It’s hard to change churches. It’s like changing families. Actually, it is changing families.
It takes a while to see where you fit into your new family. Are you the crazy aunt? Or the uncle who tells really long stories, over and over again?
What if you don’t fit in at all? What if it is God’s purpose for you to not fit in and take up the status quo? What if His purpose is for you to stand up and point to truth…even if it is at your very first Life Group Meeting, and it’s about a taboo-in-church subject?
I will admit I got angry as we watched a video about sharing the gospel in compassion and truth. I started to blame my recent change in my menopausal support supplements. At almost 51, that can be a risky endeavor, like kicking a hornet’s nest of hormones that trigger irritability. But I prayed.
I know better than to let anger get the best of me. I have been a professing Christian for almost 30 years. Yep, I know better. So I prayed, asking Father God to quench my dander.
I don’t like feeling this way. Especially in church. I don’t want to miss out on anything that God is trying to teach me because I am blinded and stopped-up by my emotions.
As one of the speakers in the video shared what he called truth, his hypocrisy was becoming more and more apparent to me. But I kept praying, asking for calm and clarity.
The video ended, and the group facilitator began speaking. What she said didn’t trigger my outburst. It was the lack of the real truth of God that she wasn’t coinciding with that stirred me. It was the “missing it by that much” that I heard myself addressing. Even a slight deviation from God’s truth is so not good. And oh so damaging.
After the meeting, I felt so much remorse for speaking up. I wanted desperately to make new friends with my new family. I prayed, asking for forgiveness in the car on the way home.
God reminded me of a time when I didn’t speak up. Of how He convicted me for staying quiet while non-truths were flying around the church room. And I knew better.
Then He asked me, “Do I give you wisdom, which you ask Me for, for your own enjoyment?”
Ouch. Ouchy of the most high ouchies. Please forgive me, Lord, I asked, as I brushed my teeth, and got ready for bed.
I checked my phone before I plugged it in to charge for the night. There was a message from someone who had been at the Life Group that night. Uh oh.
The messenger thanked me for speaking up. This person also struggled with the way the church treated gay people. She had struggled with it for a long time, and thanked me for speaking up against the hate and ostracizing, and for pointing out that every person on earth needs the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
I showed the message to my husband, who I had been lamenting to about my bad behavior. We high-fived each other.
My self-imposed remorse was instantly lifted. Also, I remembered other people in the group telling me their views, which are similar to mine.
Will I make friends in my new family? I super hope so. It was heart-breaking to leave my beloved family behind as we moved from Austin to Nashville. But my new church family are some of the most genuinely kindhearted people who are devoted to God. I strive to be like them.
I actively and fervently pray for every request in my new family, as I continue to do for my old church family. We are all the Body of Christ, His Beloved Bride. Geography has no bearing on that.
This new season of being used to speak out in truth is hard. But I know my God will help me in it. I may never completely fit into the new family, like a triangle in a square hole. But that is God’s purpose.
With God’s help, I will try to always champion truth, because that is what is called of me. I want that “well done” from the Master far more than I want the satisfaction of being well-liked.