Friday, May 3, 2013

What's new



God has placed a calling on my heart, one that I have carefully guarded as I have been discovering what it means for my family and me.   I have sheltered it like a tender growing plant, and continually gone back to the creator, asking for the right tools to help it grow and confirming with Him that this is my plant to nurture for now.  I don’t have all the answers (so please don’t ask) for how God plans to work out this calling in my life.  But I have the peace to follow it for now. 

I am called to return to ministry, vocationally.  My ministry will be to the church firstly and secondly to victims of Domestic Violence.  The primary purpose of my calling is to educate the church about the problem of Domestic Violence and its presence in our body.  I am to educate and equip pastors, church leaders and lay people about this horrific evil that is in our body and also to help them to recognize it in their members and then to give them the tools to confront this evil effectively.  Both ministering to the victims and hopefully to perpetrators.  God is calling me to preach, teach, speak and write passionately about this, my experience with it and how the church failed me miserably for the ten years I was with Jonathan. 

I will not be condemning anyone for their failure of me during my abusive marriage.  But I will be pointing out how our ignorance of what Domestic Violence is and what it looks like in relationships has completely handicapped our ability to combat it effectively.  The church’s treatment of me is water under the bridge.  But there are others; many, many more people are experiencing this.  They live in Christian homes and they pray before they eat and go to church on the weekends and bring covered dishes to potlucks and picnics.   Sometimes they’re spouses of lay leaders or pastors and sometimes they’re children of our congregants.  And folks this has to stop.  We are the body of Christ.  In Timothy the word says: “If someone aspires to be an elder he desires an honorable position.  So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach.

People who aren't Christians would consider abusing your family to be reproachable.  The church should uphold an even higher standard than our society does. The verse above doesn't exempt our lay people from the standard of being above reproach, abuse is unacceptable everywhere within the body and in our world.

If you want to see a victory of our enemy, ask him how beaten I was for 10 years?  Ask him if I had the passion to follow God as I should’ve been or if I could even hear God’s voice.  He nearly had that victory in the bag.  If only I had stopped praying.  Satan’s voice in my marital home was a lot louder than the voice of God.  And I will shamefully admit I bought almost every one of the lies Jonathan tried to sell me on an errand from our enemy.  Lies about me, my worth, my vows, my God and my life.  I was well trapped but God; I just couldn’t give up on him.  I knew he was there.  I knew God didn’t hate me, even if some days I believed he didn’t love me. (Because how could anyone love someone as wretched as me, even God, couldn't put up with me.)  So, I prayed and I prayed and I prayed.  

And God rescued me.  He rescued my kids.  

But folks, it shouldn’t have gotten that far.  There are people who should’ve stepped in.  People who I told how Jonathan was treating me.  They knew from my mouth what was happening!  But they didn’t believe me, or they thought it wasn’t abusive enough or they just had no idea what to say or do.  These people know Jesus, many of them love Jesus.  The people of God should know better.  We should do better.  And I’m here; I’m walking on this earth to make sure that we know how.  We will not claim ignorance any longer.

I will be starting seminary soon.  I’m going put my feet on the ground and learn how to minister effectively before I go telling other people how to do it.  This is all risky for me.  Financially, spiritually, emotionally.  It’s a mountain of work, a heap of expense and I have an ocean of baggage about the church.  To minister well to our body, I’ve got layers of work to do in my own heart first but I now know where I’m going.  I have cried tears and tears of relief at the clarity of my calling. It’s scary to tell anyone (let alone all of blogland) that I’m going to do this.  That I will have the ‘right degree’ to one day be a pastor.  That’s a risk for me to take.  I'm bracing for the objections and attacks.  God is worth the risk and the women in these marriages, they need help.  I will take the risk for them.  Because I know what it’s like to be beaten in life; I am blessed by this calling.  I am blessed by the opportunity to serve.  Because of my heart, I can’t not do it. 

So to all the haters with their judgmental attitudes and headship objections, to Jonathan who still would deny that he abused me, and to Satan who would like nothing better than to silence me, y’all can shove your objections where the sun don’t shine because:

You will notice me. 
I’ll be leaving my mark, like initials carved in an old oak tree.
You wait and see.
Maybe I’ll write like Twain wrote,
Maybe I’ll paint like Van Gogh,
Cure the common cold, I don’t know.
But I’m ready to start ‘cause I know in my heart
I want to do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear.
I want to do something better with the time I’ve been given. 
And I want to try
To touch a few hearts in this life
And leave nothing less than something that says I was here.
I will prove you wrong,
If you think I’m all talk 
You’re in for a shock because this dream's too strong and before too long
Maybe I’ll compose symphonies,
Maybe I’ll fight for world peace,
‘cause I know it’s my destiny to leave more than a trace of myself in this place. 
I want to do something that matters
Say something different
Something that sets the whole world on its ear.
I want to do something better with the time I’ve been given. 
And I want to try
To touch a few hearts in this life
And leave nothing less than something that says I was here.
And I know that I
I will do more than just pass through this life
I’ll leave nothing less than something that says
I was here. (repeats)
I want to do something that matters; something that says I was here.  (repeats)

Lady Antebellum - I was here

I will leave my mark because God is calling me to do so.  Not for my glory, because airing my dirty laundry and talking in depth about my issues is far from glorious.  Not so that I can one day feel like I ‘rescued’ a bunch of women, because God will be the one doing that.  But because I know I am not supposed to just pass through this life, neither are you, FYI.  I know what I am here to do, who I am here to be, a voice, for those who are silenced and ignored.

You should find out why you’re here.  I will pray that you do.  Because doing what God has called you to is the most rewarding thing that you could ever do.   You will never feel more alive.  Not that it won’t be hard.  I’m certainly hunkering down for the attacks of those mentioned above (and others I haven't even considered), but I trust.  I trust God is in and through this.  The outcome is not based on me.  The outcome is God's job.  My job is to obey.  This obedience has had ginormous rewards.  My brain is thanking me on a daily basis.  It might hate me in a few months and need a break.  For now, it’s all happy clappy, ‘Hey, you’re using me again and I looooove this.’  

I feel the need for a toast, to Jesus, to embracing life and to knowing why you're here.  Drink one for me, will ya?

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Only to you Kel, only you ;-) Drink a glass of that super yummy wine Jen brought the other night

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