Anxiety, Christian, Christian Women, Depression, Family, Fear, Friendship, Healing, Kingdom Service, pandemic, Parenting, Prejudice, Purpose of the Cross, quarantine, Racism, Salvation In Christ, Serving God, the gospel

Numb

This one is hard. I have realized in the past few months that I haven’t been listening to worship music, reading my Bible, or worshipping.

It’s hard to say that, but the hardest part has been to dig down and understand why. That requires being really honest with yourself. That requires being really honest about what is happening outside of you and how it’s affecting you.

I started with thinking about how much I love Jesus. I had to ask myself if that had changed. The answer was a resounding NO! I love Jesus. I see Jesus in the most real way. I see Him, body broken for me. I remember the holiest moment in my life when I laid down my burdens and arose as an heir to the thrown of Christ- a daughter of God the Father. Everything changed.

I will never forget the moment of being baptized in a mineral water pump in the middle of a farmer’s field in Mexico. I will never forget what it meant to lay down my life to pursue the heart of Christ. My answer to Him is still yes. He is my Savior and King who ransomed me.

This is where things became really hard. If I didn’t feel differently about Jesus, why couldn’t I be with Him and worship? I had to think about what was really going on in my heart. It’s easy to become numb in the days we are living in. I was numb.

Seeing everything that has been happening, numbed me bit by bit. I was numbed by anger and frustration. I was numbed by heartache and deep sorrow. The world has been turned upside down, but my world has been hit hard in the last few years. It’s been tsunami upon tsunami that have crashed on me over and over. They had broken me.

I feel those things in a deep place. My heart hurts when I see no justice where there should be. My heart hurts deeply when I see God’s children be abandoned to be led astray in a time when we need each other and the sustaining sufficiency of God.

Instead of that, the Bride has been given something completely different. We haven’t been protected by the calling out of lies and heresy and racism and white supremacy. The church as a whole did not take a position on the danger in what so many sheep are chasing.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.” Romans 16:17-20

It’s right there. God knew the days would come when we would need these truths, and instead of embracing wisdom and sober judgement, the Church left the sheep to fend for themselves and chase down a rhetoric that is destroying the world on a global scale. People now feel entitled to their own facts, their own “truths.” Taking no position is taking a position.

Hear me now: I am not saying the church should endorse a political candidate or call for votes from the pulpit, but there should be a willingness to call out ideology and rhetoric that is contrary to the truth of the gospel- no matter who is saying it. That’s where I’ve been. That’s what I’ve been crushed by over and over and over the last few years.

The bride. My brothers and sisters in Christ aren’t seeing what their endorsements does to people who don’t look like them or live like them. They aren’t trying to feel the pain and grief others are feeling. Instead, they want to be comforted and told they are right. They want to live believing lies and not caring about the fact that everyone’s story isn’t their story. Instead, there are so many who have been hardened and have replaced evangelism of the gospel of Jesus for the gospel of nationalism.

The unwillingness of the church to condemn this rhetoric makes the church complicit. They are watching the wolves devour their sheep. Lie upon lie, people are choosing something else as their highest treasure. That treasure is not Jesus and does not reflect His character.

I volunteered with a ministry for years. There was a guest speaker who came in and shared things contrary to the gospel, and no one leading that ministry stopped it. I left. After, I talked to a leader who understood and saw the lies and misinformation in what were said, but their response was, “Well, we are just going to trust the Lord with that and let Him work it out.”

That was the last night I ever volunteered there because NO! That is not what you do when a wolf is in the midst of your sheep- teeth bared, lies on their tongue, ready to kill, steal, and destroy. You go to battle. You do what David did, and you kill the danger with your own hands. You don’t stand back and watch people and families get destroyed. You fight the fight for the truths of God and the gospel. The danger of the wolf in this rhetoric not being condemned because that sends a message too.

