Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

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Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby nudeinzim » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:32 am

I was raised a Christian in a loving family but had "issues" with self-esteem and confidence for a number of reasons, especially in my teens. Unfortunately, my faith journey has also had a lot to do with my sexuality, so it's impossible to divorce the two completely, but I will try to speak in very general terms. It was, in fact, my sexuality as a child and teen that caused so much confusion and ultimately caused me to question my faith a little later in life. In a nutshell though, I grew up with a lot of shame and guilt that I never felt I could speak to my family or anyone else about, so it festered. I wanted, more than anything, to be perfect for God even though I didn't realise it at the time. Constantly falling short of that perfection, coupled with my other self-esteem issues, was all building up under the surface.

The final straw was when, at the age of fourteen, my older sister caught me spying on her getting dressed. She called me a pervert and I felt like I had let my family and myself down beyond repair. To make matters worse, it happened on Christmas eve. From that point, I became convinced that there was something definitely wrong with me and that I would never, ever be good enough. Nobody else noticed what that single event did to me on the inside, and I was too ashamed to talk about it. I withdrew completely into myself and became emotionally closed off. I cut off my friends and became a total loner, believing that I wasn't good enough for them, or my family but more importantly, believing that I wasn't good enough for God.

I sank further and further into self-hatred and just stopped trying in life over the next few years, because I didn't see the point. By the time I reached my late teens, I had given up on most of my hopes and dreams for life, and fallen further into sexual "deviance" because part of me had accepted that my sister was right in calling me a pervert. At the same time though, I felt worse and worse about myself because of the sexual urges I had and, when I finally started to "feel" emotions again, I fell into complete depression. I lived in that depression for years, with a couple of near suicide attempts along the way. I prayed and asked God so many times for help, but never got anything back. I came to believe that God hated me and had given up on me so, eventually, I rebelled. Even though deep down I still wanted so badly to be perfect for God, I also gave up all hope of ever being good enough, and I turned to Satanism. Looking back on it now, I can see that even then, God still hadn't let go but He let me go through the rebellion. I pushed myself further and further to the other side, and every time I came across a moral or sexual boundary, I forced myself to cross it because I felt betrayed by God and I wanted to hurt Him.

When I was around twenty-five, I finally reached the point where I felt that I was falling into complete darkness and I was about to cross the line that I would never be able to come back from. For the first time ever, I was truly afraid that I was about to be lost forever and I was looking over the edge of the blackest pit. That was the lowest point of my life and I was desperate. And finally, I learned the lesson that God had been trying to teach me all along. I cried out to Him one more time. This time though, in my desperation, I was willing to let go of everything else. I was willing to let go of all the hurt and pain but more importantly, I was willing to let go of my addictions and let God have all of me, to do with as He pleased.

In that single moment, so much happened. The first thing I realised was that even though I had felt so abandoned by God, He had been right beside me all along and had never left me alone, and in a split second His arms were around me. All the pain and hurt of my childhood was instantly gone. I had always heard people talk about God's healing, but it was breathtaking to feel it first hand. The most astounding thing though, was finally meeting God. I would say that I met God face-to-face, but it really I was more like face-to-feet. I felt like I was kneeling at His throne just glimpsing His feet, and there was so much power and light all around me that I was completely overcome. I cried and laughed and bathed in God's incredible glory, and there are no words that could ever come close to describing that experience. Feelings of love and such incredible mercy that just can't be explained. I clearly remember thinking that if God had allowed me to look up and see His face, my head would have been blown clean off by His awesomeness!

Unfortunately, that experience only lasted a minute, but in the weeks that followed I was closer to God than I have ever been. I can't even begin to describe the clarity and truth that I experienced in that time. With each unique lesson, God would teach me something different. One of first lessons was trust. Walking away from Satanism isn't easy, and I came under some rather intense spiritual attacks. On one particular night, I felt like the house was filled with demons and they were closing in on me. I will admit that I started to panic, and I tried the usual method of telling them to leave in Jesus' name, but that wasn't going so well. And then God said, "Leave them to ME! Concentrate on ME!" So I did. I just concentrated on God and ignored them. I knew He wouldn't let them touch me, and I learned to trust. I remember walking through the house, still sensing them there, a thick blanket of evil filling every space, but as I walked, God cleared a path and just moved them aside.

There were so many lessons, that I probably don't even remember them all. There was one other lesson worth mentioning though, when I learned three things at once. At my fairly young age at that time, I held a senior management position in quite a big company, and I was very proud of that fact. It had made me a little cocky and I thought I was irreplaceable. On some level I must have been aware of it, because I asked God to teach me humility. Well, a week later I lost my job. The country was in economic melt-down and the company laid off a whole bunch of people, including me. So, the first thing I learned was humility, and since I'd asked for it, I couldn't really complain. The second thing I learned is that God most definitely has a sense of humor! I still find the whole thing quite funny and I'm sure He had a good chuckle too. The third thing I learned, is to be very, very careful what you ask God to teach you. Now, whenever I ask God to teach me something, I always append on the end of the request, "...but please do it as gently as possible."

