I’m forty years old and just this year discovered who I really am. Looking back on my adolescent years I could see who my parents and teachers wanted me to be. As I look back into my teen years I saw who my peers wanted me to be. In my young adult years I saw who religious leaders wanted me to be. I honestly tried to work within the framework that each group wanted for my life. I wrestled with who I am as a wife and as a mom. I thrashed my way through trying to figure out who I am as a blogger. I battled my way through who the religious leaders claim God wanted me to be. Listening to the array of voices in the world is quite confusing.
I needed to know who I am, because of who I want to be.
I’m not sure why I danced a jig with this concept for so long. I have no idea why my journey had to be filled with so much confusion and uncertainty, but I know what I learned from it all. I learned compassion.
Although I figured out that God was working out a unique form of compassion in me, I still bantered back and forth between my voice and the other voices out there. Deep inside I knew what my fear was,
I saw how many times Christians would reject people once they saw who they really were. Rejection causes people to recoil into loneliness, depression, and fear.
Is this the affect we, as Christians, really want to have on the world?
Taunya shared this quote in a conversation we had on Twitter,
“ I feel uncomfortable, because I’m insecure about who I am.”
This quote is such a mind blowing truth that not many want to admit. We are such an insecure people and if we find our security in Christ then what have we to worry about?
Sometimes our actions, words, or even silence can convey a message that further damages an insecure soul. I wonder if we can practice saying this when we’re uncomfortable;
“I’m not sure how to respond to this, but I’ll meditate on it. In the meanwhile, you are a valuable person and God loves you. We’re all a work in progress.”
A response like this can alleviate our own insecurity and affirm the person we’re speaking to. It doesn’t mean we are agreeing with them. It simply expresses a willingness to think about it and extends love and grace at the same time.
I now know my spiritual purpose and am confident in God’s calling for my gifts. When I began walking through this journey, I lost a lot of friends. So I’m rebuilding my circle of support and would like to invite you in.
I believe that God gives us freedom to gather supportive people around us who can be a ‘Jesus with skin on’ Church to us. This kind of group is not intended to remove our already existing ‘in real life’ fellowship. This group is to create a safe space online where we can love each other even though we’re different.
Some might be hesitant to become a part of my support circle, because they may not feel secure enough to be inclusive to others in my midst. That’s ok. I’m not asking you to be. This isn’t about me telling you to be inclusive, it’s about ME being inclusive.
I include you.
With this inclusive love, I want to begin sharing how we live our lives with an inclusive heart. I want to share our personal family boundaries and yet love others who have drawn different lines. You might wonder how I interact with pagans, those in the GLBT community, or even with Christians from different denominations. The short answer is;
But what that kind of grace looks like could be different depending on the situation.
If you have questions about how to respond to certain things with grace while remaining steadfast in your own unique view, leave a comment below or contact me via my Facebook page. Let me know if you want to remain anonymous. I’ll be approaching some tough topics from parenting, to marriage, to society at large.
Last year the Christian community had quite a few chaotic storms and I have no doubt there will be more. How we respond to those storms says a lot to the world about the God we believe in. May we look forward to more years of growing in wisdom and in stature, as well as in knowledge and understanding.
You’re invited into my circle, my ‘church’….. I include you.
How can we help lift one another UP?