Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Mess With A Dress

Transition can be your greatest triumph; your greatest testimony, and yet your greatest fear; greatest test.  I was reflecting on how awesome a responsibility it must have been for the apostles and disciples.  I was telling my husband that I wished they documented and wrote about their day-to-day livelihood.  How hard was it to travel by foot at a word’s notice to go and minister to a church miles and miles away in a different city?  How difficult was it when the work wasn’t always rewarding; when the people didn’t always “seem” to listen or understand? 

Masterful woven treasures of the heart are combined with the unmovable love of God and the need, the want, the longing to be stable; comfortable – in one place all the time.  The fear of humiliation – what will this look like?  Who will not like me, not agree with me for what I’m doing in the name of the Lord? What friends will I lose along the way – or who will misunderstand me for the season that I’m in?

All questions that come along with transition.  All questions that enter my mind every day.  So happy to be in love with the process of life; yet torn because I want the best for me; the best for my family despite what I know and trust and believe God to be to me.

Religion has taught us that there are rules and regulations to following the Bible – that we are bound to them; that our works save us; that if you follow this set of things “not” to do, then you’ll be alright.  It teaches us that we can be what I’d like to call “a mess with a dress”.  And what I mean by this, is if we wear the right thing, say the right thing, do the right thing, then that makes us “right” with God.  And I am by no means stating that there aren’t repercussions for our actions and that you definitely reap what you sow, but seriously. I had to be honest with myself.  The reason why transition is so hard for me, for any believer – is because of religion.  It’s because somewhere along the way, someone told us that Jesus looked a certain way, sounded a certain way – and that when certain people make radical moves for the kingdom of God – that it just can’t be God because we didn’t come through a certain “portal”, for lack of a better word. 

Well, this “mess with a dress” (i.e. ME) had to realize first that the more rules I followed the more of a mess I became.  Why?  Because the more rules you follow that don’t line up with the Word of God, the further and further you get from knowing and understanding who God is, who He wants you to be, and what’s really going on in your heart.  It’s like the rules act as some unnatural guard to that which you don’t even know or fully understand in the first place. 

Yes, it’s hard, even grueling…evaluation is not always easy.  But I had to go back to what I felt like normal Christians did and how they operated – and then compare that to a God who is radical, above our natural minds, bends every notion of normal, and loves unlovable people. 

And then I had to put myself in the unlovable category.  Because that’s another thing that the “mess with a dress” will do.  It will have you thinking that just because you’ve been saved for some amount of time, and just because you have gifts, and just because He uses you, and just because He’s given you the strength to move mountains, and to perform miracles signs and wonders through you – that you’re doing something.  When we do nothing ever.  Ever. Ever. Ever.  I’ll repeat it until it’s truly what’s in my heart. 

And this leaves the “mess with a dress” no choice, but to embrace the love of God.  Love has no rules – it’s open and embracing and free. It’s freedom multiplied. And nothing can separate us from that.  Not even the “mess with a dress”. Not all of the sin in the world – because He already came and died for it.  Can’t work for it. Can’t buy it.  Can’t reach up and grab it. Can’t even fully understand it.   But you can receive it.  Once this happened for me, it was like the weight of “works” was completely lifted.  It was like the biggest hug I’ve ever encountered on my worst day that never ended.  It was like the feeling you get when you close your eyes and feel the sun rays beaming warmth into your skin.  And then I exhaled for the first time in a long time spiritually.  And in embracing His love, in embracing Him – I embraced the ME that’s really me.  Minus labels; minus pre-conceptions; minus all the wrong I’ve done; minus judgment….just me. Minus clothing; minus long hair; minus a title; minus a certain group of people….just me.  And what freedom, what joy, what love radiates from the girl who used to be "a mess with a dress" and now is just a mess covered by His grace and His love.  Big difference. We decide.