I love my church so much. And by that of course, I mean the people in my church. First, I hire a nanny from the local Assemblies of God collage. She turns out to be the most amazing nanny I could have wished for. She is the perfect godly, caring, patient, funny woman to have in the lives of my children. Then it turns out her whole family is amazing and loving. They pray with me, and even helped me with childcare when I desperately needed some nights out. Next I find the pastor is crazy-in-love with God, AND is intellectually challenging. I've read his Ph.D. homework and found so much cool, thought provoking stuff. "Church History in Pneumatological Perspective" and stuff like that. I quoted a particularly obfuscated and sesquipedalian portion of his writing to him and he got a huge kick out of it. Later I would bump into a super gregarious girl who quickly befriended me, ended up bumping too close to me, prayed with me about it, and retreated out of my life like a ninja with a smoke pellet. Well, she didn't completely vanish… just got as far away as God told her too. I have so much respect for her because of that.
Beyond being a meeting place for Christians,
In the last post I mentioned the home group I'm in, discussing Hope, and how that sparked some much needed introspection. But as you can see from the end, I haven't found much resolution. But I'm pretty used to that by now. But then at church this morning, my friend gives me this note she wrote about what God told her about hope. This strikes me as really cool. I've been a lone wolf for so long… Wait, that's a little too cool sounding for me. Let's go with 'lone aardvark'. OK, so I've been a lone aardvark for so long, that sort of interaction just surprised me. It shouldn't. We were talking about it just last night. But I guess when I think about 'hearing from God', I don't think about the other believers in my body and the role they can play in the process. Or maybe I've just constrained it to such an official capacity that this sort of low-level, natural communication is unexpected. By that I mean that in situations where I think there is some important thing that needs some wise feedback, I go to my elders. Like with the letter I wrote to my ex about the possibility of reuniting. I know I'm not close enough to God, or mature enough spiritually to just fire of a letter of that magnitude, with that level of potential ramifications to my life and the lives of my children. I needed help sorting out my feelings from what God wants to communicate to her through me.
But when it comes to 'little' things, like feeling hopeless, I don't feel like I should trouble the elders and take their time on something I can barely define myself. And what do you know? It turns out there is a natural mechanism within the body to deal with these kinds of issues as well.
4 For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…
I fully recognize that I am lacking in many departments. So it's really neat to have another 'body part' come along and pick up the slack for me. If I'm a brain, (Not that I'm so smart… I'm just oriented in more of a parsing-and-dissecting way.) than she is a heart. And when a brain and a heart study Hope, they are going to come up with different pictures of it. She sees the danger inherent in losing your dreams. Whereas I am killing them with so much analyzing and dissecting. I tend to have this mechanistic approach to living for God. I want to find what is right, and do it. Find the next thing that is right, and do it. But my gears are seizing, because my spirit is telling me to move forward, but my mind is holding me back. It wants to figure it all out first. Double-check and cross-check all the facts. I don't think this is a bad thing: The Proverbs are full of exhortations to seek wisdom and understanding. But I'm thinking those aren't found when you are sitting still. Maybe I need to put my heart out there, full of its imperfect hopes and desires. Let it run, get crushed, learn from it, and let it loose again. She said, "Don't worry about dreaming the wrong thing – He will make your paths straight."
It's hard not to worry when I have two little lives I need to protect. I don't want my imperfect dreams to hurt them. Back to fear I guess. One thing I know with a capitol K is that I'm not called to a life of fear.
But I'm thinking that I can count on the 'hearts' in my body to keep encouraging and inspiring me to find a balanced approach to faith, hope and love.
(This one goes out to Heather. Thanks, girl!)