After sitting with the questions of my identity and purpose for a while, with pretty sudden and perfect clarity I found answers: I am a barbarian.
I think that there is something very TRUE about our faith being lived out in our actions. It is RIGHT that we associate our good works with pleasing our God. Those are very sacred, holy things. What isn’t so holy is when my perspective isn’t just a vertical glance, but a horizontal one as well. It’s when I start looking at what others are offering Jesus and feel either defeated or superior that things get a little crooked.
The way of the cross might be a pathway to the joy of being aligned with the One who will eventually make all things right, but it is also the path of a Savior who is chose to empathize with our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). To erase these very real parts of Christ’s identity is to rewrite who he actually was. To act like we are to do anything other than to emulate him is to place ourselves above him.
My heart, brimming with love as I despise everyone around me
Come into this Church that I hate and meet the groom of the hideous, breath-taking bride
Drowning in grace while suffocating in my sin. Clinging to faith, and searching for peace
Confident of my rights to lay them down… I am so right about being wrong
While I understand the language of “it’s a season,” I think it can actually be damaging. I know too many women who lived in “it’s a season” for so long that they lost their ability to follow their passions, pursue their callings, and invest in what God had for them outside of their families. That is tragic.
Yes, after we walk through the fire with God, after we experience a season in the darkness and loneliness of the desert, God eventually reveals Himself again. But no, we will never again encounter the God that we knew before we entered the wilderness because the whole point of the desert experience is to burn away the idol that we made Him into and reveal this wild, unsafe, uncontrollable, awesome God who actually IS. And there is grief in that death that is very, very real.
Do you know that the Maker well knows that all you have to offer Him is sand falling through open fingers, yet He laughs with delight and receives it with pleasure? Do you know that the longings in your heart He put there Himself for the very purpose of fulfilling them to show His great love and mercy toward His beloved?
As I’ve begun sharing what it is that God has placed on my heart with other believers, most of the reaction I’ve received is neutral, “Oh, that’s nice. I’m glad someone is doing something about that.” Some reaction has been sadly negative, “I could never do that.” or worse, “I wouldn’t want to endanger my reputation by being involved with that kind of ministry.” I’ve waffled between joyful hope that God would use me to make a difference in a dirty reality and frustration over the feelings of isolation my pursuit has brought me to.
“Sometimes, when we stare at pain day after day, we become numb to it. It hurts too much to care, so we stop caring.” I didn’t know how prophetic those words would be in my life.
It wasn’t that I wanted to be famous, but it was deeply ingrained in me from childhood to shoot for excellence. Nothing less than the best was worth doing, and all the better if people could see you doing it. I was so scared to not be a valuable asset to God, and at that time, I was pretty sure He needed my help.