Confession... Sometimes I am afraid of my faith or rather, afraid to speak it out loud. But guess what... I am changing... I am not going to be afraid anymore.
Why have I been afraid? Because I am turning into a minority, or rather, my faith turns me into a minority.
If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels. Luke 9:26
I may lose readers because of this post, gosh I hope not... Something is calling me out. Has been calling me these last two weeks, until it was hanging on my hotel room wall.
I am seeking more...
When I say, "I believe life is sacred." it is assumed that I believe women have no choice. When I say, "I believe marriage is between a man and a woman.", it's believed I think
the opposite has no right to happiness or love.
I become a bigot.
big·ot noun \ˈbi-gət\ : a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)
Look at the words in parenthesis, (such as a racial or religious group) racial and religious in the same sentence...
I suppose I am.
I am sold out for the creator of all things and I NEED to stop allowing myself to be silenced. I NEED to because every single time I am the silence carves out tiny pieces of me. I feel shame when I am not true to myself or the love of my father.
When am I silenced? I am silenced when I say the following sentence...
I am a Christian. I believe marriage is between one man and one woman. I believe life is sacred.
Did I once say I hate? Did I once say you are wrong or that I refuse to accept?
The opposite has a platform and it is loud, while my platform quietly shrinks into conversation with the like minded.
You aren't supposed to talk about religion or politics. I am going to break that
rule right now.
I have friends who are in different relationships than mine; those that are against Biblical standards and while I believe what the Bible teaches as sin I
am also not called out to judge.
Rather, I was made to love... made to love all people... to pray for them, to reevaluate and change my heart towards all things...
I am engaged in real relationships and I follow my friends in life and on Facebook. I love to see happiness in pictures, on vacation and for celebrations... when you hurt, I also hurt.
Because I love I choose to see the beauty in all things.
My choice to be a Christian means that I follow what is written, it doesn't mean I will always understand it. Sin is a sin is a sin... Mine or yours and
believe me I have a lot in me... The bible says that too... Romans 3:23 ~ All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
As a Christian I must strive everyday to dig a little deeper and understand the written word more.
Life - I believe life is sacred. I get to believe that... I get to because I am a woman who had a choice. My husband and I wanted kids... With our very breath we prayed for, cried over, fought over the choices to create life. Year after year for ten years... We tried to create this life that others throw away...
There are choices in that to. I believe that life is created when cells come together (man and woman's) to divide and create... Create a heart, a
spine, a brain, fingers and toes, eyes, ears and arms and legs... Organs
that distinguish gender. Life begins... Life also ends with I am sorry,
there is no heart beat, no life. Your baby died at 8 weeks 6 days.
I am also going to let you in on a secret... one that few know because it's detestable. My children's birth story is hard, it's wasn't this magical time for me. I was drugged for nearly 24 hours (or more) after they were born because my blood pressure was so high. I couldn't hold them or visit them until those drugs were out of my system. My kids were also fighting every day to maintain body temperature, learn how to eat... needing oxygen... tubes and masks over their eyes. I couldn't hold my son for about a week because touch was painful. Then bringing one home and leaving the other... Sleepless nights and lots of worry. I am sure I had some postpartum... One day during the drive home. Pulling into my driveway... thinking about all we were in the midst of... I thought to myself -- What have I done to my our life. It was too hard and I messed up this quiet life of just my husband and me.
After several months at home... my body back to normal... our life just back to normal... Enjoying our blessings and their daily growth... finding the magic of having children to nurture and raise. I discovered I had missed a monthly visitor and fear sunk in just as it was getting better. Luckily I didn't need to think about a choice. I am sure I would have made the right one, one I could live with... but sometimes your mind goes there. My back story contains the reason for my belief.
The church, my church... and all the beautiful brothers and sisters in the faith that attend there. Those who have been there since it's inception... raised families and held funeral services... I love my church.
I attend a Baptist Church... The worship brings me closer to God, the sermons make me dig deep to embed God into my heart. I believe I am called to reach all people with the loving grace that is Christ on the cross... That he died and rose again to save us from our sins...
You hear Baptist Church and you stop listening. How do I know this... For lots of reasons... We are the ones that don't drink. The ones that don't gamble. We have these rules to follow, when in reality, the decision to change is one we all make individually. My reality says, "I once was this way... and now because I am loved more than God's own love for his son and by his grace alone - not works I can do - I AM SAVED.
Again with my back story, I choose not to drink (a lot) because my father is a recovering alcoholic. I have seen what it does. Does that mean I never do? Nope, I love a girls night out for a drink and some conversation. Do I gamble... Yes... But only a few games with $20 and that's it.
Why else do you stop listening when I tell you I attend a Baptist Church... Because there is a Westboro Baptist church that protested the funeral of a little girl killed by a madman at a political event... The same church that embodies the racial and bigoted hate talked about above when they protest a funeral of a veteran who died serving so that they would have a right create their awful posters of hate and intolerance.
In speaking, just this past week with a friend... A fellow Christian... She
negatively referred to the Baptist church as one of "those churches". We had a good conversation regarding that... I hope she heard me.
Even among those who I call friends, those who are among our faith, call my husband and I out as keeping our children in the "Christian Bubble" if you will. Attacks and judgment from all sides.
This life, simply put, is what is right for me and my family.
Last week I also did something crazy... I invited some friends to church. These friends are all amazing women, they have strong faith respectively and all different from mine. I learn something new from them every single day! We were out of town and I knew of this church that I have always wanted to go to. So I invited one then two... They first two were easy, the third person, I know - however not well... We asked her if she'd like to join us and with a laugh and disbelief she agreed to come.
I momentarily felt stupid and so out of my comfort zone. Not ashamed but more so that maybe we really could be doing something better than sitting at church in this great city we hardly travel to.
Did I just say that? Yes... Because church attendance is so unpopular, so not the fun thing to do... So... When I actually had that thought...
Couldn't we be doing something better...
My heart hurt for myself for falling into the trappings of this world. My soul needed God's word. My being needed the worship songs to wash over me and envelop my sin. The sin of shame and the stress of the week... I needed to say sorry again for the sin I work on, the one that God knows. To just be right for one moment.
I am a Christian not because God needs me... But because I need him. I need his forgiveness, love and grace. I need his words to guide my feet and work in me to be better and more loving. To extend that same love and grace to all people, not because I am better than but because I am the same