When the Lord takes the medicore and makes it amazing. Today, due to my inability to renew my license I had to go to the county recorder's office and then the Social Security Administration.
I've with held telling friends from my first and third wards that we have left the LDS church because I care about them so much and don't want to see that look of dissappointment, hurt, and anything of the like on their faces. First thing, I went to the Recorder's Office and waited in line. When the person behind the desk asked if he could help me, I stepped forward. I knew this man! And of course, I blurted it out, "I know you!" Now imagine this - here I am in a layered tank top and wearing a cross necklace. Obviously, not wearing my garments. "Are you LDS?"
He was. Not only was he LDS but he was a presiding Bishric member who welcomed me back in fellowshipment Christmas 2005. When I told him my name - he remembered me. As I pulled my paperwork out to show him, I realized I had my small group binder (I wanted to read ahead during my waiting time) that had in large print, "Understanding the Basics of Christianity" and GP's name on it. Whoops. He also attended our temple endowment and sealing ceremony.
I felt like the Lord was saying, "Do you care about the feelings of others more than My will? Do you love this world more than me?" Who am I to with-hold the Lord's glory in my life?
Then when I went to the SS Office - I saw a woman wearing a beautiful headcovering. I recently saw another woman like this at a GP community event. I wanted very badly to strike up conversation then, but wearing a tank, uncovered head, and cropped pants - I didn't feel that I would be able to approach her. I felt the exact same way today - add to it, wearing a cross. