And so i'm going to continue to bare my heart in an honest way, knowing that it will be most likely be offensive to some.
And for that I apologize.
That said, this has got to be one of the hardest posts I've ever had to write.
Let me start kind of from the beginning.....
Dave and I grew up, met each other, got married, and have raised our children in the Apostolic Christian Church.
We have loved this church and the people in it. We never ever dreamed we would ever worship anywhere but this church.
But about a year and a half ago we started to feel the stirrings of change. Of a call on us to reach out farther than we have been reaching. To search out our beliefs and study the Word and to question for the first time the beliefs that had always been a part of us.
And throughout our adoption journey we felt God teaching us that life is just not about our comfort. And that following Him sometimes means putting at risk the dream of a perfect, safe, and sensible life.
We listened as people told us every adoption horror story that they had ever heard of, the whole time knowing there was just NO WAY TO SAY NO and to still be following what God was telling us to do. He paved the way. He changed our hearts. This was HIS WORK and He was asking us to join Him in it. He opened our eyes to how short life is and how little time we have to make a difference on earth.
And each time that we struggle (adoption has been the most difficult but amazing experience) we remind ourselves of what God told us, and that our comfort is NOTHING compared to following Him and forever changing the life of a child....
And then God started leading us from our church.
And His call kept getting stronger.
And finally we came to terms with the fact that God was just asking us to GO. And that when He said He wanted ALL of us, He meant all.
Yet we held on all this time because remaining comfortable was so much easier than dealing with the hurt and insecurity that leaving the church would bring.
We held on because we didn’t love our church any less.
We knew God could move mountains and we hoped He would change what needed to be changed in order for us to remain where we felt it was safe and easy for us and our children.
But once our eyes were opened and our hearts were changed, we just couldn’t pretend to be the same as we were before.....
And that’s when He reminded us that the church is HIM. That HE will make our paths straight. That HE is our safety net. And HE alone is to be worshipped- not the church and not our kids' safety. That HE will provide for all of our needs. That HE is the beginning and the end. That HIS WORD will always make sense, even if others think we are crazy. That HE will ALWAYS be faithful. That HIS LOVE will always be unconditional. That HE will never leave us or forsake us and HE will give us our heart’s desires. He will make all things new, and He will make all things beautiful in His time....
We remembered all the lessons He taught us through adoption, and we stepped out.
And it has been so HARD.
I have always been a bit sensitive to the spiritual warfare going on around us, and let me tell you I am FEELING IT. There is a battle waging.
But we are on our knees. And holding on to our HOPE. And remembering to not doubt in the darkness what God has told us in the light.
With all of that said, we are being drawn to a little church on the south side of town where we are in the minority.
The church has about 50 members, and there are about 30-40 people on any given Sunday.
There is no Sunday School and the service is about 3 hours long.
3 hours of soaking in the Word and the presence of our Savior in a much different way than what we are used to.
And we have been told by those very near and dear that our kids need to come first, and that maybe this isn't the best option for us for raising our kids....
And it would appear that way. Even to us. Unless this is where God is calling us to be. In that case, there would be NO BETTER PLACE for us to raise our kids.
And most importantly they will be hearing the Word preached by an amazing man of God who is a very Biblically sound preacher and a very, very beautiful worship leader.
We are more aware than ever that there are LaKishas all over this town. People who can benefit HUGELY from just a little effort on our part. We are hearing the call to bridge the gap, and to be His hands and feet. To not keep apart from the need or to be afraid of it, but to be immersed in it. To not sit in ivory towers while others go without the basic human needs. To not hoard our salvation and spend all our energy on perfecting it, but to share it.
Please pray for us!! Pray that we will hear God's voice above all others. That we will listen and obey. And that we will better serve Him and bring Him glory every day for as long as we are here on earth.
6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. 13 "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; 14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Isaiah 58: 6-14
"Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
but he who is generous to the needy honors him."
"Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
will himself call out and not be answered."
"Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse."
"She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy."
I love love love all of you and there are some of you that I miss so desperately already!I will always pray for you!! For the church I grew up in- full of some of the most beautiful, amazing people I know. People with hearts that serve and love. People who have shown Jesus to me Sunday after Sunday.Thank you....we ALL thank you....Please come see me anytime- I'm always here! And our home is always open!!......it's not always clean, but it is always open! :)