Everyone is working the way up to God. They really don’t get into the fact that really God came down to us. There was an explanation of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The Sunday school teacher had an actual scale and she was demonstrating how we had this, this, and this on the good side… this, this, and this on the bad side.   We had to make sure that the good side outweighed the bad side for us to be written into the Book of Life.  Third grade, I’m eight years old, I was petrified that I needed to please this God.  Okay, I have to be holy. I have to be holy. You can’t do it. It doesn’t make sense. I would ask so many questions.  Why are we doing this?  What is the purpose? What’s the meaning, the historical significance?  If the good outweighs the bad then I’m written in the Book of Life.  But the holiday comes around the next year so I’m only written in for that one year? The response was always the same, we’re doing this because this is what Jews did.

I also felt this emptiness inside of me.  The need to be the best, perfectionist.  Living up to expectations, a lot of anxiety.  I was really good in my roles whether it was a role of a daughter, a role of a student, wife, mom, trying to control things and my situations and people.  If I can do everything… I don’t need God. I was invited to a women’s seminar.  There was a woman who had a real potter’s wheel and she was molding a pot. She was focused on the scripture, discussing  ‘we are the clay you are Potter and we are all the work of your hands’  If I’m the clay and God is molding me then he had a reason for it.  I’m listening to the speaker.  She’s seamlessly weaving the story from the scriptures from the Tanakh to the New Testament. All throughout.

Everything from childhood was just like flooding into me.  Questions, the questions. that I would hammer away at as that child. God gave me such a supernatural ‘oomph’, a desire, a hunger and ability to all of a sudden research. I started digging and digging and finding all sorts of fascinating things.  Talking to some rabbis I would ask questions and the answers would drive me to scripture because to me they felt somewhat incomplete.  Many in the Jewish community don’t receive the New Testament as something for Jewish people.  So much has been done in the name of Jesus. It’s just accepted, you know, this is what we do, this is what we don’t do, this is who we are, this is who we are not. Jesus,  Jews, it just doesn’t connect.  If you’re a culture that has been so persecuted and you’re holding on to something so tightly.  It makes you dig in your heels and make sure that you retain that ethnicity even stronger.

I don’t even know what I was looking for quite honestly. Then all my delving I started to see that it’s not this separate book, it actually is seamlessly connected to the Tanakh.  Everything flows.  All the blood sacrifices in Leviticus and again coming back to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, what the holidays signify.  All of that was leading up to Jesus.  He’s the final sacrifice. Atonement is a covering.  He removed my body of sin.  He took that upon himself on the cross and then he gave me his righteousness. At that moment it was crystal clear.  Everything was hitting me and I was crying.  My sin past, present, and future is forgiven that’s freedom the shackles came flying off I was just given a whole brand new identity.  I am holy! I am forgiven! I am righteous! I am his beloved!  To give control that I’ve never really had, a way to a God who not only is he in control, he is sovereign. He is in complete control of every molecule on this planet, including me.  It’s not this gritting my teeth trying to please this distant holy God.  It takes the pressure off of me because it’s not about me. I’m free to live. I’m free to walk. I’m free to do. I free to let other people be who they are.  It is exciting. I have a purpose, my purpose in life is to live for God I know who he is now and every day I’m learning more and more and more about who he is.  Follow his leading, enjoy him forever.

Diane is One for Israel.