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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Family

Can I just say I love my family? People, jobs, events on the calendar, they all come and go-but man, we only get one family....
I always thought how cool it was that my mom had 4 sisters and 1 brother. I always had cousins to explore and play with. I had the funny aunt, the trendy aunt, the athletic aunt, the loving aunt and the uncle who i always couldn't wait to see, but was somewhat intimidated by because he was the only male i knew...family get togethers were always fun, i couldn't wait for holidays. If i found out one of my family members couldn't make it, i was in tears. i loved when everyone was together...
and then i grew up a little, agendas and my own plans got in the way...my life took over...i strayed from family, got into some trouble, made some horrible decisions, and lost touch of what really matters...i got distracted with minor things, temporary things.
my life was a mess and somehow, God saved me. I'd like to say it was something like light beaming down on my head, and God swooping me up into His arms, kissing me on the forehead, and that was it. but it wasn't. it was just the feeling of knowing there was more out of life-something i had just barely tasted before.
i wanted that feeling I had when i was with my family. i wanted be cared for, loved, and talked to. my parents were in no way perfect christians...in fact they were searching too. my extended family all had issues. but along with all of our issues, so much love came out of them. i didn't have to look at their successes or failures, categorize them based on their personalities or interests, see their past and judge them...i just remembered how much they cared for me all those years.
that's kind of where i am today. i haven't blogged in forever. i tend to get sea sick when i stare at the screen too long. but through these past few weeks tears just fall at how much i've let other things seperate me from the ones i really love. before i was saved it was my plans and agenda for my life that i allowed to seperate me. then after it was religion. i remember even being told to only surround myself with people who are believers. well, i heard, stay away from people who aren't fully committed to Jesus...that led to serving every service at church. i stopped talking to people outside my church in fear i would be lurded back into a sinful life. i understand that was necessary for where i was at then...but i turned that into my religion.
i lost touch with true love...
its all about relationships. i hear it preached, but i rarely see it. i would stay in my circle of comfort. i would justify that i was too busy to talk or hang out with anyone or anything outside a church event. i would choose not to visit my family because i had to serve every service....
slowly God gave Gary and I opportunities to miss our serving responsibilities, and we would go and visit family, or hang out with friends-and He started doing so much through us. the overflow of love i've so missed has come pouring out of me like an ever flowing river.
the words from a pastor i heard during the ONE prayer have really hit my heart. first, christians are seen as seperated from the world in a bad way-mean, judgemental, etc. and #2 yes, the local church is very important...but, i don't want it to ever seperate me from an opportunity to love someone. what i mean is, i don't want to be so busy, that that's all i am...that's my category that people see me in. or that people only think they can spend time with me at church, that i do have a life outside of it, where they can connect with me. i don't have to be in charge of whether they end up going to church-that's God's deal...my responsibility is to be a mini Christ-someone who makes time for people, whether they are believers or not. in this case, Gary and I have realized that in our families.
i no longer feel the pressure to serve or miss an event if there is an opportunity to grow closer to our family or friends. and in that change, that stepping outside our comfort, God has truly blessed us with real authentic relationships.

2 comments:

Gail said...

Hey darlin! I love the post and miss hangin' with you! We have got to set a get-together soon.

Anyway, what you wrote about is seriously a season that i not only find myself in, but another dear friend of mine as well. She and I have both felt a sense of "release" by means that the Holy Spirit has allowed us to step out and truly love the "unbelievers". As you, while i totally believe that serving is important and a way to stay connected, it's not my life anymore. Now it's time to spend some much needed time with people who need to see Christ.
You are Blessed! I am blessed to know you and call you a friend.

Love you Girl!

sammie said...

Called out (Erwin) called out into the world, not into an exclusive group called the "church",out into the world. Man Rachael great post.
Rachael, I talked with a woman this weekend that in the same paragraph talked about abstinance for her daughter and contraception for her daughters friend. Are you crying or what. I gave her a bible with a basic presentation outlined and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Great Post!!