Yesterday I had lunch with a friend that I once went to church with. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years.
She expressed to me how her heart had been broken by my leaving that particular church and compared it to my own heartache when one of my good friends had also left. It was painful to hear that…but I get it. Everything we do affects others and we don’t always see how or the extent until we realize that many times the same pain we have felt we have turned and given to others.
Sometimes no matter the pain you just have to go away though. Sometimes we steal away for a season. Sometimes it is life long. I found that once I was going and once I had said my “goodbyes”… to stop again for small talk or to try to explain myself further risked taking away from what God was doing in my heart. I can see many things now because I am much further removed.
And my friend had asked me to lunch to find out why I’d left.
I offered yesterday and now only a brief explanation. I have no apologies for leaving. I have no regrets in any decision that I have made along the way. I can say that truly. God has taken me on a journey away from some things and toward Himself and I find no need to justify the path He plowed. I am excited about the place I am in and what God is doing in my life. My friend was excited about what God is doing in her life and the path of the church as well. I think probably neither one of us really, truly GOT the other’s excitement at first. Such different paths it seems.
God has had her stay put BUT GOD led me away from the place I was in. WHY? That was the question –
I believe He did it for several reasons. First – to protect me! Secondly – to prepare me for the end times…in earnest. I don’t say that in a proud way and certainly I don’t say it as an indictment of anyone or any church. It was a very personal thing about my own personal walk with the Lord. I pray you get how very personal it was and still is. Where God leads you or places you is personal. That doesn’t mean you can make that decision by yourself or that you should come and go at will. It means He leads you into the place where He can speak to you, grow you up and use you according to His will. I believe God Himself decided He was taking action with me. Yes, I had a choice but God put something so strongly in my heart. The choice was easy and for that all He has done in my life these last years I am beyond grateful.
Why did He take action? Well….
In many ways I had become addicted to the growing of friendships and the daily activity we all like to call church. Sure I was doing some very good things with very good people but I needed to let go of many of the things I was doing and even some of the things I LOVED so much and even some of the things I am ultimately called to. Maybe it makes no sense but I was too busy. I needed a type of an intervention and an extended time of “detox” from the works of church…too many of which I had my hands in. These last three years have been a hard, satisfying time. Sometimes they still are plagued with great loneliness but then that loneliness ALWAYS seems to lead to greater union with my Father. Times of deep reflection in His Presence have reorganized life. MY life that was always meant to be an expression of HIS LIFE and His LOVE and a carrier of His Will.
As far as preparing me for endtimes. In the place I am, sitting under those I am, I am being prepared. I believe there is a time coming when we will have to walk in what we have been prepared to walk in and others will be dependent on our walk. If you haven’t done the preparation what will you do???
God is starting to allow some things that are His will for me into my life. Some He isn’t allowing. It’s all so unique and believe me I haven’t figured it all out. But just like no two people are alike, no two plans are exactly alike when it comes to God’s plans. Even if God has created you to love, study and talk about the same things I do, it will still be a call so special and sacred for you.
So here we sat at lunch – two friends, from two different cultures, two different church bodies. Both with hearts for the Word, prayer, the poor and lost. Both wanting to be fruitful but so aware now of some of the traps. Both feeling we are called to fulfill the Great Commission as a type of a missionary – but with VERY different visions of what that looks like (at our age!). Two different paths that are both following JESUS!!!
And then the lunch was over and once again we said those “goodbyes.”
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; ~ Colossians 1:9-10