Friday, March 27, 2009

Blessed and Highly Favored: Part II

Time for Part 2: This event has really been instrumental in shaping me and has influenced the person that I am today. Don't get me wrong, I have NOT arrived.. but this is just another step on the pathway.

Anyhow, about a year ago, the church that I was attending at the time stopped regularly doing something that I felt was EXTREMELY important in bringing followers of Christ together in worship and more importantly in bringing us into a deeper fellowship with Christ himself. It was not one of those ritualistic things where we needed to do it this certain specific way but a regular and consistent practice was really all that I was looking for. To completely eliminate and have no explanation as to why was a concern of mine. I talked with the person in charge in passing at first, and then waited a few months to see what would come of it. NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. I knew that I would have to go back and address the issue again with this person in a more specific way and honestly that in itself scared me to death. During these few months, I had seen several others who were really good friends of mine leave the church because they challenged something and it was not well received. I didn't know WHAT was going to happen. So I shared my concern with said person after much prayer and consideration. He seemed open to my thoughts and concerns and I really thought that a change was going to happen. I kept praying over the situation and located some scripture to make sure that I was dealing with everything in a biblical way. (Matthew 18: 15-17). I had decided to give it 30 days and see what my next step would be. Day 28 - and still NOTHING had changed and no mention of change either. Hmmm.. interesting, I thought.. I'm going to have to go back -- and this time take someone else with me! So I prayed on it and located the person who would go with me & asked them if they would pray about going with me to talk to this person. So the next day we get to church, and come to find out we didn't have to address the issue -- everything was set up and ready to go for what I had been asking for.. GREAT! But then I started to question -- was this because of God changing this person's heart OR was this just being done to appease me and lead me to think that things had changed?? To this day I honestly can't answer that question for you.. but it really doesn't matter anymore at this point.

I kept on about my business for the rest of the summer. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that I had started going to several bible studies at other churches during this time to gain different perspectives and really to see what other churches were doing and to learn more outside of the 4 walls of the church where I was on Sunday mornings. There was tons of opposition because of that... I was learning and growing at these other places though and my only explanation for it was GOD. At this point, insert the last blog I wrote here in my time line, read about how I was on cloud 9 after the struggles that I had been through in THAT situation! :)

Anyhow, the fall came and a few things in my schedule came up that shouldn't be major issues!! First of all, my final class for my MBA fell on Wednesday nights which meant that I had to sacrifice going to a weekly home fellowship/small group meeting for 16 weeks to finish my Master's Degree. I also was asked to start leading worship for a hospital ministry on Sunday afternoons which kept me from being able to go to bible study at my home church due to scheduling. As a result, I decided to sign up for another bible study at another church that met on a different night of the week - to make sure that my cup stayed filled and that I was still immersed in God's Word other than just on Sunday mornings! All 3 of these things brought up looks, comments and outright verbal opposition towards me which, in my opinion, is uncalled for.

Before you think that everything was all roses for me on my end outside of these other people and their junk -- let me just tell you that God and I had it out many, many, many, many times over these issues. I didn't like having my whole Sunday being taken from me to serve in what seemed like total rejection sometimes when we would go to that hospital... But God said, keep going.. I didn't like driving 45 minutes to an hour (in traffic) to bible study on Tuesday evenings to study the bible with women that I didn't know AT ALL.. But God said, keep going and showed me at least one reason for me to be there EVERY SINGLE WEEK THAT I WENT! The more that I went and studied and learned and formed these relationships, it was obvious that I was missing A LOT in my spiritual life. Finally, God said "Leave and Go to the place that I have shown you".. and I was fearful of what this meant for me. It meant starting over, meeting new people, making new friends, unplugging from one place and plugging in at another. It meant stepping completely outside of a box and into territory that I had faced before -- but this time I was facing it as a Christian..(huge difference).

So I left. I contacted everyone that needed to know that I was leaving due to my service obligations and commitments. I said goodbye to a lot of friends and a lot of people who had grown to be my family... and moved on. I won't use the internet to air a bunch of dirty laundry about certain people and their opinions of all of this (specifically) but I will say that this decision -- one between me and GOD -- was NOT well received by most. It is one that is still being questioned today (either behind my back or in some peoples' minds.. guaranteed!).

Have I questioned my decision? ABSOLUTELY. Have I looked back? OF COURSE. BUT GOD had a plan for me and my life and when He speaks -- our only choice is to obey Him. I guess my reason for writing all this out is to say that becoming immersed in this new church and culture has really been the thing that has given me closure on the situation. Now it's official: I'M NOT LOOKING BACK AND I'M NOT GOING BACK! I dont' have any reason to!! When you eat steak for many meals in a row there's NO WAY that you would want to go back to eating sardines! That's how I feel about this... I have come into my own -- I found a ministry that I absolutely LOVE (choir) and am ready to give my all to that ministry however God allows me to do. I also feel like I am making friends -- SINGLE FRIENDS -- to help me learn how healthy friendships between men & women are supposed to look and to be connected with people who are in the same boat as me -- SINGLEHOOD.

to my faithful readers: THANK YOU for sticking it out to the end of this blog! I truly appreciate you! I hope you are able to see after reading these 2 posts that the God I serve is REAL and AWESOME! I can't wait to tell you more as He continues to show Himself to me! :)


Mrs. Dallas said...

It is always good to look back and reflect on things. It makes you stronger and more determine to strive for the ultimate goal. I am happy for you and will continue to pray for you along this journey. Keep your focus and disreguard any negativity that is not about "Nilla's goal".
Be blessed,
Queen Dallas of the Royal Family

Kevin and Cam said...

Ever heard of the phrase "God takes us from glory to glory?" That's all that has been unfolding in your life, my life, Dallas' life, etc. All because we seek Him, and keep him first. And NO! There's no way you can go back! And sometimes it's good to to look back and see just how far God has brought you. It's a constant reminder that GOD IS REAL (as you said in your blog) and that He remains FAITHFUL even when we're not. Keep moving forward...God has much more in store for you and your life! Love ya!