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The toughest choices

April 16, 2008
Trusting God Have you ever been in a place to make tough decisions that impact others? I expect you have…probably all of us have.

For the past two months I have been walking through something that falls in that category. Last summer I began praying about and seeking God about what my life would look like if I lived out “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”. It has taken a few months, and a lot of questions, seeking, and struggle to realize that my life would need to change dramatically. Then God started leading me to other scriptures such as James 1:22 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” At first I thought, I do that, I am not actively living in sin and going against God’s word. Lovingly God showed me that I was denying my own sin and it was even more destructive because I have been choosing to believe only certain parts of his word and live as if I am lukewarm.

On Monday I sent the hardest message I have ever communicated. I told my pastor that God has been working in my life, changing things, and because of a combination of issues at our church and the new call on my life I have to walk away from my church. My decision has huge impacts on others in my church community, on my pastor, and on the future of the church as I am actively involved in a couple ministries and a faithful giver to the church. Due to conflict and pain at my church right now there will be questions asked that I don’t know how to answer yet, but I know I need to be faithful to following God in ways I can not do as a part of that community. I do not want to hurt anyone and despite experiencing deep conflict and pain at that church I still care about the people immensely.

However, that is not the hardest part of what I communicated. Sending that message is the first big step in changing my life. I am stepping out in faith and pledging that I want to live a life that is different. I want to live a life where I am authentic about my faith. I want others to see, hear, and know that God is the most important thing in my life. I want to see others come to know Christ. I don’t want to live in Christianity’s Witness Protection Program (as Floating Axhead described this week). I am asking some of the hardest questions of my life. A few weeks ago I pledged to God that I am willing to do whatever it takes. Two days later I posted at Floating Axhead that “I just don’t think I can sit along the sidelines any longer and feel good about it. I’m not sure what I can do yet, but I need to get off of the sidelines and into the game. I know it is going to cost me but I think I am finally ready to pay that price.”

So, here I am five weeks later taking steps toward that. I am not completely sure what is coming next, but I am willing to leave family, friends, home, job, etc. to pursue it. It is pretty likely that I will be packing and moving, maybe leaving the area I have lived in for the last two decades, and doing something entirely new. I never knew we could feel such a broad range and depth of emotions at the same time. This is incredibly exciting yet also scarier than any place I have ever been in my life. I have a brand new understanding of exactly what “surrender” can mean! May I have the wisdom to see and hear God clearly.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    April 16, 2008 11:20 am

    I don’t know how much of my blog you have read, but several years ago, we attended a GREAT church. We thought we would be there forever. Our thought patterns were “traditional”, we thought you aren’t suppose to leave your church. My husband attended the same Methodist church his mother had attended growing up (and so on). About two weeks after we had this discussion, we had the urge to leave our church. It was TOTALLY foreign to us. We didn’t understand it at all. We just felt like we had hit a ceiling, like we weren’t ‘growing’ any longer, but remember, we weren’t “suppose” to leave your church. We thought you had to be mad at a church to leave. So we tried that route, but couldn’t find a ‘good reason’ to get mad. After a whole lot of tribulation over this (I could be more specific in a private email) we found another church. Another church that had MORE….of the Word. Our eyes were opened to the baptism of the Holy Spirit (2nd baptism – I’m treading on controversial ground now). I can’t explain it anymore than this – we made the step of obedience (leaving the church) and received more “meat”, hence launching us into another realm of Faith. The veil had been removed and we understood things that we had never seen before. The Scriptures became “Living Water” to us. All that to say – if you have heard this from God, do not waiver, because the enemy wants you to doubt. The Lord has a plan for you (Jer 29:11). You can email me if you want – this has become too long! x_quisit_1 (at) yahoo (dot/period) com

  2. April 16, 2008 6:31 pm

    Thank you for your story. I hadn’t read anything about your church journey but I will read more of you blog as time allows. What you described about finding more is part of why I believe God is moving me, but that is really hard to explain to those who aren’t ready to move and are being fed at the church I am leaving. I am thrilled you found a place to be fed, to learn about things you had not been taught, and to grow in your faith. I want to find that, and also want to be in a place where I am allowed to serve and offer myself without restraint. The church I have been attending doesn’t exhibit any belief in discipleship, care for those who have been abused or traumatized, or desire to reconnect those who have been disconnected from God and/or the church. Those are all areas very dear to my heart and areas I hope God can use me to minister to others to help them heal.

  3. April 19, 2008 7:59 am

    My youth leader was talking about the same thing. I think God wants us to learn more deeply of this part of his word. Yesterday Matthew our youth leader preached about being doers of the word… 2 weeks ago, Winson another youth leader preached about loving God and your brothers… I believe that God is speaking to use through His Word in this area strongly today

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