My heart change journey began about a year ago. It seems like a lifetime, but honestly, it wasn’t that long ago. I’ve seen the most growth in the past 8 months, and many times I have to remember that just because my heart is changing, it doesn’t mean that others forget the way I treated them before this journey.
If I have ever wronged you. Talked about you unjustly. Made you feel like you were worthless, not good enough, or useless……I am so so sorry. In fact, there are so many people that I should apologize to, that I can’t even remember them all.
I remember the exact moment when my heart light flickered on, and I thought, “maybe she’s right”. All while being offended at the same time.
There was something happening in the news that I felt was insignificant to the other things going on in the world. In fact, I can tell you exactly what it was. It was the trial of Casey Anthony, the mother who killed her precious little girl in Flordia several years before. I was angry that so many people were still talking about this trial on tv, facebook, and the likes. There were so many other important things that Christians should have been talking about, but they weren’t. And while I still agree, to an extent, that it was over publicized, I learned one thing very important that day….that day I decided to share my opinion on facebook….
How dare you. How dare you say that to me. You barely know me. You think you’re a know it all. How “holy” of you to make such a comment, as if you’re perfect.
And then it flickered again.
She doesn’t realize it, but she changed my life. And maybe she won’t ever know, though I have a feeling she might eventually read this and remember her words. But if not, I am so incredibly thankful for her. In fact, many times in the past 6 months, she has given me strength simply by seeing her strength as a wife and mother. She’s incredible. Lisa K., you are incredible. And I bet you don’t hear that often enough.
That entire day all I could think about were the words she said to me. I was so angry and bitter.
It’s how I can always tell when my offense is in the wrong, because I dwell on it so long.
God, how I wish someone would have said that to me sooner….
I wish someone would have taken the time to just look me in the face and say “you have to stop living like this,” instead of talking about me behind my back.
I wish someone would have taken the time to send me that page long email about how badly I hurt them with the words that I said or the things that I did (or didn’t) do.
I wish someone would have called me up and said, “hey, let’s go to lunch one day….I feel like we should talk.”
I wish someone would have called me out in private, personally, rather than subliminally on facebook.
And with 11 short words….one short sentence….from someone I barely knew…..she “got through” to me….
From that moment on, the sharpening began….and I hope that I can sharpen others in the body of Christ. Because it isn’t that I say things to offend, nor should I. And if I do, please tell me. Because I want to know. I want to change. I want to be more and more like Christ. But I also want to edify His body.
So please, forgive me if I see you walking the same path as I was and I’m terrified for your life. Because I might just say something.
Please forgive me if I am ungraceful in doing so, I’m still learning.
Please forgive me if I stumble during this walk. And please, don’t put me on a pedestal, because I am sure to disappoint you at some point.
Please forgive me when I do….
This past week a family just a few miles down the road from me died tragically. The father killed his 3 little girls, their mother, and then himself. Some people grieved with them for the day and moved on as if nothing happened the next day. Others didn’t care at all….
Yesterday, Robin Williams, the famous actor who was full of joy and laughter on the big screen, killed himself. Some people grieved for him yesterday, and tomorrow they’ll probably forget about it. Others didn’t care at all….
Last Summer, teenagers across the country killed themselves because they felt there was no hope. I bet 95% of you reading this don’t even know their names, or know what the statistics are. Because I don’t….I’ve read about it, but I can’t remember….did I even care?
What about the Christians and Iraqi’s that are dying every day in the Middle East? Who are they? Have we become immune to it?
And where are the Christians in America? Shouldn’t our hope be so loud that it radiates to others? Shouldn’t our love for Christ sustain us enough that it overflows to others? Forgive me, sweet Jesus, for being so caught up in my personal life, issues, and successes…that I’ve forgotten about Your people….
I don’t know any of these people personally. So why should it matter to me…I thought to myself.
Because it matters to God. Each and every single one of them was and is loved by our Almighty King.
A year ago, I would have shown great apathy. Who cares!?…I would have come across.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” [Matthew 10:29-30]
I’m not telling you to fill your life with negative things, in fact, we’re commanded not to. I’m not telling you to dwell on death and heartache, or worry about the world going down the drain. Again, we’re commanded not to.
But we are called to be empathetic and sympathize.
We are called to love and comfort in every situation, just as our Father does. Even if we don’t know them personally. Don’t just say “aww, that’s unfortunate”…pray for them.
We are called to be graceful, kind, and full of prayer….daily.
When I share my personal journey, I pray so wholeheartedly that it touches those that it needs to touch the most.
My only intent is to share a tidbit of my testimony, that is constantly growing every single day.
My only intent is to share what God has done and is doing in my heart, so that it might encourage you — you who may be on the same journey as me (or know someone that is) — to continue with that good and faithful fight. Because it isn’t easy….ever.
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” [Revelation 12:11]
“And he did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'” [Mark 5:19]
I pray that you would have eyes to see, not just pass over.
I pray that you would have ears to hear, not just hear with the intent to answer.
I pray that you would have a mouth that is righteous and slow to speak, slow to anger, and slow to show apathy.
I pray that through all of this you would come to know the God that I know. A precious Savior who cares for everyone, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.
I pray that through all of this, you would realize that being a Christian is more than just living your life well — but about caring for the body of Christ.
I pray that through all of this, most of all, you would love unconditionally.
Because I know that all of us stumble and fall, and goodness knows, I certainly fall short of the glory of the Lord every.single.day.
I pray that you would realize if this blog speaks to you, just as it will speak to hundreds of others, that you have a choice — apathy? or empathy?
“choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” [Joshua 24:25]