We had a great day yesterday! We spent the day together, enjoying God's beautiful creation at a local state park. The boys fished, I sat and talked to my Daddy, we ate a picnic lunch, and then took out a paddle boat. It was an amazing time of reconnecting with each other.
God is changing me, stretching me, drawing me closer to the heart of Him. Yet it seems, the closer I get to His heart, the less I feel the need to be a part of all the things I used to find so much value in. I am finding peace and contentment, in my everyday life. I have need of only one thing, Jesus.
God has shown me this week a place in my heart that He is changing. A place where "religion" lives. A place that does not reflect the Fathers love.
Prior to our wonderful day, I believe I said something, quite insulting to my husband. I didn't mean to. It just slipped out. As it did, I immediately recognized the lack of love and respect in my statement. I realized that God was showing me an area He was changing in me.
You see my husband is not into "religion" AT ALL. I am not saying that he does not believe that there is a God who loves us. He just does not think that we need to jump through the hoops of a religious system to have God in our lives. He does not believe that the only good to be done is in the church as a system or even that it is a requirement that we be involved in it.
He is a very authentic person who will in no way do something just because someone told him he should. I admire him for this. Because of this, I know that all the changes I have seen God make in him, are real. I know that when he mows the neighbors lawn, he does it because he cares. I know that when he tells me he prayed, he did it because he believes there is someone worth talking to. I know when he tells me that he thinks something is a tactic, or man made, he is not being rebellious, just honest.
My husband does not feel that he needs to wear a label, to be loved by God. He has stepped into this journey slowly and carefully. Unlike me, who jumped in head first and kept swimming. He, at this point does not confess to be called a believer, because of the stereo type that is associated with that label. At times, I feel a bit confused at what to say when asked "Is your husband a Christian?" I used to say "no, God is still working in him". But the last couple of years, every time I find myself about to say no, I feel the Spirit, correcting me. I am not supposed to say this any more. God looks at a persons heart, maybe he sees, what I don't...or do I?
We were discussing a book yesterday. A book about raising children, teens in particular. A book my husband thought might give us some good direction. I have to tell you my husband is not a reader, AT ALL. So, just the fact that he would suggest we read something together, was a miracle, one I had hoped for, for a long time. I love to read!
But, what do I do, I glance at the computer screen, do not recognize the author as a "Christian" and say, that guys probably not even a believer, what do we want that for?" My husband is frustrated, closes out the screen and feels that his attempt to take the lead in our family concerning our children has just been thwarted, because someone doesn't fit a label.
How insulting, to say that because someone is not a "christian", a "believer" they have nothing good to offer. No truth to be shared. All truth belongs to God, regardless of where it comes from. I do realize that we have to sift through what we hear, we cannot retain everything someone says if it does not line up with the truth that is Jesus. But, don't we need to do this with other Christians as well? Do we not feel the need to sift through what we are taught, even when someone is a believer?
I realize I may ruffle your feathers with this post. I realize it goes against much of what is taught today. But, I know the voice of my Shepard, and I know that He is calling me to step back and learn from my husband, regardless of what "label" he refuses to wear.
I know that my Father is building in me the ability to trust Him, and Him alone. He is teaching me to trust the Spirit inside of me, to trust the Oneness I have with Jesus.
I am not perfect, I will make mistakes, take some wrong turns and need to be corrected. But, if all I focus on is what I am not, my inability to get it right, is that not still focus on self? I am learning to focus on what Jesus has done for me. Who He says I am and on His power at work in my life, even when it doesn't seem to fit the "norm". This is what I will trust as I continue on this journey, Him, and Him alone.
So who knows where God will take Matt and I from here, except the Father. But, it is a journey I look forward to taking.
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