Monday, June 9, 2014

The Burn

One month ago this was the opening for my daily devotional for one week.

Life’s pathways are not always clearly marked. Trails wind into the wilderness and disappear, leaving no end in sight. And often you may wonder which way to go.
As you journey through life, there is One you can trust to be your guide—the One who has already walked the path for you and who walks beside you even now.
In these quiet moments, be still and listen for the One who is calling you home.

and this was the song I listened to everyday of that week as well:

This week was also the beginning of my first counseling class.

Since August of 2013 I have questioned God repeatedly on why he was sending me to Liberty University. See I and the University have differing opinions when it comes to scripture and women in ministry and I could not for the life of me understand why God would send me to a school that believes women cannot be ordained. I went through my normal routine when I can't figure out God's plan by repeatedly asking, "God, have you lost your mind?" yes I do this often and it may be heretical or blasphemous but I still trust and believe in God even when I question. (Side note: I don't see questioning as a bad thing or as a sign of doubt. The psalms are full of questions to God and doubt, it is a human thing and God still loves us through it all.)

That 2nd week in May, the first week of my counseling course was rough. I found myself yelling at the computer when I read students introductions. (There is a lot I disagree with in this world and at times I can lose my cool, but mostly in the privacy of my home) I also learned that I was placed in the wrong major and had to correct that and my thought they had accepted some of my previous grad work was dismantle. By Thursday of that week I was ready to quit. What most people do not know about me is that I am a quitter. Now I can commit myself to things and have done so but only to things I like and enjoy. When anything gets tough and difficult I have bailed in the past. I have been a quitter. Not a very good attribute. But if we are all to admit it none of us like difficulty. We can commit to the things we love but committing to struggle is what I imagine most of us don't want to do. 

I decided on that Thursday to talk with a fellow co-worker so I could give voice to someone what was going on inside of me. She asked me how confident I was that God was leading me on this path of a new degree and without hesitation I said, "I have no doubts." I still don't. She suggested that maybe God wanted to teach me something and part of that was trusting him. That is when the devotion came to mind. When I got home that evening I needed to relax and filled my tub with water. While relaxing the tears started to flow. They flowed because God was revealing the less and desirable qualities I posses even as a minister. Being humbled by God is not a pleasant experience but for God to make us into who we need to be can be difficult at times. What God revealed to me was:

My narrowed mindedness (When I disagree with others)
My predisposition to judging others (Who believe differently than me)
My habit of withholding grace (Again from those with differing beliefs)
And my inner feelings of hate (Towards those who hate others)

See the pattern: I am no different than those who I disagree with and dislike. I am those that I hate. THAT IS THE BURN, THAT IS THE BURN.

God is sending me to Liberty to chisel all those characteristics that separate me from him. What will happen in the next three years will be one of two things: The quitter will emerge when things get difficult (which they undoubtedly will) or the faith of a six year old will emerge.

I accepted Christ at the age of six and I remember being fully affirmed by my pastor and church when I made my profession of faith. I committed my life to Christ without reservation.

My prayer and hope is that 6 year old girl will emerge and I will be closer to the person God wants me to be in three years.

I covet your prayers as I walk this unknown path.