Monday, July 2, 2012
A Paradigm Shift in the Middle of Summer
I love summer rain.
A few years ago I posted a pic of PandaGirl in summer rain with a huge umbrella and rain boots. So refreshing.....especially in Texas where the temps are hotter than h.e.l.l.
Last summer was THE worst in my lifetime where on our vacation I vividly remember that at 6:00PM it was 114 degrees. Now that is not the norm here, but last summer was just downright miserable. If it would have rained THAT day we might have had holes in our skin from the burning rain.
Last night gave us a 30 minute sprinkling that was lovely. PandaJoy was in heaven when I told her to go play in the rain!!
The past two weeks have been crazy busy with VBS and all kinds of kid stuff not to mention that I have had a major paradigm shift in the way of my thinking about loving people.
I came into contact with a girl who used to be in our first youth group when PandaPop and I first started in ministry together. He was a youth minister. He was 24, I was 23, the girl was 13. At that age that is a huge age gap. Now it is a peer.
Her life story unfolded before my eyes as she explained her choice to fully embrace the New Age belief system. Immersed. Changed her name and painted her body. Likes to live in a tree hut.
For the first time in my life.....how ashamed I am to admit this.......I was broken to my core over someone's soul. I cried for an hour straight over how very real this is. Someone's soul is in question. After so many years of teaching what I believe to be the truth of the Bible and I'm JUST NOW being broken over a soul? This girl has been taught Truth, yet through her own choices and life events she has chosen to believe in ways that blows my mind. Normally I would have been a bit freaked out....no, a lot freaked out over many of her lifestyle choices, but instead it literally sent my into to overdrive to love her and love people EXACTLY HOW THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY ARE.
Novel concept, I know.
You'd think that as a Christ-follower I would get that seeing as how that is what Jesus commanded his followers to do. Love people. I don't have to agree with the ways of people that are completely opposite of what I believe to be true from the Bible, but I CAN LOVE THEM AND BE A PART OF THEIR LIVES!!!!!!!!!!
I want to love OUT, not IN.
It's hard to convey in print in such a short amount of time---there are those two little girls in my home who are demanding of time in the summer---but just know that my whole mind and heart have done a complete 180. I wish I could adequately share all that has transpired over the past two weeks in my heart.
I also got my tattoo.
I've planned it for over a year & a half.
It has very deep personal meaning.
I've worked incredibly hard to make it to this point. God's grace has lovingly guided my steps to freedom.
It is a sign of freedom to me in an area that has had me in chains my entire life. I had one of THE most amazing spiritual experiences while getting it. It hurt very badly and I think I may have poked a hole through PP's hand while squeezing it for about 25 minutes. I listened to Newsboys......REALLY, REALLY loudly to mask the pain. It's not intolerable pain, but still.....it hurts. I knew I could make it through.
The children's minister's wife got a tat.
Not only did I get a tattoo, but it is not tiny nor is it hidden.
It's sorta big, very colorful and right out where the world can see it. The world that I am in that is not a part of my church and not the kind of people who would EVER enter the doors of a church. Many of them do not like Christians.....AT.ALL. They have their own belief set. And a story. I want to know their stories. I want to be IN THEIR LIVES. I want to love, love, love and get messy and live in a way that is not so sterile, contained and comfy inside the walls of my beautiful lovely church.
I do love my church. REALLY, I DO.
I have no doubt that PP and I are where we are supposed to be, but through a series of events that have accumulated in my life.......I desperately want to live out my faith differently than I have for the previous 41 years. An older friend told me this week that she didn't know anyone that didn't like Christians or who hated the idea of God.
WHAT?????? Are you KIDDING me?.........then you need to get outside of your clean Christian bubble, friend.
All these thoughts and the big shift came BEFORE I read Radical by David Platt, but now that I'm almost done with the book I can see that I'm on the right track. Most everything he said is what I have been thinking for a very long time, but didn't know how to act on it.
Now I'm acting.
How I wish I had time to elaborate, but mommy-hood calls.
So much to say. So very much to SAY!!!!!!!!!!