Part-Time Jesus: Half-Hearted Belief
I have come to recognize a part-time Jesus or half-hearted belief system ruling the days of my life. In all fairness, I am a busy girl. But I am not here to make excuses. Here, at the moment, is a lonely little hotel suite deep in the heart of downtown Houston. I came here to finish my book, book three, “Well, Girl: An Inside Out Journey to Wellness.”
Not to brag, but I have the whole bed to myself. I have only been here for four hours. And yes, I have had a bubble bath, ice-cold, very crispy green grapes, and a nap. Wait, that was totally bragging.
Well, it’s my blog, I can brag if I want to.
Truth be told, I was supposed to have arrived on Thursday but my family surprised me with a visit from my Marine-Baby, John. The surprise Marine-Mom visit means I am a legit Marine-Momma. They can’t take that away from you. Although, I don’t know who they are, or why they are taking stuff.
Apparently, everyone in my family knew that John was coming. Michael, my “little” brother, a bear of a man, plopped next to me on the couch on Wednesday evening and said, “Seriously? You had absolutely no idea?” And I said, “Nope. I had not even an inkling. But in all fairness, I am pretty self-absorbed.”
To which Michael countered, “This is true.”
Note to self: when fishing for passive validation, do not enlist the opinions of your baby brother. Even if said brother is about to turn forty.
Looking back on the last few weeks, there are a few things that make more sense now that John has come and gone. The first and most obvious one is that about a week ago my parents stopped talking to me. I would text them and they would either not reply or give short one-word responses. No love. Later I was informed they couldn’t take the pressure of the secret and my oldest daughter had placed a gag order on them. The second tell was that every time I mentioned this trip to the writing hidey-hole, my husband Justin, would voice his concern about being alone to care for the Vandals, Sam and Charlie our 7 and 5-year-old sons.
More than anything this was out of character for Justin, who can do all the things. And irritating as all get out, seeing as the last time Justin went out of town he was gone for 19 days. Also, I cannot do all the things. Which is where Charlie came up with the term “Purple Hot Wreck.”
That is me, a self-absorbed Purple Hot Wreck, who has been known to morph into a bowl of warm Jello when my husband is out of town.
Now, the jig is up. I was completely surprised. Justin and the Vandals will be fine. And I have a book to write.
With my yoga mat, a wide variety of stretchy pants, bubble bath, crispy green grapes, dark chocolate, facial mud masks, cuticle care supplies, my computer and two years worth of notes in my little suitcase, I hit the road on a hot September afternoon.
No sooner than my mailbox was in my rearview mirror, my brain went into Jami mode.
All the things that must get done, when and how, what words and why, which scripture and where, success, failures, hurts, triumphs, losses, gains, worries, hopes, and murder. Wait, murder is not in the book… I just really love true crime.
I decided to travel the hour and a half in silence. The hour and a half quickly turned into three hours and twelve minutes, in Houston, Texas, South I-45, Friday traffic.
Honestly, I am about 99% sure, I haven’t had that much quiet in my life in 24 years. It was grand.
Grand that is until the part of my brain that insists on knowing more about worry and less about faith kicked into high gear. Which brings me here, in stretchy pants and a coconut-lime-lava-mud-facial-mask, laid out in crisp hotel sheets to sort out half-hearted belief.
Part-time Jesus and half-hearted belief
If you are new here, you should know, I name Jesuses when I am separating counterfeit christs from the Lord of my heart. My first book, Stolen Jesus is about all the gods I knew before I fell into the arms of the Real Jesus and the freedom of pure Grace.
Part-time Jesus is a new guy… and his blame comes simply from me.
In bits and pieces of folly and short bouts of wisdom, it would be easy for me to portray the perfection of my Christian walk. Lucky for us all, I feel confident, I haven’t lead you to believe I am rocking the perfected cruise of belief. I have my doubts. And, I have thrown my share of tantrums.
Still, He moves how He moves and He saves how He saves.
Sometimes, Jesus is full-time, my everything. Other times, I ask Him to please step aside so I can work things my way.
And this is the half-hearted belief I came to encounter… and overcome.
