Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cutting down the rumor weed

It has come to my attention twice now in less than a week that there has been some talk and assumption about the circumstances surrounding my move to Texas. I decided today would be a good day to clear them up because, quite frankly, I'm more than a little irritated. For most people this would be the worst time to say anything but for me, if I don't say something now I never will and I'm kind of tired of letting people get away with stupid stuff. Let's begin, shall we?

  • I am not abandoning Heather. We've talked a lot about it and she feels, as I do, that this is a good change for both of us. But change sucks, especially when it's big change. We're still friends, she will always be my best friend and my sister, and it is going to be hard to leave her behind. But we're fine. Thanks for asking.

  • I am not, nor was I ever, going to move to Texas "for a boy." This is the one that is bothering me the most. Not the assumption itself but that the assumption was made and never validated. I have had a few people come to me in love, to express their concerns and to have a conversation with me about why I was moving but I have had people also just assume they know why, talk about it with others, and never come to me to see if there was any truth to the matter.

You guys, aren't we out of high school? I'm actually really hurt that some of the people in my life would make this assumption or take hearsay as truth without even talking to me about it. Ben and I, if anyone on Facebook has been paying attention, are no longer in a relationship and I'm still moving down there. For many different reasons, all of which I would have been and still am willing to share if anyone would have asked.

As someone who has had some pretty terrible things said about them behind their back before, all I really have to say is at some point, you're either going to have to grow up or risk hurting a lot of people. And the next time anyone has questions about my motivation behind anything I'd appreciate you coming to me directly instead of talking about it behind my back.

Monday, August 5, 2013

In the world versus Of the world

Several years ago I got my best friend a hoodie from The Bible Bookstore in Concord. The front read "In the world, not of it!" in bold, proud letters. It was a favorite credo of Heather's which made it kind of a no-brainer gift. At the time I was still very young in my return to faith and I understood the saying on a surface level. At the time that was really all that mattered. I got it. Be in the world, not of it. Love Jesus, love the world but don't follow in the world's footsteps. Got it. Cool. Moving on.

I think it's pretty safe to say I've been young in my faith for quite awhile, longer than I should have been content with. I went to church on Sunday, was on the worship team, went to group, loved my neighbor at arm's length, respected my parents to their faces, said my "thank you" and "please provide me with" prayers when I remembered to. And that was okay with me for many years. I'd say eight years if I had to wager. On the outside I looked like a good Christian girl and had a lot of people fooled. I think I had myself fooled, too.

I believe we all go through stages and phases of metamorphosis and that there are times when God is shaping us, and times that he lets us rest to get used to our growth spurt changes. Joining One Voice, being at Calvary was a phase of my growth. God used that family to help me become something more than a scared little girl hiding in her apartment. I was loved, I was cared for, and I was not allowed to slip under the radar. With them I had accountability and people asking me how I was doing and how they could pray for me. One Voice and CBC changed my life, as did the River church and that family when I was attending there. But circumstances, ever-changing as they are, prevented me from attending CBC anymore and that eventually led me to CenterPoint.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I really felt myself begin to change and grow again. I was part of a small group that, for the first time in my life, I did not dread going to. I felt comfortable at group and looked forward to it each week. Though what we discussed was not light or casual by any means I felt like I was spending the evening with sisters. Again, God used those who had taken me into their family to stretch me. Their love, their concern, and their prying (yes, there was prying and it was necessary! As Toby Mac says, "Real friends are willing to intrude.") opened my heart in ways it had never been opened before. I suddenly had a deep and true thirst for Christ, for what he shared with us in his stories and teachings of the Bible, for what he had to say to me through others. Since January there has been a daily growth process in me. I feel it in my quiet time (something I can't even begin my day without anymore or everything feels thrown off), in the way I pray and they way I feel about myself and others.

I had to pause because one of my favorite songs came on iTunes. You wouldn't have known that unless I told you, but it adds to my segue into the whole reason behind this blog update. The song, "1,000 Years" by Christina Perry, is definitely a secular song. It was inspired by and written for Bella and Edward. Yes, from "Twilight." And yes, it is one of my favorite songs. I regret nothing. It's pretty, and it speaks of love than transcends. Don't worry, I'm not going to compare it to God's transcending love because it just won't work with these lyrics. My point is that, though I have grown and feel closer to Christ than I ever have before, that I long to be constantly in his presence there is still a world out there that knows very little about him. They think they know it all but they really don't.

I have friends who love Jesus so much that they will take everything that is not of or blatantly about God out of their lives. They only listen to Christian music, they only go to Christian events, and they only have Christian friends. Anything that is not sanctioned by the church or a devout spiritual leader of some kind is not something they want to spend their time on. They seem to have forgotten the whole "In the world, not of it" aspect of Christianity. How are we supposed to spread the love of Christ if we simply stick to our own kind? That whole "preaching to the choir" thing? Yeah, it's exactly that. People in your same-faith circle don't need to hear what you believe and know because they're in the exact same place you are. It's the people of the world that need to see your shining light. You need to IN the world!

Conversely I have "Christian" friends who are so far IN the world they could be considered undercover agents, but that's another blog entry. Actually, I think I went there before. This is just the other side of the coin I guess.

By now everyone knows I'm moving to Texas and I feel like God is putting me there for a very specific reason. He's shown me that certain events in my life have and are leading up to what He's got planned for me in this next stage of life and I have never been so excited! But I have to be in the world. I have to remember that my purpose, the reason I am on this earth above all other reasons, is to share the love of Christ with people who have not yet experienced it for themselves. I may be the one who plants the seed, I may be the one to water it, or I may be the one who is blessed with being able to see it bloom, but I HAVE to be in the world. We all do, or we're missing so many amazing opportunities God has for us.

It's a tricky thing to find a balance between in and of, but it can be done. I'm certainly not saying I have that balance myself. One of my favorite shows right now is "Nashville" so that says a lot right there. >_> It's the music I really love, Country, which says a whole lot more! Kidding. There's nothing wrong with Country music. Well there is, but it's the same thing that's wrong with every genre of music.

Anyway, my rambling, non-sensical thoughts for the day. Someday I'll be organized enough in these posts that they'll actually flow the way they should and come to a natural conclusion.

Today is not that day.

Be in the world, fellow Christians. Otherwise you're slacking on the job.

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