God used kneading bread to help me see differentiation in a new light. It is not only being myself, but also being one with God and others. Before I can do that, I have to let go and trust God with my heart. Fusion confuses and was the basis for my unhealthy relationships. I have come to know and experience love with God’s help. So many see being single as being alone. I understand exactly and would have agreed wholeheartedly with them a year ago. I haven’t changed my status in regard to relationship, but God has changed my heart. Christ died that I might become one with Him as He is one with God.
That is exactly what happens when I love the way He wants me to. Whether single or married, oneness with God creates beautiful intimacy. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to find someone with whom to have that intimacy, and it turns out that He was right here all along. God got lost as I attached in unhealthy ways. Being married to the wrong person is the loneliest feeling in the world, and I thank God for helping me find the courage to change directions in that regard. There is nothing more beautiful than the union of two kindred spirits. Marriage is God’s design, and it is what He desires. It took me twenty-nine years to realize that God wants what is best for me, and He did not sanction what I had in my marriage. That learning allowed me to let go of what I thought was right and trust Him with my heart.
Christ’s precious and perfect love lets me connect without fusion and experience a freedom I cannot achieve without God. I can’t describe it, but I can borrow a phrase from Oswald Chambers who calls it “at-one-ment.” Atonement is being one and being connected at the same time. It’s achieving a deep intimate closeness with God and others while remaining who I am meant to be. It’s what Christ modeled, and I have gotten a taste of it as He has helped me leave wrong relationships, connect positively, and be who He created me to be. There is an amazing sense of peace and connection that comes when you let go of fusion and connect in ways that allow your heart to experience the freedom God desires.
While kneading the bread for communion tomorrow, I realized you just know when the dough has been kneaded enough. The sticky mess is transformed into a satiny smooth ball when it is ready to rise. Those who know and love me know that I love making and eating bread. The kneading is the best part because the dough is warm in my hands and smells heavenly. I love feeling the change that takes place within my hands as I knead it. It’s hard to tell someone who doesn’t make bread regularly when to stop kneading. Put simply, when it stops hanging on to the counter, it’s ready to rest and rise. The same is true for me, and I’ve been reluctant to let go lately. I know I can’t live the life God desires until I let Him knead me to the point where I can let go and let Him get my heart ready. Then, I can rest and rise and love Him and others as He desires.
Today is Labor Day 2012. On Labor Day ten years ago, God gave me the courage to leave my marriage of twenty-nine years and walk the path He had in mind for me. I climbed out of the abyss in which I found myself, made my way through a dense fog, and finally made it to the summit where I could see love in God’s light. I’m not the person I was ten years ago. In fact, I’m not the person I was yesterday! I thank God for the change He wrought in my heart. He’s been kneading my heart for almost forty years, but it’s feeling pretty satiny smooth right now:)