In conjunction with the release of Sarah Bessey’s new book Out Of Sorts, I am participating in a synchblog. If you haven’t read her blog or her previous book, Jesus Feminist I highly reccomend you do. Her voice is often breath of fresh air on the interwebs and I look forward to reading her latest book!
I used to thinkthat I was forgotten, but now I think I am beloved.
When I was a child, I went on road trips with my parents. My dad enjoyed looking at historical sights, often this meant graveyards. Graveyards filled with headstones whose names were well worn off. Lives that were now forgotten.
It saddened me, that lives fully lived could be forgotten. It struck me that, my life would also be forgotten. A fear was born. I feared that this would become my fate. My life here forgotten once all those who loved me leave this world. I can’t say that this is exactly when this fear began but it sure didn’t help it.
And this fear grew as I entered my teen years. As I grieved the loss of several family members over a three year span. As I tried to fit in but didn’t. Becoming jealous when hearing of others going out and I wasn’t invited. I began to feel that being forgotten was simply my lot in life.
Then I met Jesus. I began to read the Bible and I learned something crucial. That the Lord doesn’t need me, but instead that he wanted me. He had never forgotten me in all the time I felt so. He had pursued me as I pursued friendships and approval.
He is my creator, he brought me to life. I felt so forgotten and hopeless because I didn’t know of the amazing love Jesus has for me. How this truth that I am his beloved, royal daughter squashed this fear of being forgotten.
Those moments of jealousy and anger can still crop up from time to time. But I am quickly reminded of who I am Christ. I will never be doomed to being forgotten.
I spent a good part of this past week doing something that just nearly a year ago was just an idea. Something that occurred to me in the middle of worship while leading at the High School missions camp. The thought was “what if there was a shorter version of camp for the college age people at my church?” The college ministry had ended a year or two before. This made me feel sad and I was not sure how this idea could even come about so I pushed it aside. At least I thought I had. Through out the rest of the week, witnessing these teenagers open up to God and each other the idea popped into my head again and again. Again and again I would push it aside.
Because it was easier to doubt that it was possible than to dare to dream that it was possible. Because if this idea relied on myself alone then it would not happen.
Then I had to let go of the idea that this thing would even need me. Yep you read that right. I had to allow myself to see that perhaps I would not be needed beyond having this thought and passing it along. That perhaps that was all I was meant to do.
In that moment is when I began to understand what it meant to die unto oneself. Something I have heard over and over numerous times in my walk with Christ. But I just could not understand what that could mean or look . For me it means letting go. Simple sounding but not so simple in practice. It meant I had to let go of my ego that it would be me to make this college retreat happen. Nope that was up to another person entirely.
In the end I had the privilege of leading the young women who joined us. Sleeping over together, staying up late talking about life, studying the Word and creating our own inside jokes. We were set off on a fit of giggles on numerous times during our three days together and boys would just shake their heads at us. It was awesome to hear the stories of prayer, repentance, worship and bonding that went on as the young men camped out together in a backyard.
If I had been selfish and determined to organize this retreat myself it would of been a disaster. I do not say that because I doubt myself but I realize that God has placed people around me who are better equipped to take charge of these types of things. For this moment that is just fine.
Sometimes you are just an idea person, there at the right time at just the right moment to say “Hey why don’t we…” Many hands and feet came together to make this retreat happen and I am so grateful for that! I am so thankful for all the people who provided meals, housing, to serve the community. It was a beautiful thing to see.
Dying to self really is not that painful when the fruit from it is far greater. My prayer for these young people is for them to continue to pursue God and to grow closer with each other. To have a foundation in Christ that will be ingrained in them for life. It was a blessing to get to play a small part in it.