Cozumel, Mexico October 2016 photo credit Tonya Marie
Sometimes I struggle. I worry I’m not hearing from God or that I won’t hear from Him. I have a hard time sitting still and listening, because for all the things I’ve been trained for in the church…. sitting and quietly listening to God speak to me isn’t one of those things. It’s weird how I know how to lead Sunday School, pray for communion, take up offering, help with praise and worship, preach a sermon, lead a Bible, and do so much of the work in church. I just was never taught how to sit and listen to God.
…. I think church failed me. For so many years, I felt I failed the church…
Somewhere along the years, I think church failed me. For so many years, I felt I failed the church. Many church people were either hurt or nasty when their pastor and I got divorced. The guilt I felt was only magnified by the judgement and gossip that spread through town. (Yes, church… pastor’s wives… and ex wives hear the gossip too…) Failure was a constant companion and I felt it’s weight drag me down now.
Exes and Enemies (ouch)
During our quiet time, God showed me an idea of how church should be. We are the church and we are supposed to build each other up. Not in a fake holy roller way: but truly edify and lift each other up. See the greatness in people.
Have you ever had an ex boyfriend or an ex spouse? Seeing the greatness in an ex or is challenging. Seeing what God sees in someone in the church who has gossiped about you and wronged you… ouch super challenging…. How is it possible to get over the hurt and anger to see that person through God’s eyes?? Is it possible? I mean really possible?
How is it possible to get over the hurt and anger to see that person through God’s eyes?
It wasn’t until my eyes could really look at myself through God’s eyes (a process I’m still going through every day) that I was able to start seeing others through His eyes. This is more than trying to see the good on others. I am a positive person and try to look for the good in others.
Seeing the greatness in others is about literally looking them through The Creator’s eyes to see how God sees him or her. I know what God doesn’t see, that’s sometimes easier for me to answer. God doesn’t look at me and see my failures, my shame that I refused to let go of for so long, my guilt, mistakes, poor choices, mangled priorities, body out of alignment with being a healthy temple, wrinkles showing up around my eyes, or even my unibrow (thank you whoever invented waxing!!!).
Those are the things I used to see in the mirror, it didn’t matter what I presented to the world. I felt like I could never measure up!
When God looks at me (and all His children even the ones we get mad at), he sees His Beloved son or daughter that He loves with this never-ending, pure, unconditional love that will not ever stop. God commands us to love one another just as He loves us. Whoa!!!!!
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other
When God looks at my me, at my neighbor down the street I’ve yet to meet, at my ex: He doesn’t see the failed marriage, He sees his beloved son. He sees all the best features in his child, just like we do when we look at our own children. When God looks at all the people that have done me wrong along the way…. you already know the words that are coming out next. That child of God, no matter what he or she has done is God’s child who He loves so much. God has so many favorites, literally all of His children are His favorites.
I am His Beloved… and so are you…
Letting go of false identity and the baggage that has crowded our views can be challenging. It can be as simple as asking God to replace your negative views with His positive views.
Food for thought: What views do you have of yourself and those that are just a little bit hard to forgive? When you look in the mirror, do you like the person you see? What does God have to say about who we are?