The really cool thing about re-reading this post is seeing how much growth there has been at 4Corners and how I'm not sitting at home alone all the time anymore. I love re-reading these and seeing how God has moved!
I was sitting in church this morning, well, let me back up a little.
The Thursday before last our church was told that Sunday June 3rd would be our last day meeting at the high school where we had been meeting for about a year (holy run on sentence batman!). Our leaders had about 2 days to find another place to meet. We found a local church that had an extra building they used occasionally. They said we could use it, rent it from them.
The building needed a lot of repair work, bathrooms and most of the building gutted, carpets ripped up, new paint job, new carpet put in, landscaping, and fencing around the playground. In 6 days.
Over one hundred people volunteered, over 1500 man hours put into the building, heck, I even did some yard work and THAT is a miracle!. The point being, God has been moving in amazing ways all this past week. Tons of people have been working 12+ hour days, a lot of it manual labor in the heat, and spending a lot of time working together, and we're all still here.
The thing that I love about my church (among about 1200 other things) is that they are constantly talking about how church is not a building. The church that God has commanded us to build is not about the newest building with the biggest *insert gadget name here*. The church is about telling people the good news, that God came to earth in the form of a man named Christ. He walked this Earth and struggled with sin and temptation. He had free will just as any of us do now. Jesus had opportunities to walk away from the cross, but he chose to go forward, knowing what would happen, because he desperately loves all of us so much that he went to the cross and died for us. They know that church is not about baptist or methodist, it's not about black or white, skinny or fat, rich or poor, the church is about opening your arms and life to people and loving them. Showing people in practical ways the love of God, through our love for other people. But I digress.
They showed a video today, about a chain of friends, each who invited the others to church, each who observed the changes that were taking place in their friends once they started pursuing God, notice, I did not say once they accepted Christ and were saved. Alright let me come back to that because I have a tangent brewing....Ben (lead pastor) talked about seekers, how important it was to be able to seek God, to question things, in an environment that wasn't going to gasp because you have a question. He talked about how so often people will share everything about themselves. They will talk about their sex lives, their finances, they will share every single thing with a person except their relationship with Christ. Because, if you're anything like me, you've had people "witness" to you by pointing out everything that's bad about you. I've had "Christians" tell me (before I was saved, and honestly a bit after too) that if I *insert behavior, thought, etc. here* I would surely burn in hell. Well, inviting that is not. I'm certainly not endorsing a buddy Jesus philosophy that says hey it's alright to do whatever you what whenever you want because God loves you. But the point is, it's ok if you make mistakes, it's ok if you're not perfect. Lord knows it's ok because I would have been kicked out of church before I even tried to get in. Why can't people witness with their lives, with their behavior and the way they show love to other people? Keep in mind I'm number one in the line of "people who screw that up". Tangent over, I must refocus or this will last forever!
Back to this video. They all talked about coming to church, not all of them started at 4Corners (my church). They talked about this love and acceptance, this friendliness that happened and made them feel welcome. One of the couples said they found themselves "captured" by what was happening. They were captured by whatever it was that was moving through the church. It got me thinking, what captures me?
WHAT captures my time, my attention, my love? What incites my passion, makes me get up in the morning? What is it exactly that I can't stop talking about? It was this for a long time, then it seems that I got a little afraid. I think that sometimes I was afraid of the "freak factor", and I know that most of you know what I'm talking about. You know the "Jesus Freak" factor, that I'm going to start kung fu baptisms or something by sneaking up on you like a ninja and dunking you in the name of the Lord. I know that I was also distracted. My attention was elsewhere, and like I was caught is some kind of rip tide I saw the shore drifting farther and farther away from where I was. I'm swimming back now, I feel this passion bubbling inside of me, and I'm trying to figure out what it was that caused me to dive headfirst into that riptide, so that hopefully, if it tries to ensnare me again, I can stay focused on my God.
WHO captures my attention, my love and passion? It is JUST me after all. Even when Gertrude arrives at the end of the month I will still have no boyfriend, no husband and no kids. I get why people with those things don't have time, energy, etc., to always focus outside of their home. You know of late I've been purging my house. While I've been doing that physically I've also been trying to do that emotionally as well. I feel as if I've been waiting around for some guy so that my life can start. I mean, I never really thought that I was doing that, but it turns out I was! Stupid ninja emotions! The thing is, what if he never shows up? What if he shows up, but it's when I'm in my 60s. What should I do until then? If I sit on my sofa waiting for my life to start it will never start. So searching for my life I go. Small aside again, sheesh this should be like 3 blogs or something!. My friend Melissa wrote something on the DMF the other day, we were talking about how some of us were waiting for this "moment" you know this huge AH HA moment when we KNEW God was pushing in a certain direction. Melissa talked about how these stories we have about people God pushed in a big AH HA moment, how it was their obedience, their faith, their daily praying, reading scriptures, their daily being with God and going about their Father's business that allowed them to be in the proper place for these moments to happen. I think that was great and I have so gone back to that idea again and again in the week since she posted that.
Do you know what I realized? I realized that sitting at home on my computer and watching mindless dribble on TV is not what I want to do. I want to be connected to people, both people that I cherish and who build me up, but I also want to be connected to people that no one else wants to connect with. I want to hold hands and hug people that are considered less, and therefore unworthy of anything. The question is how do I do that? I don't know the answer yet, but I will. I feel so pumped about this. The other thing is that I'm not really just holding on to this in my head. I'm talking about it, not just on here. I went to lunch with a friend who I trust and whose opinion I truly value. I layed out a few options that were going through my mind and just asked him for his opinion, advice, basically to be my sounding board. I talked a bit to my other friend about how to go about doing what it is that I decided to do after my lunch with the other friend. She had some great ideas and advice, she also pointed me in the direction of someone that would be able to better guide me through the coming journey.
This thing that's bubbling up inside of me has come back to me time and time again in the last 3 years, and it's completely petrifying. But you know what's worse? Being alone and lonely, sitting at my house, waiting for my life to start.
So what captures you? What bubbles inside of you (besides gas) that you are almost afraid to speak out loud for fear that it will come true? Who besides yourself (and kids et al) are you passionate about? What is important to you that you don't share for fear of being a freak?
Are you captured at all? Are you just moving through life disconnected from feeling anything because to feel is to risk and the risk is not worth it?
I am captured by this passion, I'm completely terrified that if I pursue it I'll fall down a bunny hole and nothing will ever come of it, I'm completely nervous that I'll be labeled a freak, that I'll have to risk putting my foot down on my time so that I can give it to people who no one gives time to, I'm pretty much just scared. But it's ok to be scared.
Ok, anyone still with me?
oh crap, sorry it was so long