I wrote a post yesterday that was filled with things I needed lifted off me. I was able to listen to worship music for the first time after writing that. David Crowder. They were one of the first Christian bands I ever heard. I went back to those places where these feelings weren’t heavy on me. I sang and prayed and remembered. It cleansed something in me.

I needed to get it out of my heart. I’m hurting and discouraged, but I’m praying for the church today. I still love Jesus and all His people. I hope that something changes for all our sakes. It is destroying something in me to watch so many people I love and respected being devoured by what is happening and what they are choosing.

The bride is worth being protected. The body is worth being protected. I am worth being ministered to through the whole intention of God’s heart for me, and we should never have to grieve those losses of the dedication of God’s people to His truth and character.

I hope you’ll join me in praying for the church and each other. On the other side of this election and devastating year, we will still need each other.

Anxiety, Christian, Christian Women, Family, Fear, Friendship, Healing, Kingdom Service, Missions, Motherhood, pandemic, Parenting, prayer, Prejudice, Purpose of the Cross, Racism, Salvation In Christ, Self care, Serving God, the gospel

Foundations

I’ve had a hard few months. I’m not alone. The entire world feels so completely turned upside down. We are all struggling with adjustments and concerns and losses and uncertainty. I’m someone who needs connection. I love being with people.

This is hard. What is harder is the wash of disappointment I’ve been feeling. Hard circumstances reveal foundations. For the first time, I’m seeing who some people really are at their base.

The thing about foundations is that everything built up on them is steadied by how well they are made. What we make our foundation sets the course of who we become. The things we cherish. The things we value. What we believe. What we believe in. The priorities we have. Those are just some things we set in our foundations. What we build is either sure and steady or it’s filled with gaps and weak areas that begin to erode everything about us. What is at the bottom of who we are matters.

I’m in this strange place of seeing the gaps and shaky places in people I have long loved and respected. It hurts. It stings. I could have never been convinced of some of the things I’m seeing.

To know these people can cling so hard to what they want to know and believe that they can dismiss objective truth to protect what they want to be true has been devastating. I’m not talking about opinions. I’m talking about denial of actual indisputable things.

Let me be clear:

Political associations are not more important than our duty to see and do justice.

Political associations are not more important than people. If anything, I hope we can see the damage being done to people because of these lines being held above all else.

Seeing wounded hurting people and turning your head is exactly why the parable of the Good Samaritan was written. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t cause the hurt. What matters is that you do what you can to bind them up. You take on any responsibility you can for restoring that person.

Pain does not need to be rated. Whatever your hurt is, does not need to be compared to someone else’s to be validated.

If just one person died from COVID-19, it’s enough to take it seriously. I do not care about the specific numbers because the truth is we are so indignant that we can’t see that those numbers represent people. That’s not a statistic. That’s a person. Either all life is precious or none is. If it means saving just one person, I’ll stay home, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart, wash my hands, and anything else that protects the preciousness of even one life.

Racist ideals and idols have no place in our world. There has been a stage set that has amplified their positions. They are loud right now, and leadership is not condemning them as much as it is participating in them. I am unapologetically anti-racist. Don’t use a slur. Don’t make a “joke.” Don’t stereotype. Don’t denigrate. Don’t do anything that does not respect or value the humanity of anyone else in front of me.

That is in part, who I am. Those things are essential parts of my foundation. If you are not okay with that, I won’t apologize for it. I have spent a lot of my life either actively or passively apologizing at least for parts of who I am. I am done with that.

I will not tolerate letting propaganda and intolerance and unyielding foolishness even be in my peripheral anymore. There is no room for it in my life or heart.

This is what I believe. This is what you get. Either love all of me for everything I am or leave me as I am. I am not giving up who I have fought so hard to become in order to keep any relationship.

I have been looking at what is most important in who I am and who I am becoming. Let me leave no doubt: I love Jesus, I love my family, I love people, I love people who are different from me, I love people who think differently than I do, I love people who don’t know they deserve to be loved, and I will honor the humanity in each person I meet.