I’ve been quiet for a while. At first, the silence felt awkward. Then I started to embrace it. For the most part, I spent this quiet time talking to Dad. Also, I took the time to just observe, feel and be. It’s been truly refreshing. However, lately I’ve had the strong urge to write. I took notes and waited… But then I ended up awake all night and knew I had to…
The most valuable lesson that I learned over these quiet months is that I WILL make mistakes, but those mistakes WILL NOT disqualify me in God’s eyes if I desire to be with Him. That’s so huge! Well it’s a big deal to me and I know that is the reason God helped me to see it. He knows me and my history. He knows the culture that I came out of and the culture He’s helping me to be a part of. You see, I came out of a spiritual culture of perfectionism. If I didn’t do everything right, I was disqualified from God’s kingdom. I asked my father once if there was any hope for my redemption. I walked away from that conversation unfulfilled and still searching. I didn’t find a place to put down roots for several years. Since I’ve found that place, I want to stay. I’m learning the culture, and quietly observing the language while listening intently to God instead of what I did before, looking at other people…Sure I see them, but they’re not in my focus. He is…
I don’t recall learning about grace as a child. It’s so important to know about GRACE. It’s such a big deal to know about Jesus’ sacrificial substitution for my lack. I didn’t know that when God looks at me He doesn’t see my flaws, He sees His son. Thank you, Jesus! I’ve seen the fear in my child’s eyes when I give her a disapproving look when she’s done something wrong. I know the feeling. However, I also want her to know that she can still talk to me when she’s done something wrong and that I’ll still love her. That’s what I needed to know for myself. I needed to know that because Jesus died for me, for my sins, I can access the throne of grace and talk to God about anything, anytime, and anywhere. Thank you, Jesus!
Over the past year I had the delight of reconnecting with a close childhood friend. It’s so refreshing to spend time with someone who knew me then and knows my character and loves and sees me for who I am. At times we talk for hours and he recently revealed to me that he used to call me that “weird little Jehovah’s Witness girl.” I just smile, because I’ve embraced being an odd duck. She’s still a part of me, but no longer the part that shines the brightest.
We also talked recently about spiritual gifts. I was telling him that a priest in a movie we were watching was in over his head and needed to call someone more qualified. He just rolled his eyes and said, “It’s just a movie.” I said no, in real life, that’s why being a part of the Body of Christ is so important. When you’re in over your head you don’t have to do things alone, you can call on someone gifted in the area that you’re struggling. He then asked me what’s my gift…That’s where I struggle… I can do many things and am willing to do them, but I don’t know what my gift is. (I’ve taken the spiritual gifts test, but still struggle.) I thought about it and my answer was that MY LIFE is my gift. What I meant by that answer was that all I’ve experienced and learned over the years and share with others is my gift.
I’ve become comfortable with not knowing. I’m comfortable with saying that I don’t know and being okay with not knowing even when those around me are not. My patience muscles are being worked. However, that doesn’t mean I sit idly while I wait. I do participate in ministries. One thing I do that I absolutely love is teaching children about God’s character. I’m not sure that they see Him yet, but I enjoy planting the seeds. When I talk to them I also reveal that I’m working on things and don’t always get things right, I make mistakes and that’s okay. There’s no need to isolate myself or run and hide in shame because I did something wrong. I can still talk to God, talk to God’s people and still be a part of God’s family while I continue to press on in service to Him.
There are times I have a real Romans 7 (verses 15-20) struggle with doing what’s right. I can truly identify with the Apostle Paul when he said he wants to do right, but ends up doing wrong. I agonize over decisions at times asking whether I’m doing the right thing. God has shown me that always getting it right isn’t what’s most important to Him. He showed me that I won’t AND He loves me anyway. So when I talk to people I try to let them know that I don’t always get what I’m talking about right, I make mistakes and struggle with some things so that they don’t feel alone when they struggle too. I encourage them to talk to God about it as I strive to do. I’m not perfect and that’s okay…
I hope this encourages someone because for me, experiencing God’s grace has taught me that –