather, they are faced with weekly guilt trips to try and improve and at the same time being told it is a sin to be anxious. Ugh. So exhausting. I want them to know that ‘God loves you as you are, not as you should be, because you are never going to be as you should be.’ (to quote Brennan Manning.) :wink: What a relief for anxiety! So sorry to hear about your trauma, but happy to hear you are not connecting it with Father.


#8

Thank you Joan, yes I have seen that too with other people I have known in the IC. It seemed, in my experience within the congregations I attended, that only what was “spiritual” mattered and anything that had to do with my physical makeup was somehow labeled fleshly or evil and should be ignored or “crucified”. I have been learning since being out that the Father cares for the whole of who I am. He understands that this physical body can be a little wacky at times and is truly affected by things that happen to it and he wants me to do my best to take care of all of me. He loves all of me, mind, body and spirit.


#9

Today? Each day I see her, this beautiful, gentle, kind, lovely, loving Beloved bride. When I catch His gaze I see her reflected back to me, each wonderful well loved child shines in his eyes, and I am always amazed to find my face included.
She is this earthy redeemed stream of humanity, real and vulnerable, sometimes broken and fragile, however in her beloved she is strong and powerful, exceptional and beyond beautiful. She is coming together stone on stone, chiselled and fitted together by the Makers hand. I see her, even when life isn’t quite how I expected it, or brokenness creeps up on me again. I am in the Makers hand, and He is building his church and she is unstoppable.


#10

Where am I? Good question :slight_smile:

Honestly, I dont know. Ive been trying to follow the Spirit for a few years now. And sometimes I see glimpses of Him at work. But a lot of the time its a bit of a lonely walk. Thereve been encouraging folk along the way, but I long for more of a team feel. Sometimes I trust God, and go with what He has laid on my heart. other times I go with what logically seems the thing to be done. I feel my walk is a bit of a stop-start deal. I repeatedly rely on “what i know works ok” rather than stepping out and trusting God. Sometimes, but far less often than I would like, He does lead, and I know it, and I follow that lead… and then its awesome.

Sarah
Spain


#11

Oh gosh I hope this is as brief as I can place it into type but here goes and to be honest it is probably a cry out in my frustration and yes this quote is bang on what is occurring in and around me right now.

“Something is awakening in you that may bring more frustration than joy at the outset, but if you don’t give up and if you don’t settle for “the best you can find,” that hunger will work in you and eventually you will find her, too.”

It was a slight bit before the time Wayne visited the UK when I started noticing what I then called an “inkling” that something new was afoot. There was a new positiveness awakening in me that I was about to find something new and amazing. I was fortunate enough to be amongst those that meet Wayne in Esher London and happened to mention it to him at the end. I came away from that day hugely encouraged and even more sure that things where about to change.

Since then I doors have opened to new areas where I can have some interaction with others (before that I was a lone ranger). One in particular is a fellow at work came and told me, he and a few others, four families, had left their local church as they felt the pastor was placing them more and more in bondage and preaching an obligation type message which he felt opposed the grace message he felt people needed.
My immediate thoughts was, "this is it, this is His church he is building and I just bumped into it".

That was about a month ago, I went to a few meetings, they start 11am sharp in a home, sing one song, a message is preached, then it’s tea and coffee.
The gathering afterwards has been the moments when more building in relationships than anything else has occurred. However I was shocked when I learned that work my colleague, who is taking a leading role, mentioned to me they have decided on a name, a website and have registered it all as another church with a governing body locally. that seemed sudden?? Maybe that is what needs to be done but it is looking to me as though it is fast becoming another man made organisation and I feel I want to follow my “yuk metre” and run.

I need advice from others that I don’t have here, that are on a similar journey of “trying to find her”, so please feel free to let me know. I have not been to the last couple of Sunday meets however I am still close enough to try help should I feel the “nudge” which hasn’t come, yet??

Basically I feel as the quote says,“if you don’t give up and if you don’t settle for “the best you can find,” that hunger will work in you and eventually you will find her, too.” That is where I am today… somewhat unsure of this local venture and there has to be more, you think??
Sorry it isn’t brief… :wink: an excuse me for taking a chance and placing this here if it isn’t appropriate…

Ian in Colnbrook Berks UK.


#12

Today, I’m kind of tired of hearing “don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together”, from old friends and family. But on the bright side, I can answer or not without justification most of the time.

Personally, I now see a half full cup (this just happened this week and my husband was really excited). I can “refrain from going into fix mode” when I hear a problem. I realize I’m not responsible for everyone God brings into my life. I can consistently see Father’s hand… it’s good… Pura Vida…

Elisa
Hillsborough NC


#13

I guess I would say that I am just starting out and hopeful. I have not attended an organized religious service in just over a year. The God Journey Podcast and the materials available on Lifestream website have become my spiritual lifeline. I have not yet met others on a similar journey in my location. In 2015, God had me focusing on ditching the cloud of condemnation and guilt that had been my almost constant companion up until that time. I spent time praying and meditating on Romans 8:1 every morning. My heart burned within me as I began to listen to, watch and read your materials. Everything seemed to reinforce in me what God was already showing me. This year, He has me focusing on getting rooted and grounded in His love for me. Ephesians 3:17-19 are the focus of my morning prayers and meditation. Again, I am finding that the Lifestream materials are reinforcing what God is already showing me unlike when I was attending organized religious services. Many times it would take me days and weeks to get back to what God was telling me He wanted my primary focus to be. I was very quick to second guess myself when a louder more authoritative voice of someone in spiritual authority said something different. I am hopeful that when the time is right God will connect me with others on a similar journey.
Long Beach, MS USA


#14

A ways down the road, just rolling along on smooth roads and dry weather, when suddenly out the blue of a torrential downpour shows up. And I’m a bit late to react.


#15

I would say that I am beginning to see his church take shape. That being said, it still feels wild and scary at times. It’s sometimes hard to remember it’s not something I have to earn nor something I have to make happen. My husband and I are just beginning to feel more comfortable telling people we are no longer part of an IC. We are both from highly conservative families and while they would be the first to say that going to church does not make you a Christian, they would also say that if you don’t go to church you’re not a Christian, or at least an incredibly backslidden Christian whose salvation is quite doubtful.

Being outside the IC has made most American Christians think I’m even stranger than they did before. I really don’t have any American friends from the IC anymore. We’ve gotten to know the people in our neighborhood much more since leaving the IC, so those relationships are beginning to grow. But it’s the internationals who make up say, 98 percent of the church I see Jesus building. God has brought people into my life who are willing to set aside culture, language, and feeling comfortable and just love like He loves. I have no idea where it is going or what will happen next.


#16

Hi Ian_M,

That made my yuck meter go really high, and I think I would run away also.


#17

After over 10+ years I’m at home outside the IC and don’t mind being inside it for reasonable periods of time. :slight_smile: The toxicity is gone.

Kevin
Northern Virginia


#18

Hi Ian, sounds like another incident of man building a church on the back of his ego sadly :frowning: although I dont know enough about it to write it off, what you have said sounds like “doing the same thing, the same way, expecting different results”. Its madness!!) If your yuk meter is kicking off… it makes sense to continue being wise and waiting for the “more” still, for I definitely think there is more!!


#19

seems a bit daft replying to my own post, but I was reading Exo 39:8 “And he made the breast pocket, a work of an artisan, like the work of the ephod: gold, blue, purple, and crimson, and twined bleached linen;” This building of the church, dressing and clothing her, with the best and the finest, she is the work of an artisan. There are no shortcuts, “and he made the breast pocket”…a pocket! Every little detail is thought about, gold blue purple and crimson, exquisite, for a pocket!! God is not hurried in his building, he is not about the mass market here, every little detail is important, How infinitely precious we are to him… he is building for perpetuity, for eternity – this new creation - manifold wisdom of God.
For us (for me for sure!!) there comes frustration in the waiting, not all the time, but that gnawing knowing that she is rising, that yearning for the something more to be much more evident can detract from the wonder. So I miss it, the small details, exquisite details, the pockets in the building of this Bride, so today I will slow it up and catch the heart of the Artisan again!


#20

I struggled with some pretty serious issues. PTSD, anxiety, and on and on. I have found healing for my mind, body, and spirit by practicing the presence of Father. There is more to it than that of course, and you are correct, IC regimens are of little or no value. It’s about the relationship with our Father. He is our healer.

I live mostly free of those problems now. I do have to take care to avoid those toxic environments or I can find myself over stressed by the people around me and the misery that they are so eager to share.