As promised, the more to come....
The last four months (yes, it has been four months since I moved to Colorado, can you believe it?) have been, well, in a word, remarkable. I have seen the Lord move on my heart and in my spirit in amazing ways that I cannot even begin to put words to. Let's just say that I feel that due to His loving kindness, I have grown more and seen more of the heart of God in the last few months than I feel I have in the last two years. For those of you who know my journey well, you know how big of a statement that is because God has certainly done a lot in the last two years of life.
One part of this great movement has been looking for authenticity in relationships and authenticity in myself. Like most of us, I excel at hiding the true me--the me God created me to be--from others. Life's lessons have taught me that people are not trustworthy and that when you are real and vulnerable, you tend to get stomped all over. But these are life's lessons and not the lessons of God.
Since moving here, there has been a huge shift in my relationship base. Before Colorado, majority of my major friendships were with Christians--a truth from my infancy all the way up to Portland. Now, however, majority of my major friendships, work colleagues mostly, are with non-believers. A big shift that has shown me much about how I respond to and interact with others. I find that for the most part it is much easier for me to be authentic with non-believers than it is for me to be with believers. Life has taught me that the expectations and judgments of believers are much harsher than those of non-believers. Non-believers tend to be much more open about accepting you were you are in life--your screw-ups, your achievements, your short-comings, your goals, your skills--the whole big picture of your life. I am fearful of letting Christians see the real me because I am fearful of their judgment.
All this to say that on the retreat of two weekends ago, God began to work a good work in me. I am learning in small baby steps to be authentic with all people. To cast down the idol which I have made of my fears of man, and to put my trust in the Lord. I recognize that people are not perfect, that Christians are not perfect. They will fail me, they will hurt me, but living in hiding does not please the Lord. By hiding I create an idol of my fear rather than turning to the Lord for my ultimate companionship.
These are baby steps in the journey--the first being recognizing the idol I have made of my fear, the second desiring to be authentic with all people rather than a select few. I have no doubt that this will be a long journey of seeking healing from what life broke and learning to live a new, authentic life. But I am excited for the journey ahead. I rejoice in what He is doing. I rejoice in both the trial of it and the life renewed because I trust that the Lord is working a good thing in me.