(Dear Reader: Please remember that this blog is first and foremost for my children to read when I've gone the way of the Dodo bird, thus this post exists to share my thoughts with them. My thoughts to my children on the Catholic religion is soon to come.)
I was raised in a Christian household. My parents are Christians. I became a Christian when I was 7 years old as I asked Jesus into my heart, kneeling at an alter, in our hometown church. I was Baptised in the Ohio River when I was 12 years old in the name of The Father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit. I ran around "churchless" for 2 of my later teen years. It was in that time that I met my husband, Brian, who was raised in church also but, alas, was running around churchless in his later teen years also. Brian and I got married 11 months after we met one another. We were married 6 weeks after I had turned 20 years old. He is 1 1/2 years younger than I am.
Brian and I "got saved again" a year into our marriage. (if that's possible) We were Baptised together in a baptismal at our church in the name of The Father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit. Through the years, I've had questions and spent much time searching out why I believe the way I do, but when it comes to knowing who my Saviour is, I know. Period. I questioned His existence and came to believe that He does exist. Not only do I know who He is but I know life without Him and I choose to keep Him nice and safe in my heart, thank you very much.
All of that said, I do have a tendency to walk around being saved without telling everyone about it. There are days, weeks...even months when I never mention it to a person who passes by. I don't throw Bibles out my window trying to bless "sinners" as they walk by or go around blessing everyone I see. I just don't care to bother everyone down the pike with my views.
In the past 2 years, since I broke my leg, our family has homechurched. We were in transition between churches when my leg broke and since I was bound to our home for 2 months, we just kept staying home after I was able to walk better. The process of finding a new church has sort of drug its heals. We homeschool from a Christian curriculum, and so the slow church hunt has taken our family a bit longer than I had hoped since our children are already being "fed" at home. It's been nice actually, but I do miss the family time spent together going to church and then lunch afterward. But I digress...
There is a term in the evangelical world called a Lukewarm Christian. I've noticed in my years of church-going that many adults are afraid to become "Lukewarm" because God spits you out of His mouth and all that. In an effort to be "hot" there are some who "talk like a Christian" whenever they feel someone may be looking their way with a judgemental eye. They may actually be afraid to allow themselves to breathe lest they fall off the wagon, so to speak because there they would sit all Lukewarm and what-not.
I've found, that some Christians like to evangelize every soul who happens to say a "buzz" word that is in disagreement to their particular kind of Christian faith. Heaven forbid an evangelical happen upon a Catholic who says the word, "works." But that's another post for another day.
I am a people watcher. I like to figure people out, and because I'm made that way I watch how people act in various situations. Many Christians lighten up when they are around other like-minded Christians. They may feel they don't have to "work" right now so they can let their hair down without the worry of having to bring someone to Christ. I've seen many who are like me and are the same pretty much everywhere they go. I try to surround myself with those people, thus the reason I have such wonderful Christian friends. but I digress...again...
Then I've seen some who are wound tighter than a tire swing about to spin. They have to let everyone around them know the right way to Heaven and that happens to be their way or no way at all.
In my years of Christian People watching, I've found that the more people try to talk like a person they are not, the less likely they are to live like the person God made them to be. They are much more likely to live for those around them in the hopes that everyone will think they are "holy enough" to get to Heaven, instead of living their lives in the Joy of Christ.
For instance, There are many Christians who say "Amen" a lot or call me sister anywhere within 100 meters of their church but when outside the confines of their church circle, they don't call me sister or say Amen at all. What's up with that?!
On the flip side, there are many who stop conversation in its tracks if there is any semblance of scripture to quote for the circumstance. There are some who will say that they feel led to do this and led to do that, so they can put some weight behind decisions they have made. Once in a while, sure, God may tug you in a direction but the more I hear those words come out of someones mouth the more I begin to wonder if they are really being led or if they are pushing the circumstances along.
I live with Christ in my heart because he's rooted and grounded there. I don't feel like I need to say bless you sister all the time, though on occasion I do. I don't mind that there are some people who do that, but I'm just not one of those people. I decided a long time ago that I can pick up my cross daily, keep His suffering on my mind daily, and take solace in the knowing that my Christian roots are pretty deep. There came a time in my life when God took control, I gave over the reigns and I let go of "showing off" my Christianity. I finally realized that if I only let God steer my life, the faith I hold so deep will somehow be shared through the life circumstances that God puts in my path. He places the witnessing opportunities in my path, gently, quietly and many times, without fanfare...and at times, even without MY knowing it has happened.
There's nothing shaking this tree, though some may think I'm cold in my Christianity because we took some time to find a church. I, however, think it all happened in God's timing. As always, I was thinking, praying, keeping my mind on Christ. This solidifies my desire to serve Him daily with or without a church. My willingness to go to bat for Him at any moment of any day is anchored in my soul. I've been planted, watered, fed and the roots are so deep that God can now use me to help others take root. Still, I catch little buzz words and phrases now and then that let me know some people wonder about me. "Is she Lukewarm? or worse yet, Is she cold?"
I guess that's life. We can't please all of the people all of the time. I have to wonder if maybe I'm sent here to get the judgmental types praying for me so they have something to pray about since their lives are so perfect. Who knows?
It is my belief that at some point in a Christian's life there comes a time when we've heard what we need to hear, shored up our beliefs and can then go out and do what needs to be done. We only live so long! Somehow, somewhere, the need for council dwindles a bit. The Holy Spirit does lead us, and who better to direct our steps than Him?
Boys, I guess what I'm saying is this. Our church sabbatical hasn't been a time of fasting from Christ. I'm a grown up Christian teaching the souls put into my care. I teach from the deepest roots I have sown into my soul and your father and I live in such a way that we would hope you want to emulate. We wish this for you and your children.
You boys know I enjoy talking about doctrine but in the end, I'm fed. I'm built. Jesus continues to give me the bread and drink I need to do the work on my plate of life. It is the journey that I find fascinating. Yes, some acquaintances judge my Christianity for lack of in your face fervor but I am happy to know that I take my judgment from a higher power. He sustains my breath, my purpose, my everything.
So boys, when you feel the finger pointing in your direction from those who are supposed to be on your side, just know that turning your site from their glare and tilting your head up toward Christ works best. It was when your father and I were running around "churchless" that God led us to one another. It was when we were running around "churchless" that I broke my leg and we all were bonded tighter as a family. It was when we were running around "churchless" that we decided to become a foster family. It was in between churches that God had some time to speak to our hearts. It was IN church that He fed our souls, allowed us to be rooted in Him and built the foundation that holds our course steady to this day.
Sometimes, worrying about what a church is doing, saying, or thinking about us can get in the way of what God wants for us. Some personalities need space to think, reflect, and pray without wondering what others will think. Church is a wonderful gift. It is needed, but church is NOT God and neither is that pastor or priest behind the pulpit. Remember who you are worshipping and who deserves your undivided attention. The preacher has a job to do, but so do you!
Somewhere between committing my life to Christ and becoming an "adult Christian", (rooted) I got hot-melded to Christ. My prayer is that when you feel yourself hot-melded, that you will keep your eyes on what He wants for your life. You don't have to mold to some Christian look or some churches idea of how to sound to gain His Grace. He allowed me to weed out the useless garbage that surrounded my soul and He will do the same for you if you ask Him. He will use your differences, as He uses mine, to touch those He would put in our path. I like that. I feel as though you will get a kick out of it too. It's kind of a high five moment between you and God. I'm comforted in the knowledge that I don't have to be what some guy behind a pulpit wants me to be. I just have to be the person God made me, And boys He made you all very, very special. Let Him guide you. You'll enjoy the ride.