This post, while being a follow on from last weeks, eternity post, is also my profile page on a new collaborative blog I’m working in with some other ladies. Life on a Hill, will be being launcher September the first, and is aimed entirely at Christian mums seeking advice, help and community.
This post talks about how I came to life my Life on a Hill, which is a bible reference which encourages Christians to life their life in a way that helps others see Jesus. I realise this is not for everyone, and that’s ok.
How do I write this? How do I explain exactly who I am, and how I came to ‘Life on A Hill?’
I could tell you that I was born on a hill; that I was raised in a Christian home, and read Bible stories and went to Sunday School, and loved God.
And I could tell you that my faith was always real. It was always my own. It was not just something passed down to my from an overzealous mother. It was part of who I was.
I could tell you that when I was in school, I was the person who everyone knew loved God. The one who was open and honest about my faith, and wasn’t scared of what people thought, or said.
But if I tell you all that, I feel as if I am somehow shortchanging God, because although His grace was evident in every day of my life, it wasn’t obvious to me. I never really felt like I needed it. I never understood how anyone else could.
So what if I tell you that when I was eighteen, I fell. Rolled down that hill and ended up in the mud. I got angry, and bitter and offended at just about everyone, and took it out on God.
I found popularity, and boys and alcohol. I loved parties, and dancing, and attention. I found excuses. Excuses to justify my behaviour, and reasons to stop going to church.
Oh I was having fun. But I was on the run. I knew I was only half of who I could be; knew that the best part of me was the part I was denying with every lie.
I could tell you that when I was nineteen, I peed on a stick and got two pink lines. I could tell you that in the instant that I saw that test, light broke through. That it didn’t matter what anyone had done, or how much I had been hurt, I would not, could not, bring up my baby in a world without God.
I could tell you about my long, slow climb up the hill. How every step has been hard, and weighed down with self doubt self condemnation.
I could tell you how nearly nine years later, I am only just starting to see the Grace through the guilt. That it is only now that I am beginning to understand that ‘Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.’ (John 8:36)
I have not lived my life on a hill for a long time. I’ve lived it in a cave. I’ve gone from being a bubbly, effervescent teenager, passionate about God, to a tired, mum, scared that if people knew my mistakes, it would make God look bad. It’s never been about me; it’s always been fear that God can’t come back from my mistakes. That maybe if you read this, you will say that it is evident that He can’t be real, because why would I have left in the first place?
But my story is not about a little girl who knew all the Bible Stories back to front.
It’s not about an angry teenager who wanted to prove a point to the world. (Not sure what point.)
It’s about me.
The girl who has captivated the Creator’s attention since the beginning of the world, and been lavished with grace ever since.
I didn’t understand grace as a ‘perfect’ schoolgirl; I felt I had little need for it.
I didn’t understand grace when I was given a second chance after running from God, bad mouthing the church, and pretty much doing everything I had always believed to be wrong.
But I am beginning to understand Grace on a day to day level. With the arrival of Tim, our wedding and the three kids to follow.
With the way that Taylah has adjusted so well to having two dads, although she doesn’t fully understand why.
I understand it every day when I yell at my kids, or get cranky at my husband. When I want to swear at the dog or rude salesladies at the shoe shop.
I understand it when PND has me curled up in a ball on the couch, or drinking a third glass of wine.
I understand it when I still hide who I am, because I’m scared people wont like me if I’m real.
No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl. Not only would that start a fire, but it’s stupid. And a city on a hill can’t be hidden; it’s there for the whole world to see.
Since starting blogging, I’ve moved more and more out of my cave, and onto my hill. I’ve wrestled with falling stats, and losing followers; those fears and I insecurities come flooding back on a day to day basis. Just yesterday, I decided, again, that I was done with it.
But what I have learnt from starting as an outrageous kid, to a partying teen, and becoming a slightly crazy mum, is that I’m not meant to live in a cave; it’s not who I am. I was mean to live my life on a hill. I’m not quiet, I always have an opinion, and I have a story.
But more than all that now, I have grace, and compassion, and understanding. I’m not a city on a hill so everyone sees me and thinks, ‘wow, how pretty.’ I’m here because I believe in a better way. I’m here so that hopefully when people see the good stuff in me, they can see the great stuff in Jesus, and maybe choose that for themselves.
I’m here, because, at the end of the day, the best thing about me, is Jesus. And I don’t want to hide that anymore.