He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
I’m throwing in an extra this week, without a FB announcement because I want to share a major crash and burn.
But first, my daughter’s loving heart. There are few people who are brave enough to not glaze over the flaws in the church and be courageous to stand with the church instead of doing the easy thing…walk away. To be honest, that’s why I hate telling people where I go to church. I am afraid they will judge the church by what they see in me: all of my short comings and failures. I do try to remind myself that people are suppose to be following Jesus and not me (Church = For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Matt. 18:20)
When I worked at NMC, many moons ago, Janette Jones gave me some of the best advice about churches that I have taken to heart. When I shared with her how some family and friends had stopped going to church because of pain their church had caused them, her response was:
“Tracy, the church is a place for wounded people to go and get well. It’s like a hospital for the soul.”
I could wrap my mind around that one. No wonder we hurt each other. We are a bunch of spiritual zombies looking for someone to see our wounds, lead us to the Healer, help us bandage our gashes, teach us how to care for them (not picking at them and slowing the healing process), ensuring that we are well/properly healed and then ultimately equipping us to help and teach others.
At some point we need to either leave the hospital to start another or take the hospital to those on the street, without judging income, size, shape, sexuality, status in life, or trying to size up “how much it’s going to take/cost (time and or money) to get this one fully healed.” Easier said than done.
The sad thing is, those that have left were often the most involved, and they didn’t leave to start new hospitals.
What happened? Where did the church fail? Often church folk will point fingers at those withdrawing. They don’t usually stop all at once, do they? They drop one activity, then a service or two. What do I hear people say? “We’re just taking a break.” I want to scream,”Give them a reason to stay!!!” A mission bigger than themselves, but one that fills as much as it takes… .
Ok, so my extreme failure/fall on my face, scrap the nose, and get a black eye (all mentally, of course):
God appears to be opening a door. It’s a big, heavy door, that I can’t push or pull by myself. I sought wise counsel. 1.5-2 hours of them telling me I should absolutely not and I did not deserve any help if I go through the door, with very few words from me. When they said their peace, they stopped and started asking me questions.
In less than an hour I was told to call that night and go through the door. Their plates were full, so they were offering no help, but they did think this was a great opportunity.
For a week that first 1.5-2 hours have haunted. I’m not “young enough,” “a man”,”don’t have enough time”, all of the things I cannot change. It has eaten at me like a cancer. The thing is, for this to work, a puzzle with many pieces are required–could be very expensive pieces.
In the last week, time and again, crazy pieces have shown up in odd places at either extremely low prices or for free.
Now it comes down to the assembly of the pieces. I am a woman. I am…as old as I am (an 80 yr old cleverly disguised as a 47 year old). I have to work full time. Can I do this? Is this for me to do? “Dad?”
The failure did not come when I accepted the door that He chose to give me, it came when I allowed myself to dwell on the cancer of doubt. The one that eroded the might of Heavenly Dad. The one that caused me to doubt His direction, in spite of the evidence of His provision time and again. The one destroying my faith, moment by moment by moment…and I allowed it. I own it. I knew the thoughts were destructive. I’m calling it what it is: it was sin. Heavenly Dad is very clear about my thoughts: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8)
It gets worse. I then texted my frustration to someone. Shame on me. I just pulled them into my sin. This was not for their eyes, it was for heavenly Dad’s ears. I failed.
I came home from work on “E” from all of my self hate. I took care of the fury kids then headed for the “warm room.” I didn’t eat supper. I didn’t turn on the lights. I sat in the dark dwelling on my aloness, trying to justify going to bed at 6:00 pm. Who would care? Who would know? It would just be another failure of not completing tasks that needed done (and I finally had time to do them). Add it to the list of failures.
Ever had that experience?
My week began going through my mind. The lady who reached out to Heartfelt (where I work) because her hubby of 37 years went home shortly before Christmas. Her email came to me because my heart is for the hurting. She responded today that she was so hurt and feeling hopeless but then she checked her email and found my response to her. She thanked me for caring and asked me for information on the “Grief Share” workbook I had mentioned (pointing her to the Healer).
My mind went to my daughter’s post. She witnessed this week as one of the kiddos on Sunday broke down and cried when I got down to his level and listened to his hurt.
In the dark the rubber hit the road. Do you smell it burning? Grief Share continues to resignate in who I am becoming. “Do the next right thing, do the next right thing…even when you don’t want to.”
I left the fury kids, patched drywall and hung a light. I returned to the warm room, popped on the light and listened to music because I needed to hear heavenly Dad’s voice. I needed reassurance that all of this is going to be ok. That, though I was so jealous of Archie’s current residence, my journey is not yet complete. My broken heart can be and is being used by Him and will eventually be healed.
He spoke, I listened.
Until next time, Blessings