Climbing back on board the ship of faith doesn’t happen overnight.
My church helps a lot. I’m part of a conservative congregation in the Springs. This presents a few barriers, mostly boiling down to me, other pew sitters, and me. I definitely hold a different worldview than most. And I’m a girl who likes an occasional scotch and cigar, not exactly the stuff of ladies teas and ladies Bible studies. Comments from time to time take my breath away and there’s not much “seeking of the Lord” before I respond.
I didn’t go to church for years so it’s a process finding my place.
I stay in this community because they care about me. They care about my relationship with Jesus and the things that hold me back. They call me out. They believe in me. They have my back. They’re excited about my future. I’m respected. The teaching is solid. And they’re wild about Jesus.
Those are darn good reasons.
Am I afraid of drinking the Kool-Aid and posing next Fall Festival with cardboard cutout Duck Dynasty characters? Yes and yes. But that’s what faith is. It’s knowing God has me in this place and trusting He has my best in mind. And should that fail, I also have a friend or two charged with ensuring I don’t fall off the edge. Like one day I’ll be swooping up my hair with a plastic “Jesus is Lord” hair tie and exhorting a friend to graciously submit to her husband. (Seriously kidding)
The top five ways I’ve managed to grow in the midst of static:
1. My church (see above)
2. I actively embrace a vision for the future. I’ve worked nearly two years in global missions. My mind and heart have expanded in ways I never thought possible. I am a better person because of it.
My hope is to someday be engaged in missions work in India. I want to be part of a vibrant Indian community where the elderly, infirm and outcast are embraced. And from that community I want to reach out to the dying and lead many other believers to do the same.
This vision takes me far from culture war squabbling to something wholly transcendent.
3. Pure ministry. Once or twice a week I bring the God of peace into people’s final hours. It’s an honor to be present during this last and most important of all life transitions. It puts much into perspective. It also gets me out of myself like nothing else. Arguing with yahoos about the movie Noah dwarfs in comparison to praying the Psalms over someone suffering from end stage breast cancer. This is the stuff of life that’s eternal.
4. Weekly accountability and support from a mentor at my church. Her name is Linda and she’s pretty stinking awesome. Linda is part of the “we have your back” team.
5. Yeah, I know, I attend a Calvary. We’re a little obsessed with reading the Bible. That said, you can’t get back on track without regularly (if not daily) connecting with God through scripture and prayer.
6. I am part of Team Rosati. I live with my closest friends and their four children. There is nothing like kiddos and friends to laugh with and walk alongside. They make my life full. They also have my back.
I would be remiss in not mentioning my sister who’s always there for me. She is a well of encouragement, love, and friendship. She has my back, too. When you grow up with few people having your back, it becomes important as an adult.
So that’s the train I’m riding at the moment. It works for me. What doesn’t work is milling about in the static and dwelling on all of the things wrong with the world. That’s the fallout from tangling with the culture for 20 years.
The list is pretty simple, I know. Kind of 101. However, this is what it boils down to for me: Loving God. Loving others. And being loved. (And I’ve been told if you don’t love God, at least get to a place where you like Him.)