I have heard some really great stories, read some awesome books, watched some amazing movies. But the plot would not be as engaging without a key ingredient.
Irony. Good ole irony.
And as entertaining as it is to see this term unfold in stories disconnected from us, it doesn’t always have the same amusing effect when it’s in the middle of our lives. Happening in real time. No rewind or redo.
Let’s dig into Google’s definition.
Irony: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
Couldn’t have said it better myself Google.
Although I am fascinated with super dramatic books, musicals, movies, and plays that contains jaw dropping irony, it was an awfully uncomfortable moment of irony I experienced during my junior year of college. Can’t say that it was all that entertaining. I was pretty angry. The role I had been playing for 20 years suddenly took an exhaustingly amount of effort to step into. There was no audience. There was no script. Loud Silence. It was simply me and my beliefs staring back at each other with blank expressions.
By this time, I was pretty secure in my idea of God. The formula was simple. Believe in God. Don’t go to Hell.
I didn’t have a prayer life, unless I felt guilty about not thanking God or desperately needed something. I only opened my Bible when the pastor said “Turn to…”. There were only two Gospel songs I honestly listened to in my spare time. I thought other Gospel songs were depressing. I went to church on Sundays and occasional Bible Studies. I was a “good” person. Well behaved.
Buuuut something started happening. I began meeting other people of different faiths and meeting people who I felt were EXTREME in Christianity. God also started placing some men in my life who I previously assumed were peculiar, but had a significant presence about them. They became very key in my later transformation. They would make humorous references to the Bible all of the time and seemed so content in life. They were very knowledgable and the amount of knowledge they had about Christianity really intrigued me. I was inspired.
October 2015 came and I started reading the Bible on my own.
Talk about being angry. I started in I Corinthians… don’t ask me why, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I just opened the Bible and that’s where it landed. I felt like the entire book of Corinthians was condemning, unfortunately.
But I didn’t stop. I read II Corinthians next.
The God I thought I knew seemed vicious. Unforgiving. Disinterested. Dismissive. Pissy. Quick tempered. And more. Everything I THOUGHT I knew was crumbling. This sucked. A LOT. I was confused.
The Real Irony
November 2015 came and I was ready to give up the faith. I had been reading the Bible everyday and at a very fast pace. I was covering a lot of ground in the New Testament and a little in the Old. The peculiar guys I mentioned earlier (who are dear close friends now) , I followed them around asking several questions a day to get answers for what used to make perfect sense to me.
But the week when I began to finalize the decision to stop calling myself a Christian and disown that belief system, weird things happened. I was thinking of how the conversation would go with my mom. What my friends would think. Simply trying to prepare myself for the backlash. But then I got angry again. How was it that the choice for me not to follow Christianity would be such a big deal when those who claim to believe in Him would do anything that they wanted anyway? I didn’t get it. I couldn’t tell the difference between His followers and atheists. Thinking of future responses to my decision, of course there would be some who would commend me for my bravery to say that I didn’t believe what majority believed, and then there would be others who barely read their Bibles that would try to preach to me about Hell. I had realized that there were hundreds of people following Christianity out of fear and had no idea what they were signing up for. It annoyed me. It disturbed me. Most of all, I was angry because that WAS me. But ignorance wasn’t bliss for me anymore. I couldn’t accept not knowing.
The Turn Around
The week of my contemplation, I still had burning questions, but I just gave up on getting them answered. I was going to stop hanging around those new guys I had recently met. I wanted to be alone and start anew. On a mission to be an awesome friend so that my buddy would “accidentally” see her crush, I ran into them unexpectedly. It was an awkward surprise. I wasn’t going to tell them of my decision, and I was honestly afraid to. While waiting on my friend so that we could execute the “run into my crush on accident” plan, they began casually discussing the Bible again. But one of them said something that made me turn my head so fast I could have gotten whip lash. One of them were discussing a presumed account in the Bible of Jesus going to Hell to get some of the people. “What did you say?”. One of the guys began laying out scriptures for me, and I promise it felt like black ice was melting off of my heart. I could not explain it. I went to my room and cried. The next day was when I was going to call my mom and tell my friends. But that night and from then on, God has shown me things people would not even believe if I told them. Months passed, and I was completely transformed internally. It was a weird high that I always cried about. I was sold out for the faith and was all in. I finally understood what I had been missing.
I am still learning of all it really means to be a good servant and I still have to repent from time to time. But there’s no more doubt about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is real. He is love. And He fought for me to know who He really was and what He is all about. I experienced Him for myself and pray you open yourself to experience Him as well.
To God be the Glory