I’ve had quite the week.
DOWN: How do I describe promoting a concert for three months only to find out the Non Profit putting on the fundraiser never had a signed contract?
UP: I was upset over this deal gone bad when a friend calls me back – from the airport mind you – while he’s traveling, to talk me through the whole contracts and clauses issues. While it doesn’t fix the problem I experienced, they still make me feel better because I know I am not alone, nor am I the first person on the planet to ever get into a pickle. Talking to my friend, left me feeling blessed and dearly loved.
BIG DOWN: Then I find out there is a slight possibility that someone may try to have me excommunicated if I participate in an event that I have been participating in on and off since 2000. Why? Because our synod doesn’t agree with their synod therefore – no playing together in the sandbox. You can call it politics if you want, but I call it being a self-righteous uhm.. donkey.
I wasn’t in a good mood the day I was told I might be kicked out, and I made our music director cross himself when I stated — What can man do to me? My salvation is secure so, tell them to Bring it!
Can I let you in on a little secret here – being kicked out of the church has always been my biggest fear – until this week. I’m not afraid anymore. For the first time in my entire life, that fear has no power over me.
It’s been a roller coaster week full of joy and deep hurt for this body of Christ. I’ve been praying, reading, talking, and trying to listen to God. I was also complaining a bit about how silent I thought he was being here. I mean did he want me to sing or not? Can I live with the consequences of my choices or not? Will he be there for me or not?
Some days I look back over my life, remembering all the times the church said no, and I was on the outside looking in. Time and time again I see how “the church” or whomever I was associating with the church seems to fail me. I’m selective in my reverie at those times and tend to leave out all of the good that comes with the church as well.
Monday was one of those selective memory days. It was also a peanut butter and hot-fudge sundae for dinner kind of day. At least it was before God reached into my broken and hurting heart in a way only He can. I was sitting in my truck, waiting for my son to come back with our sundaes, and talking to God about all of the mess of it. I was wondering if they really will kick me out and how will that impact my family, and it’s just a rumor God, but could they really do it? Why do all these things happen? Will I ever find peace in the church? How do I get through this?
Out of the blue I’m hit with this realization:
Satan was afraid of me.
In that same moment that my heart remembers a song I haven’t heard in ages: In Christ Alone.
Those two truths hit me with such emotional force that all I could do was cry.
God not only heard me, but he speaks to me as well.
Just when I thought I was ready to bag the whole Lutheran thing, God brings me to a web page I didn’t now know existed in Synod called Jesus First Leadership. JFL appears to support the same causes and mind-set towards missions that my husband and I hold dear. I don’t know enough about them yet to really know anything, but for today it was enough.
And just in case those things weren’t enough, God also brought me to this quote today in my readings:
Once when Martin Luther was at the height of his struggles with the Roman Church, someone asked him what he would do if the princes and their supporters deserted him. “Where will you be then, Martin?” he was asked. The bold reformer replied, “I will be where I have always been, in the hands of God.”
My hope isn’t found in things, concerts, non profits, or man. My hope is found in Christ alone. The God who not only hears my heart, sees my pain, but responds to me with Grace, love and an affirming touch.
Have you ever felt like Satan was out to get you?
Did you ever stop to wonder why?
Where do you place your life, your needs, your hurts and your hopes?
Do you place them in food (like I can), alcohol, work, relationships, yourself?
Or do you place them in Christ Alone, the author and protector of our faith.