Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"All In"

I know, I know...I haven't blogged since October. Oops! :) But, to be completely honest, I just wasn't feeling like writing so I skipped it. I was in a spiritually dry place for a few months but now I've found a refreshing little oasis and it was with me all along, although I didn't acknowledge it. Or, should I say, Him? Yeah, definitely Him. I have been a Christian for many years, saved by grace. At first I was excited, really on fire for the Lord, a Jesus Freak, crazy about my new relationship with Christ, eager to share the amazing truth with anyone and everyone who came across my path. Then my fire dwindled down to barely a flicker, not because I no longer loved God, but because I was drained of all desire to share my faith. I'm sure I was quite obnoxious to quite a few people following my conversion, but my heart was in right place, even if my words and actions were clumsy. Then, after many years of obstacles comparable to mentally bashing your head against a brick wall, I simply gave up. I couldn't take the rejection, the strange looks I'd get when I'd try to share Christ with someone, especially people who had known me during my high school and college days, when I was....ummmm...well, let's just say I was involved in some very self-destructive behavior and leave it at that. What kind of joke was this, they'd ask me...you, a Christian? I guess I can't blame them, since my antics at that time were questionable. So, like a balloon with a slooooooow leak, I deflated. I wasn't willing to risk anything anymore and I became backslidden for a few years, until my oldest son (who is now 17) was 4 years old. Then my husband & I were back in the God business, even moving 90 miles away from home for my husband to get his Bible degree. Oh, we were "all in"....couldn't wait to move onto campus, having prayer meetings in the school chapel, hosting Bible studies in our shoebox sized apartment (with 3 kids at the time) and singing Kumbiyah with our Christian neighbors...Then we woke up and faced reality. Because of my perception of the events going on in my life, I felt misplaced and abandoned. Once my husband graduated from Bible college and we got our first full time church, I took a deep breath and plunged in again. Surely this was what God had in store for us, right? I was "all in" again, ready to make a difference, ready for someone to notice what an incredibly holy pastor's wife I was (yes, I'm being sarcastic here). Then my pride took a big hit when my husband had to give up his position. So much for a life in ministry. What were we going to do now? After all, it wasn't just my husband who was serving our church, I was too. I had my own position as a teacher, among other things. When his ministry ended, mine did too. Not only did he lose his identity as a pastor, I lost mine as a pastor's wife, and the perks that went with it. I had been a pastor's wife for 8 years. Now who was I going to be? Fast forward a couple of years....we are now serving as "civilians" at another church with a new church family who has been completely lovely to us. My husband and I serve together as a team once more with the high school kids. And I LOVE it! God has shown me that my true identity is not wrapped in what position I or my husband have in any church , nor is it in being a mother, wife, teacher, homeschooling homemaker, or any of my other roles here on this earth. My identity comes from who I am in my Lord, doing what is His will for my life, not my own. Sometimes it's really cool & He allows me to do something that I actually want  to do. Sometimes He asks me to do something that absolutely terrifies me and I have choose to either be obedient and get out of my comfort zone, or disobey and miss out on blessings and opportunities that would've been gained had I simply done what was asked of me. I'm still struggling a bit, but now I can say, truthfully, that I'm FINALLY ready to say, "Yes, Lord, I am ready to do whatever it is You want me to do." Don't get me wrong, I'm quaking in my boots as I'm whispering the words, but it's a step in the right direction. Can you be "all in" and still deal with fear and doubt? I'm not sure but it'll be interesting to find out.