Abba / Freedom

Abba / Freedom

Head’s up: I’m going to share a messy story or four. Read at your own discretion.


2015. My friend has invited us over for 4th of July. I am anxious. I can smell a train wreck of a night. My new boyfriend, who is himself not new, being about fifteen years older than I am, tells me to relax and enjoy the evening. But I know… I just know.

By the end of the night, after my friend the hostess has passed a bottle of Bulliet around the fire several times, after we’ve all taken off our clothes, after I’ve been urged to give in to sexual urges I have for my now-naked, now-very-drunk friend, I have in a moment of divine inspiration grabbed a nearby hoodie, whisked it over her, pushed her in it up to the house, and deposited her on the couch with her drunk, passed-out boyfriend.

At which point we all go home. I wake up the next day hungover in that merciless, dry-brained kind of way one only gets from drinking Bulliet straight over a fire on the Fourth of July with one’s naked friends. I get in my car, and start searching on my phone for tattoo parlors. I drive until I find one that’s open on a Sunday after a national holiday, and I go inside, and I get a tattoo.

A tattoo of a sacred heart. I ask him to make it look beat-up, like a steam punk artifact, something found in the future from the past: the ancient metal milagros I like to collect, unearthed in a future I have bad dreams about.

The future we all know is coming… the bad one.

Here’s the funny thing. That was my second and last tattoo; I wasn’t a collector of ink. And it wasn’t my symbol. I was, at the time, and for my entire life up until then, an “unbeliever.” A seeker who dabbled in paganism, wicca, Zen buddhism… anything but the religion of my family. I just liked the symbol, had for some time. Since I had returned from New York brokenhearted, and the sight of a flaming heart kinda spoke to me.

Today I was asked to describe the day I gave my life to Jesus, and I said, I can’t remember a specific day. There were maybe five or six of them – commitment’s never been my strong suit

Then I said, Actually, it happened before I knew it.

It happened a while ago. Way, way back.

I was led to put a symbol of Jesus on my back almost six years before I was baptized. July 4 2015 to Easter 2021… yep. I’m not great at math, but I’m pretty sure that’s almost six years.

I didn’t know what I was doing that day. I was hungover, with a dry brain and a broken heart.

I knew there was something wrong, very wrong with the world we were creating. There in Seattle, dismantling gender, sexuality a strange ritual – don’t ask don’t tell, but act like you’re up for anything – and all the drinking, and the lost feeling of alienation of a city growing up too fast with no planning and too much money, and the homeless wandering amongst us as we made blow-up salaries at Amazon and acted holier than thou because we had CNN installed on the phone to remind us how to feel…

We were creating a reality where humans were sexless, and sexually free. I didn’t like it, but at that point, I was just starting to read the contract. It would take a few years, and a lot of marijuana, and regrettable decisions, to get to the point…

It was such a ridiculous point. The point where I told Abba I wanted to know him. I was trapped in a Taco Time. A Taco Time. The drive-through was contained with cement, so that once you got into it, you couldn’t get out. It was Seattle, so you got stuck in traffic a lot. There was a ticking time bomb in my head about that, being stuck in traffic. I’m coming home late, and I pull in to get a veggie taco, and I get stuck in this drive-through for an hour. An hour. So long. They never came out to tell us what was going on, and I couldn’t get out.

I know it sounds absurd, but I kind of freaked out. At the time, this happened a fair amount, freaking out, and God knew it. I heard…

Tell me what you want.

I was bored, lonely, burned out.

Lost. Tired of seeking.

All the pot had been seeking. All the moving from town to town had been seeking. All the reinvention, and the writing, and the ranting, and the drinking, and the breaking up, all of it, for all the years, had been seeking. Him.

I just want to know you, I said, that night in the car stuck in a Taco Time drive-through.

I want to know you.

He said, I need you to go… and I saw a church. An old fashioned stucco church, that as it happened, would resemble the cathedral that I would visit a month or two later on a trip to Santa Fe I had already planned. A trip littered with artifacts of St Francis, and that symbol of a sacred heart.

Other things happened on that trip that I’m not prepared to talk about. I will say this: The book I read on the flight home about Francis of Assisi was the first of many that God led me to read about the times when the church has been challenged to reform.

I believe we are living through that season again right now, and man is it painful. But more on that later. For now let’s focus on my own messy journey – not for too long, just so that you really believe me when I say I’m not asking you to do anything I haven’t done.

I moved from Seattle to Vashon, and from Vashon to Portland. I woke up in Portland. A friend told me the other day, Great move. Understatement at its finest. Imagine reading Isaiah for the first time and then going for a walk around Portland. In 2019. Before the riots, before the burning, before the shutdown.

