Once I was comfortable.
I knew where I fit.
I knew what to do.
I knew who I was-I was a pastor's wife. I was a deacon's daughter. I was a BJU graduate. I was a good girl.
But my husband heard God calling us to reach out, to step out beyond our walls to go into the community, to show God's love in tangible ways. And when we did, our world shattered.
Friends forsook us, nearly all without even saying goodbye. Long-time members withdrew from the church, leaving us facing serious financial difficulties. Our parents criticized us. My husband's seminary disapproved. A local pastor preached against what we were doing and said we were preaching "another gospel."
My reputation? My connections? My social life? My church? My self-image? Broken.
And as I wept and grieved for what I'd lost, I began to see how I'd filled my life with idols - idols of comfort, of seeking the approval of others, of self-righteousness. I'd thought I was trusting God, but when the dark times came, I was filled with fear and regret .
I wanted to be confident, admired, and respected. God wants me humble and broken. I wanted to be well-known and appreciated. God wants me to be content with being forgotten and unknown. I was shocked to realize the contrast between what I thought I was (a Godly woman) and what I was being revealed as a shallow, selfish, dissatisfied person who could talk easily of following Christ but found the reality of it difficult indeed.
Someday I want to rejoice in my freedom in Christ. Someday I want to dance and sing knowing that I am accepted and beloved as I am, that I no longer have to keep long lists of rules and expectations in order to be accepted by God.
But for now, I'm hurting and lonely and overwhelmed. I'm torn between my desire to follow my Shepherd outside the camp and into the world and my tendency to run back into the gentle, sheltered safety of the life I knew, where I could bask in the approval of other Christians and where I could keep so busy with church activities that I'd never have to come in contact with the complicated neediness of real people.
My self-sufficient image of good girl has been revealed to not be good enough. In the end, what matters is that I am found in Christ. "Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God" (2 Cor. 3:5).
Today's powerful testimony was sent in by "Shattered".
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