Happy Valentine’s Day! (Guest Post)
As I have grown older I believe I am able to better discern situations, and make a decisions based on what God’s will is for my life. Many people call this a “conscience”… or maybe just common sense. Some people say that they just do what “feels right”, and all of these things describe this feeling I have when I know that something is wrong or right in the eyes of the Lord.
I made a decision less than a year ago about moving into an apartment in Berkeley and though the logic of it all was screaming “yes” at me, I knew God was telling me “no”. I couldn’t accept this “no” because I thought I had done everything right and taken all the proper steps. I found people who all were very involved in church and ministry and who loved the Lord. I drove up north and met them, and skyped with others I couldn’t meet. Yet through all of this I consistently felt like God was telling me no, and I consistently ignored Him, and couldn’t fathom what other plan He had in store for me.
Seven months later and I am alive and well, living with these people in this house… safe… well looked after… cared about. Things have generally worked out though there have been numerous bumps in the road, I am grateful to have met my roommates. Still, I cannot shake the feeling that this was not supposed to be the path I took, and I feel that I daily/weekly suffer the consequences for it in many different ways.
It’s ironic because in this past year with this new adventure to Berkeley, my overall life lesson has been that the consequences of sin are great, and that the Bible is simply helping us to live a life without harsh consequences. I see this in my patients mostly. Many deal with substance abuse, others with mental health issues that oftentimes stem from years of abuse. I recently had a patient who was a middle-aged woman who had struggled with alcohol all her life. This person was in end stage liver disease and yet could not stop drinking. The consequences of her actions… her sins… are great. This woman will never see her daughter be married… will never meet her grandchildren. This will most likely have major consequences upon her daughter as well – maybe even sending her into a lifetime of substance abuse. Sins have consequences.
God speaks to us in many ways. For me, He uses the Bible and He uses my ability to discern. I ignored both of these things in choosing to move into this house and now I must suffer the consequences. When will we realize that His Word is alive and ready to help us today? When will we accept this not as a burden… and not as something we want to construe and make up as many rules as we can to get out of it, but fully accept it for what it is – an act of love.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Oh how He loves us.
Carrie Allen is currently a student at the University of California at Berkeley where she is studying for a Masters in Social Welfare. Before coming to the Bay Area she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California where she studied Theology at Biola University and Fuller Theological Seminary. Carrie is currently interning in the inner-city of Oakland working as a medical social worker. Some of her interests are public health and the prevention of disease in inner-cities, and how the Christian church should be responding to social justice issues. Carrie likes to spend her free time reading, watching PBS, leading Bible studies for Campus Crusade for Christ at Cal, and hassling the Two Cities bloggers about letting a female writer join the club. Carrie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.