Right now, our family is in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Literally, that’s were we are. I’m not sure how to describe where we are emotionally. Psychologically. We’re in a weird place. That much I do know. And it isn’t bad. In fact, I would even argue that it’s good. But, we’re definitely experiencing some growing pains. Pruning. Refining. All of my favorites.
I received a text this week. Out of the blue. From a Christian artist we know and adore. He was praying for our family and felt like the Lord gave him a vision for us. I’m still processing it all. For a lot of reasons. #1) The vision thing freaks me out. I’ll be diving deep into that one a few posts down the road. #2) We’re at a precipice. The Lord has been leading us there for months. Years. We’ve been praying for the Lord to make the path clear. We know He is beginning something new, BUT HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE WHAT IT IS. And then we get a text from someone we haven’t talked to in months telling us that a new beginning is about to happen… something we’ve been talking about as a family, but haven’t discussed with ANYONE.
It’s a little too much for this Southern Baptist girl to take in. But, I think that’s the point.
I’m going to share with you a private conversation that took place between me and the Lord at the beginning of this trip. (At the time, it was a one-way conversation. I don’t audibly hear His voice. But, He MOST CERTAINLY has been making His feelings about our little conversation known throughout our trip.) My prayer was simple. The first request: Wherever I have put You in a box, show me. I think my exact words were, “Please, tear the walls down.” That part of the prayer wrecked me a few weeks later when Syd and I were in Nashville. (Yeah… just hold on for that story!)
The second part of the prayer: Show us how to be a voice of truth. This one is more complex. I’m not quite sure how to articulate my thoughts behind it. Or my motivations. Probably because He’s still working it out in my heart. And my head. I have the heart of a prophet. Anyone who reads the Old Testament knows it never goes well for the prophets, which probably explains a lot of my history with leadership in the church. But, it’s so much more than pointing fingers. It’s about seeking truth… the implications of living out truth. The spiritual fruit derived from walking in truth.
One thing I’ve learned on this trip: We’re not alone in our frustration with what we see happening in our country… in the church. We’ve met with professed Christians on this journey who fervently believe someone will go to hell because they’re gay (not because they aren’t saved) and those who believe all roads lead to God. Both sides of the pendulum are askew from the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can also tell you about the guy who said having a gun was his God given right and that gender equality will never work because men are best served… the way God intended… when women are at home. (What I love most about writing this paragraph is knowing how people are going to react. One person might want to spit nails right now and another might be asking, “What’s wrong with that belief?”)
My suggestion: We sit down and have a conversation.
The stories we’re about to share are real. They might challenge you theologically. They most definitely have challenged me. But there is beauty in the pursuit. Unlikely friendships have been forged. (One of the people I correspond with the most is a pastor in Texas who’s theology is way different than mine.) Our lives have been forever changed. Our kids are learning what it means to seek truth and fight for unity. We know a lot of people who talk about the former, but don’t seem to care about the latter. We want to see that change… there’s only one way to do it:
Bring the things dividing us out into the light and talk about them the way Christ calls us to.