Imagine cutting off all your hair and dying it pink, and going to a church that was justifying transgenderism, and picking up some edibles on the way home, and secretly watching “walkaway” Democrats like Rubin Report and Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson, and everyone you talk to thinks Trump is racist, and everyone you talk to thinks gender is a social construct, and everyone you talk to thinks socialism is the desirable future. And for the first time in your life, because you pledged your life in a Taco Time drive-through, you are finally finding out who you are after a lifetime of seeking.

I recognize that God is about to exercise judgment on Gomorrah. I move from Portland to Vancouver in the fall of 2019. When the shutdown kicks in six months later, I have been straddling a fence for almost two years, I’ve dealt with the grief, I’ve experienced the betrayal, I’m tired of hiding. I’m ready to go live: Awake.

I do not put on a mask. I go up to stay with my folks so I can work remotely, and I go to my first protests and rallies with them, and I fall in love with freedom fighters, and six months later I quit my job. Nothing has ever been the same… but since when?

When did I wake up?

When did I give my life to Jesus?

Was it when I fell on my knees in prayer, and then politely told my boss, I don’t want to work here if you’re going to go down this road. There are two genders.

Was it leaving a church service held in someone’s garage during the shutdown, tears streaming down my cheeks as I text my woke brother that I love him?

Was it breaking up with the man I was living with because I had just remembered I still had faith?

Was it baked out of my mind, waking in a man’s arms, feeling the enemy in the room, purple and monstrous and laughing at me?

Was it the red glass heart a man in a wheelchair once handed to me? The stranger greeting me at a grocery store because she’d seen me on a video? The little girl who offered an extra hug because she knew I needed it?

Was it the first time I told people Jesus is my boss? The first time I gave someone a word that helped them? The first time I felt wonder, joy, or hope?

Because all those moments happened, but some were when I was thirteen, some when I was twenty-three, or thirty-nine.

How do you mark on the calendar the day you came alive?

How do you identify when you were given the ears to hear? I can say I was directed to mark my body with a tattoo of Jesus’ love – the ultimate move of a God who recognizes the power that can be harnessed from the self-destructive passion of the fallen –

But was that the day? July 5 2015? Because some of those other moments felt like commitment, too.

Standing in the driveway thinking, Well I really messed that up, as that boyfriend insisted I take all my belongings and my dad stuffed them into the van…

Classy.

Standing with a mic in my hand in front of a thousand people, relaxed only because I had stood with my mic in front of thirty – so much harder… but God told me to –

You can’t decide when God chooses you. Maybe that is the point. Not to point to the day we choose Him, but the point where he chose us. If we looked at that, we might discover he has been choosing us all along. We might see a very different story. Not one of sudden commitment, but of a lifelong love. A love he feels for us even when we mock, dismiss, deny him.

A love of a father who knows we know not what we do.

For me, there isn’t one moment, one pledge, one day. There are many. I see a lifetime of choosing light over dark, peace over conflict, of seeking solutions and sparrows and sunshine over an endless buffet of despair.

I believe that is the mark of the Holy Ghost. A predisposition to belief, a desire to know what is beautiful.

Ears to hear.

You do too.

If you want that, you will eventually discover he who created hummingbirds, baby toes, and apple pie.

My life has layers, choices, pain. My life is, like yours, a series of moments. And in each and every one of them, our decision is: to try, again.

Try.

Just try.

Jesus is right on the other side of asking.

One step away from No, you can say Yes. Again.

No one else can make this decision for you, and no one can take it from you either. No one can define your commitment, your experience, or your suffering.

The enemy’s talent – the only gift he has – is to deceive us into thinking he has power that he doesn’t. The enemy is the ultimate bully, and he inspires all bullying.

Your decision is to listen, or to not. Because hear me.

Abba will always welcome you home. All you have to do… is knock.

5 responses to “Abba / Freedom”

  1. Thank you for the lovely post. I noticed that you live in Vancouver WA. I do as well. My husband and I are looking for a home group or church which supports liberty. We are also interested in getting more involved in the liberty movement. Do you have any referals?

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    • Hi Yanah, I actually moved to Idaho last month. There are a few free churches in SW WA, altho not necessarily all vocal. Try Church on the Rock in Battle Ground or Masters Bible Church in Vancouver. Pastor Joey Durance (Masters) has spoken at a couple of my events and definitely has a heart for freedom.

      You should also go to tonight’s event at COTR (5:30) to support the petition… there will be lots of people there worth connecting with. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: