I stepped out of my comfort zone this summer and joined a Bible Study for women. Not only that, but I led a table group. I struggle being in a room with women that love Jesus because I feel like I fail in being a godly woman. I do not see myself worthy of being a pastor’s wife.
I listen to 90’s rap and like it. On bad days, I catch myself talking gangsta like in the lyrics.
I am good at doing the stanky leg.
I complain and am idle.
I do not like people in my home and buy goodies rather than bake them.
I do not craft…in fact I hate it.
I just do not feel like I represent a woman of the church. But I love Jesus and so do the women I got to “lead” this summer. I wanted to be at the table with my friends or the table with the people my age, but God had a better plan. I was at the table with a mix of ages and he sat me down so that I could be mentored and taught. I gained new friends and grew in my relationship with Christ.
This is Bible Study.
This is the church.
If you have not studied with Ruth Chou, then I encourage you to study Truthfilled. It takes you on a journey through Colossians to learn your identity in Christ. To rehearse His truths. So powerful in this age where we easily get our confidence from likes, views and followers. Truth is what we say to ourselves is everything…so speak truth!
I fail at this daily. The author of the Bible Recap says “You are a person that reads her Bible, wants to read her Bible or wants to want to read her Bible.” I fall in the middle.
I am on Day 102 of a Bible reading plan, but should be on Day 175 I think. I started strong then stalled. I thought summer days would catch me up and I failed at that, too. My problem is distractedness. I sit down then lose focus. I am a failure.
Now, I celebrate that I have read 102 more days of the Bible than I read last year, but I can do better. I want to do better. I feel better and can handle life better when God’s truth is poured into me. I strive to be more like God.
But believing God is where the joy is at is much different than living it, so I continue to pray and do more. Truthfully, every time God has called me to study His word…he ends up preparing me for a battle where His word has sustained me. I will see if this time is different, but I know I am armed with the truth and that is enough.
Last year leading into 2020 I posted that the good Lord put a word of the year on my heart that I hated. This word confused me, angered me and I was embarrassed to share it.
The word was vulnerable.
I remember sharing it with others and saying…I do not get it, but this is the word. Flash forward to the end of 2020 and this word has been all over the place! Definitely a Covid 19 word. God prepared the way for my heart with this word.
I grew vulnerable with my students and how I learn to love them. Vulnerable in my marriage with sharing my concerns. Vulnerable with my child that he will not always be perfect and that is okay. Vulnerable with hugs and touch and phone calls that I normally do not like. It also led me to start the foster care process to love the vulnerable that need to know they are loved.
This word led me to the writing and documentary of Brene Brown and her insight and wisdom. This word changed me. This word grew me. God used it in big ways and continues to challenge me with the truth.
Vulnerable started out as an insult but has become a sign of God’s sovereignty.
It was simple. A card of scripture sitting in the dash of my vehicle. It has been there so long that I sometimes forget its power and purpose. It is a constant reminder of what and whom I live for, but even I can sometimes forget the power of the words. It is often not seen since few get in my car, but today was different.
The valet at a local hotel got my attention. He thanked me for the scripture and told me those words spoke to him. Looking into his eyes, I know he meant it. Such a strong human to share the impact. It caught me off guard as I was already nervous about getting my car filled with so much dirt and trash. In the middle of all these fancy cars, mine felt so out of place, but he reminded me my humble car was a witness. An unexpected witness pointing to a big God!
I hope to remember that our witness can be used by God in any way He sees fit. On this day I was moved and now see those scriptures with new eyes.
Reading about the Naya Rivera story…a story of a mother that used her last bit of energy to save her son before drowning…hit me hard as a mom.
I feel her frantic trying to keep her child safe.
I feel her fatigue using all her energy for another’s life.
I feel her panic that she cannot swim any longer.
I feel her love for her child and his future.
I know if she had any fight left in her or clarity of mind to make a plan then she would have done more/anything to save herself. As a mom, we want to be on the front row of watching our children succeed. Nothing breaks my heart more than to imagine not being able to see my child grow up. Not being the one to give the hugs, cheers and watch them grow into adults. I know it devastated her to not get into that boat with him. She gave her life for him.
“No greater love than to lay down your life for a friend.”
Jesus understands this kind of love for His children. He gave his life for me. He chose to die so that I could live. He gave all his energy and breathed his final breath only after He knew I was safe. I owe him my life.
I owe it to God to live my life to the fullest because He sacrificed his for mine. I owe it to God to be thankful for the gift. I owe it to him to tell others about this love.
I do not understand much about parenting, but I get the deep love for the life of a child. I will forever be connected to Naya Rivera on this deep love that you would use your last ounce of energy before letting go. Praying for her family as they navigate a future without her and praying for hearts to be opened that this kind of love is found in Jesus Christ for you and me.
Not all mothers share the privilege of their son being outside without fear or worry. Unfortunately, 2020 still proves we have a discrepancy in how we are allowed feel about protecting our children. One mom can say “be safe” and move on, while another mom (a mom of color) has to teach a list of unspoken rules then be left to worry. It is not right. Sadly, for far too long we (as in white) have kept quiet refusing to see the truth out of guilt that we live a more privileged life. However, we are called to speak up against injustice and there is nothing more unjust than criminal acts going unnoticed simply because who is alive to tell their side of the story. We should not need a video to take the time to seek the truth. My white son would not have been attacked that day jogging, or in his apartment in Dallas or at the party in Mesquite; all relevant stories of moms that grieve a son killed needlessly in large part (if not all part) because his skin color.
In this time of isolation, take time to reflect then speak up-destroy any blindness that does not see the truth of the situation or implores us to stay silent out of fear of conflict or to mind our business. While I have sat in the longest time out of the 21st century, my eyes have been opened to some #Coronatruths that we are 1. way more connected globally than we think we are (how one virus in one country around the world can spread that fast goes to prove our separation is not that separate) 2. we live in a world with lots of noise (my classroom Zooms prove some homes have lots of background noise and the mute all button has become my friend). This background banter needs to be blocked out to see what is important and to give ourselves permission to feel. We need to change the culture we live in. Stop looking the other way or excusing yourself from the conflict. Do not leave it for someone else-this problem belongs to us all.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I run for the injustice done to Ahmaud and for his mom that lost her son. We must join hands and step out of the darkness that separates how moms experience raising sons based solely on race. ALL moms should say with peace “My son is jogging and will be right back.”