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I know what FLUFF is...and I Know What Fluff Isn't!

by Tara Roper  
8/31/2009 / Christian Living

Fluff is, simply put, sinfully good. Here in the south, it is referred to as Marshmallow cream. That just doesn't seem to do it justice though. Where I grew up, in the north, the word fluff had meaning. It was the really great "extra" on a peanut butter sandwich that you got if you had done something really good for your mom before she made lunch.
It is not a staple, just a nice extra to have around for special times. It is not necessary, although it is entirely pleasant, offering nothing negative (especially calories).
As I pondered all this one day while having a fluffernutter sandwich, I started thinking how just a few years ago, fluff and my relationship with God shared the same description. It was an extra, pleasant, something brought out for special occasions. It was this sort of sugar coating that hid everything else, but, being mainly air, didn't really have an impact. For the most part, like the fluff I enjoyed in my childhood, my relationship with God just sort of sat on a shelf. Until a few years ago, I thought that the bible was coffee table decor or only as one of the books on the back of the pew in my childhood church, if it was there at all!

I grew up very typical, in a typical town, typical church, no need to get into what religion, that is not the important thing here. I know there are a gazillion girls out there just like me, brought up like me, who may have been happy to let the family bible collect dust. This didn't make me a bad person. I suspect many with a similar upbringing are good people, well meaning, thoughtful most of the time, sort of living in the moment, happy to float through life. But, I never considered that God might have more and want more for me than just floating.

Five years ago, I would have never considered going to God's Word for advice. I thought of it as an outdated book, filled with lots of stories of people with lots of vowels in their name. In fact, four years ago I felt this way! Why would I have turned to an old book when Dr. Phil was on every day at 3:00? And if I couldn't find some comfort or direction there, I could always tape Oprah, talk to my friends (who were as misguided as I at the time), or poll my coworkers for their "what would you do?" input.

The very thought of turning to the God's word, the bible, was just something I would never have considered until moving south and finding a church that didn't think for me. Through our pastor, Mike, and the supportive women of that church, I was encouraged to open the bible and go digging and discover for myself.

Growing up, mostly as a teen and young adult, I had always had a nagging feeling that something was missing. I felt that when good or bad stuff happened, after calling my best friend, running things by my mom, and maybe choosing a brother to chat with, I always felt like there was a missing something, like there was someone else I was supposed to run life's event by. When I was sad and my usuals could not comfort me, I considered myself doomed and flawed. When I was happy about something, I felt weird taking full credit, but didn't know who else to give credit to.

When I felt alone, well, I was just alone. Surrounded by friends, a wicked awesome mother, a dad always up for a talk, and brothers that would drop anything for me, I felt completely and totally alone.

I thought when I met my husband, that he was what had been missing. And, for a time it was. But, as loving as he was, that familiar void crept in over time.
If someone had told me up until the age of thirty, that I could or should turn to God, I would have dismissed them as a radical. I would have cracked a few jokes, and had given them my best "Are you for real"? stare.

Since being led to my new church things have changed. I have been encouraged to be in God's word daily to develop my own personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That old void is gone and I am now filled to the brim. When that void does seem to resurface, it no longer ends in a pity party, but as a gage for whether or not I am spending time with God daily.

The only remaining hollow feeling that does creep in, is guilt, at feeling the way I do, having the relationship with God that I do, and looking around at those like the "old" me, who keep asking themselves "What is missing?"

Some, not only not knowing the answer, but not knowing where to go for the answer. My new personal mission, revealed only by the Holy Spirit, is to share where I have been, where I am now, where I am headed in my walk with God. I am so grateful to God for the encouragement to open His word. It has been, and continues to be life changing.

For some, the entire concept of turning to God, is a foreign one. I encourage you to hang in there and be immersed in the Word. KJ, NIV, NRV, doesn't matterjust start reading. And, over time, you will learn how to listen. It is that listening, speaking, and applying that builds your relationship with God. Communication is a two way street. I pray that it is for you, how it was for me at first. You will begin to understand what I did. God and Jesus are more than cool historical guys in sandals. Swing that pantry door wide, dig in, take it off the shelf and realize that there is much much more to our Lord than just FLUFF.

I am currently living in Milford, NH with my husband John, and our three children, Caroline, Maggie and Jacob. I am currently a fourth grade teacher. We have recently moved back to New England, and I thank God every day for the blessing of being close to my family.

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