My earliest memories in church and school are surrounded by friends....friends that I still have many of. My graduating class had around 32 members...and I'm still in contact with at least half of that class. College was easy as well...I had a ton of friends...well...in my mind....I had a ton. Still to this day...thanks in part to facebook we still communicate. Since I went to a school way in the South most of them still live there...and I do indeed miss them.....a......LOT!
Running has been my hobby for about a year. The extra weight had never come off since I had my E who is...GULP....FIVE! In college running was how I dealt with stress....I would run around the dorms and go a couple of miles...run in the rain, be by myself...pound the ground....it was GREAT! Funny thing is...twenty years later its not quite that easy...however....its getting easier. I'm able to spend a lot of time thinking. I run with praise music...I pick it up a bit since I am running...a little Mandessa and a little Toby Mac help me out...and I run with my hubby but still running gives me time to clear my head and think. I was complaining to my husband about some things that are bothering me...and he proposed a plan....I didn't want a plan...I wanted to whine...and WHINE and WHINE....I needed no solution...I asked for NO solution!
After I hobbled home from injuring myself YET again...I realized...change...I needed to change some things. In my running I needed strength training to become stronger...and in my friendless state I needed to make the time and invite the friends...have the friends over that say their friendless as well...make the time to make the plan to take the time to call and do it instead of saying that I will.
This is where I'm getting on my soapbox so be prepared! My oldest stepdaughter recently went to college...she is having a hard time making friends...she hasn't found one person who is a christian and she is desperate to find some. When she left we were concerned with how her younger sister would do. I personally thought she would do better....and so far I have been proved right. She has a much better disposition. She even told me on several occasions that she loved me. Yesterday when we asked her about sunday school she knew exactly what they were talking about. She is now driving and has done that responsibly. She has said thank you for things when we bought them for her. She is trying hard in school AND when we correct her she is not arguing. She takes the advice shakes her head yes and agrees??? Just last week none of these things were occurring. What has happened??? Well, the child who was in charge is now gone....the child that controlled everything is now on her own...leaving the second sister now in control....which proved to me that responsibility can be handled when given when a child is now shown that she can INDEED handle it! We have noticed that she was beginning to turn away from things at church...which made my husband and I drop to our knees and more and more occasions...and we have encouraged and continue to encourage her. She was turning away because she was being told that she wasn't good enough....that she wasn't measuring up....and so she decided to go to the crowd that would encourage her and would support her....the side we didn't want her to go to necessarily. My husband and I decided that we would do something we have NEVER done....we invited the LEAST of these into our home...we prayed at the dinner table...we broke bread with them, we invited them to come back...and we engaged them in conversation...and we watched the veil come down...we watched the daughter that is drawn to the LEAST of these open up to us...and realize what we are trying to do and saw us in a different light. We don't expect all people to be perfect...and we see nothing wrong with having friends who do not share the same standards as we do...but the difference comes when they influence you more than we influence them. Jesus did not call us to be separate He called us to be in the world but not of it...but how can we possibly be in the world...if we...are...NOT...in it. How can we share Jesus if we only do it from the pulpit or on the backs of our church...if we don't let our children see people the way Jesus saw them...then what in the world...is the POINT? Are we just "LUCKY" because we know the truth and keep it to ourselves?
The church has long been known for people not coming to it because they aren't GOOD enough. I have seen that with my own life...I didn't measure up....sons and daughters stay away from that girl...she looks like trouble...when in reality I did FAR less bad things then the ones they promoted:) True all true! However, I didn't LOOK good....so some of them stayed away....those that knew me....stayed. Today it is the same....I still don't fit in....and I no longer care. My God is enough....my children are walking with Him....and for now....those that don't want me....that's ok...makes me cry and makes me sad....but....I will keep going...I will keep working....now...whose with me????
May His name be praised!