My notes, this book baby, and the freedom and truth I am wading into have every opportunity to lay stagnant and fester in a part-time ambiance. This, I cannot allow. I want more.
Yep, I guess that could be interpreted as self-absorbed. But I believe that the real revelation is I want to embrace a full-time Jesus and a wholehearted belief. This time, this composition I want to seek all of Him.
Part-time Jesus, I am asking you to come on full-time.
There is a twinge of guilt, this God who gave all of Himself on the cross, still patiently waits for my whole surrender.
That sweet spot where I get out of the way and allow Him to be the Jesus He really is.
This God, whose ways are perfect, seeks only to fulfill His promises. Love, joy, peace, patience, and all the things for which there is no law. I am forced to face the truth. It isn’t that He isn’t available, or that He doesn’t answer when I call. The whole truth is, I hand Him little bits of my life and then turn around and take them back, as if I am stronger or more powerful than He who died.
Okay, baby brother, yeah… I am pretty full of myself.
What is that? That thing where we say we trust, and we profess we believe and then we testify to His goodness, when in reality, we rigged the outcome with our earthly grabs?
Humanity is an uphill battle.
And in our current world, a majority of our problems can be solved with a Google search.
Again I say, I want more than part-time.
I want more of the Holy Spirit and His wild and powerful presence.
And I want more of the abundance, a wealth of peace that pours over into every aspect of my life.
More of the love, compassion, and passion for this Christ who was the epitome of love, compassion, and passion.
Yes, I believe the Blood worked.
And I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
But I am done with a part-time Jesus and a half-hearted belief.
That belief has snatchy, greedy, worrisome fingers, opening to offer my troubles. Then, in a flash grabbing back that which I feel qualified to solve.
I am overstated, okay self-absorbed at best, but here is where I will meet Him. Here is where I will dive deep in the Word, the Word made flesh, Who then committed His entire self to me… and you.
Yes, I have the whole bed to myself, however, I do not foresee as much sleep as a mom of many might suspect. I am far too giddy, much too excited and delighted with all I will meet with.
Also, I confess, I deleted that last sentence six times. I mean it was only recently verified and proven that I am self-absorbed. And even the self-absorbed might consider the breath of arrogance and what the world might perceive. But my confidence doesn’t come from my successes, it comes from who He is.
Ask, seek, knock and then believe, cease striving, and scooch on over and let Jesus be Jesus.
More than once I have questioned the authority by which I am allowed to voice a single whimper of this God, whose ways are perfect. Repeatedly, I have professed my belief. Consistently, I have trusted half-heartedly and then Googled other options.
[bctt tweet=”Ask, seek, knock and then believe, cease striving, and scooch on over and let Jesus be Jesus. #fulltimeJesus” username=”httpstwittercomjamiamerine”]
But here alone in the writer’s hidey-hole, I am creating a sanctuary where I plan to receive the entirety of once and done. The greatest revelation in that is that the hard part is already done. He died so that we might live.
My thesis is this, I never wholly surrender and in turn, I keep Jesus on a part-time basis.
It is as if I am afraid I might owe Him overtime or a health insurance plan. And I have clocked Jesus out below the 40-hour mark and bossed myself into a less than peace-filled existence.
Joyfully, He clocks in without question.
Prior to my departure my agent texted me a screenshot of one of my own Facebook posts. I immediately assumed that there was a Grammatical error. But no, it was just my own words, a reminder of what I needed most.
Full-time Jesus, wholehearted belief.
“I propose the majority of believers, myself included, are only tapping into a tiny portion of the peace that Jesus offers.
He is more than a lucky rabbit’s foot.
No, He is not a talking head or this mystical being that may or may not help.
I am most convicted of this: He is the answer.
Not perhaps or if only.
He is. Once and done, the blood worked. What easy way to face the day.”
A God who absorbs all the world and its ways and tucks us into crisp hotel sheets.
Y’all, it really is… well. Full-time well.
Jesus be all over you. Love, Jami
1 Peter 5:7 Pour out ALL your worries and stress upon Him and LEAVE them there, for He will ALWAYS tenderly care for you.