Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do. John 14:12
Please read pages 66 through 69 in Made For This.
Ladies, every day I sit down to write these posts, and I try so hard to be brief. You already have book pages and a scripture passage to read.
Today, though, I feel like I have so much to share. I have to follow up yesterday's story and celebrate the way it fits into today's lesson.
Thankfully, God saved my marriage. He did a mighty work in Scotty's heart; therefore, we were able to begin the process toward healing (which will likely take the rest of our lives). In this process, we've seen a lot of therapists, read a lot of Bible, completed a many Bible studies, and sought advice from many ahead of us on this journey. We've learned so much from our failures.
The biggest lesson has been that we lived behind our fear until 2011, and the temptation is always to go back to that. I was raised in MS and lived there until I was 40. I love my upbringing. I'm thankful for it. But, it was the perfect environment to be trained in a theology of FEAR.
People who ask questions lack faith.
Women with a lot to say or big personality are living in rebellion.
If my opinion is different than someone else's, they are clearly wrong.
Wrestling with faith is a sign of weakness.
Now, all of these things weren't necessarily taught. But, I picked them up with certainty as a young person in the South. Then, God began to piece Scotty and me back together, and I learned things about His nature and character that I'd never known before. I began to question some of the things that I'd always believed as fact even though it's nowhere in scripture. I started to have more grace and compassion for people that struggle in a variety of ways, because I'd come face to face with how difficult it was for ME to hear correctly from God on any given day.
God moved us out of the Bible Belt into a community where Jesus followers aren't the majority. It's! Been! Awesome!! I don't encounter many who believe things just because they're passed down. I don't attend church with many people simply checking off the envelope box. If a person in this area of Florida claims Christianity, they genuinely mean it.
Now, God is pushing me to use my voice to speak up when things are said in the name of Jesus that I simply disagree with. He's asking me to push for unity when many of my brothers and sisters want to be divided, because that is His way. I have no doubt He's wanting me to share my story and our teaching more often. BUT, I've seen what our people do to individuals that believe differently. It's so much safer to remain quiet; speaking when spoken to and with a smile.
I'm scared of myself and of being criticized.
But, I'm just about over it. :). I'm nearly restless enough to stand up and speak out no matter the cost, because the Jesus that led me out of the decorated cell is worth it and so are the ladies that still sit inside their own pretty cells.
How about you? What do you need to journal about today? Follow Jennie's prompts on pages 70 and 71. Read John 14: 11 through 21 (in a couple of translations if possible). Then, spend this weekend prayerfully asking God what it is He'd have you do. It won't be too small and it can't be too big. Together, let's aim to please God alone.
Heavenly Father, I was SO long-winded today. I pray my words were heard with the intention of my heart which is to follow hard after you, to offer the lessons you've taught me with the hopes that they free others as they've freed me. God, please open doors through this post and call women to real and genuine honesty. What is it that we are seeking? Uncover any motive that doesn't honor you. And, if anything I've said has been misunderstood in an offensive way, God, I pray that You'll speak to it. Undo the mess and speak clearly in it. You are God, and I can't live in fear that my words will be too much. You are much, much bigger, and I trust You.