July 21, 2020

Mourning to Freedom - Tracy Krauss

In my thirty-eight years as a Christ follower, I have had multiple experiences when I felt that God was giving me “extraordinary directions”. My issue with this month's prompt was choosing which story to tell. I realize that there may be different interpretations within our fellowship about the so called "prophetic gifts", but suffice to say that I believe God can, and still, moves in ways that go beyond our understanding. I've received instruction and insight through various means - most often through His Word - but also through dreams, visions, words of knowledge, and prophetic utterances spoken by others.

But... I'm not going to share any of those stories! (This time.) Instead, I want to tell you about a time when I felt that quiet inner voice during prayer - and it rocked my world.

The year: 1998. I was happily homeschooling my four children, my husband had a good job, and we attended a vibrant and loving church. I'd been a Christian for a long time already, and thought I had surrendered everything to God. I loved Jesus and life was good. 

I was praying in my bedroom one day, when I 'heard' that still small voice inside my head.

"How much do you love me?"
"You know I love you, Lord! I'd do anything for you!"
"Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me..."
"I know that, Lord! I don't believe in any other gods."
"But, HOW MUCH do you love Me? Are you willing to give up _________?"

This is the point where I stopped. I was stunned. Shocked. A horrible feeling crept over me, because I knew... That thing had become an idol in my life. I knew as clearly as if I had heard an audible voice, that God was asking me to give it up - and I didn't want to!

Now, I'm sure you have all kinds of pictures in your mind about my secret sin. In fact, I don't believe it's a sin at all, but the fact that I had made it into an IDOL was the sin. What am I talking about?


Okay, let me back up, here! I am NOT saying Science Fiction, or in particular, Star Trek, is evil. But you need to understand the context. 

I was a Trekkie from WAY back. I mean, when other teenage girls had posters of pop stars on their walls, I had Leonard Nimoy. (The actor who played Spock, for those who don't know.) I watched the show religiously for years, finally completing my collection of recorded VHS tapes of both the original series and The Next Generation by the mid-90s. We're talking close to 300 episodes. That's a lot of recording and watching and documenting to make sure I didn't have duplicates! (Obviously, this was before you could buy them or watch them on netflix!) I had all kinds of memorabilia, books, figurines, every movie... I'd even indoctrinated my children. Each one of us had a 'character' that we 'played' at meal times, in the car, or what not, and we had the action figures to boot.

This was like asking me to break up with my one true love. Like taking my life's work and erasing it. It was like losing a loved one, which in fact it was, because for me, I LOVED Star Trek! It had become an idol. 

This next part might sound ridiculous, but I think it gives you a glimpse at the gravity of what God was asking me to do. I went into what I can only describe now as a state of deep 'mourning'. I literally cried for DAYS. I could hardly get out of bed as I wrestled with what God was asking me to do. I was like an addict, coming down from heroine. It is the closest I've ever come to choosing NOT to follow Jesus! That's how serious it was.

Finally, several days later, I surrendered. With the help of my wonderfully supportive husband and some friends, we gathered all things Star Trek together and had a huge bonfire. My kids watched their action figures burn! 

And... I experienced a FREEDOM like I had never experienced before. I knew whatever God asked of me from that point on, I could face it. 

I am sure that for some of you, this must sound like a very shallow story, but it had a profound and lasting impact on my life. That day is the day I learned to truly surrender to God.

It took about ten years before I allowed myself any exposure to Star Trek again. It was an addiction, of sorts, and watching would be like waving a bottle of whiskey in front of an alcoholic. Then, a new movie came out in 2009. (You know the one -  starring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, and Zachary Quinto as Spock.) I decided I wanted to watch it. It was like a re-union, and it was a great relief to know that I could enjoy the movie without falling back into my obsession. Since then, I have been able to re-enjoy watching all the old shows and movies. My love for Star Trek was restored, but in a new context - without the unhealthy idolatry. 

Here are some photos of me taken at Vulcan, AB, last summer, where I finally visited for the first time with a couple of my siblings and a cousin. We had tons of fun. 
My brother and I in front of the starship Enterprise. We watched many an episode together as kids.

Leonard Nimoy's handprint positioned in the famous Vulcan greeting: "Live long and prosper."

Sometimes, God gives us surprising directions, but each and every time, it is for our benefit. I look back at this experience with such gratitude and know that it was a stepping stone for further growth in Him. 

Tracy Krauss is currently serving as InScribe's president. Website. 


  1. Thanks for being so honest. What you did was right. If we're more obsessed with anything more than with Christ, we've put it in the throne of our lives.

    The closest I've come to obsession is my love of the highly esteemed, and pressed, Goon Show. That British comedy show from the fifties suited my zany sense of humour perfectly. But it grew into an obsession and my corny jokes turned people off. A friend gently rebuked me while I was on a missions trip to Mexico. I still enjoy The Goon Show but it no longer dwells in the front of my mind.

    1. Thanks for your comment Bruce. It's nice to know that someone else has been through something similar.

  2. Your story clearly shows, Tracy, that is that easy and that gradual to let something you enjoy take over your life and become an idol or an addiction. The list of what that might be for each of us is endless. You have demonstrated that it’s not always easy to give up these idols in our lives, but that, with God’s help we can be more than conquerors.

    You say this so beautifully: "And... I experienced a FREEDOM like I had never experienced before. I knew whatever God asked of me from that point on, I could face it.“ That is victory in the Lord!

    Thank you for this writing that prompts me to pray, “Search me, God. . . See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

    1. Your prayer is exactly what I hope everyone would pray. I think we sometimes think that we aren't susceptible to idolatry in western civilization, but this is simply not so!

  3. Never shallow, Tracy. It's the stuff that makes up our very human, ordinary lives. And I'm so glad you shared it here. I'm tickled with the outcome of your experience - freedom and then restoration of something that you still truly enjoy. He is good to us! Brenda xo

  4. Not at all shallow. Anything that prevents us from putting God first is an idol. Thanks so much for sharing your struggle and your victory. May you be blessed in every way, Tracy, as this post has been a blessing to me

  5. Fellow, Trekky, you know I am also a fan. However, it is Lego, not Star Trek, that I pray never becomes an idol for me. It is so much fun! Just shows that the seemingly innocent pleasures in life can be as much a danger to our faith as any monstrous temptation that is easily identified. Be Holy as God is Holy, is so complicated! Thanks for sharing your obedience to God's difficult direction.


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