My journey obviously didn't stop there, and because I'm human, there has been a lot of backsliding. I've spent more time away from God than with Him, but I still know that I am His. I have struggled long after that with my sexuality and with trying to make sense of things. I've always had an inkling that there seem to be differences between the God that the church usually teaches and the God that I met. For a long time, I've had issues with the way most churches do things, and I still have been inwardly condemning myself because of traditional Christian teachings. It is only fairly recently that I'm beginning to see things more clearly and to come to terms with the fact that the pressures of "rules and laws" that other Christians and churches put on us, and that we put on ourselves, are largely man-made and not from God at all. So, for the time being, I am at the stage of getting to know what God really wants and expects of me, rather than what other people want and expect of me, and specifically how this relates to my own sexuality. Those topics are probably outside the realms of this forum though, so I won't go into that.
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby Petros » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:10 am

Your path reminds me here of Herself [feeling betrayed, crossing boundaries] and young Aram [depression, self-esteem]. With a touch perhaps of my nephew, who some years back got in trouble when he was caught standing at the windoe, nude, staring at the window of the girl next door. But he has no esteem issues I know of.

So I can't throw been there done that at you, but I know that sort of things. Not fun, but he can bring us out.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby naturaldon » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:32 pm

Enjoyed reading your testimony. I have friends in Africa, by the way, coming home after the first of the year (not near you).

Stand firm for Jesus.
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He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby nudie66 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:54 am

Nudeinzim, thank you for being so open and honest about your spiritual journey so far. That's why we are here on CNV - to provide support & open ears.

Keep following Jesus! He will never let you down. Please continue sharing, and welcome to the Village.
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby natman » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:48 am

Nudeizm,

Thank you for your testimony.

Apart from the intensity, I think it is a path many of us here may have walked at one time or another.

I too have struggled with "man-made" rules in the church. In fact, the largest schism that occurred in the Church came from a person's struggle with "man-made" rules and traditions, of course that being the life and trials of Martin Luther. I even left the Church (and God) for a while over the affect of those "man-made" rules and traditions. Fortunately, God called me back and I have worked diligently for over forty years to highlight the difference and to ask, "Where does it say that in Scripture?".

Now, my greatest desire is to reflect God in spirit, mind AND body, and to point others to the freedoms we have in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, many refuse to come to Christ because they see "Christians" as stodgy, fun-less, judgmental people, when nothing could be further from the Truth.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby jochanaan » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:18 pm

Again, welcome. :)

Through the centuries, the churches have struggled more with the issues of sex and sexuality than with any other set of issues. Many Christians have come to feel that we are not getting the whole Biblical teaching. Where, for example, are sermons, essays and commentaries on the Song of Solomon (unless they try to explain away the whole thing as only a spiritual allegory)? Where are studies on the richly and sometimes explicitly erotic imagery in the book of Ezekiel? Where are the deep studies on why our relationship with God is so often described as a marriage? But the churches so often get caught up in condemning the negatives about improper sex that they forget to celebrate the positives in God's commands to "Be fruitful and multiply"; or, "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth..."

So it's no surprise that you struggle with your own sexuality. Many of us have shared your struggles. But God is faithful, and will bring us into the "land of milk and honey" where "if the Son sets you free, then you are free indeed." Praise His Name! Amen.
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby Petros » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:03 pm

Has the church - in any of its manifestations - ever really looked at the implications that we in the image of God are one of very few - if there are others, my biology will not take me so far - critters on the planet for whom sex is not seasonal? A few sci-fi types have played with the idea of changing mankind so that it is regulated by coming into heat.

We are exceptional in sex as in other areas, and you would think the churches would be interested in how that fits the Universal Design.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby jochanaan » Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:18 pm

Petros wrote:Has the church - in any of its manifestations - ever really looked at the implications that we in the image of God are one of very few - if there are others, my biology will not take me so far - critters on the planet for whom sex is not seasonal? A few sci-fi types have played with the idea of changing mankind so that it is regulated by coming into heat.

We are exceptional in sex as in other areas, and you would think the churches would be interested in how that fits the Universal Design.
In my experience, none have done so except to point out how dangerous and evil sexual temptation is. Only in recent years have some church leaders looked into these things as manifestations of Divine glory and creativity.
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Re: Meeting God, Face-to-Feet

Postby nudeinzim » Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:08 pm

Thank you all so much for the support. It's good to feel at home somewhere ;)
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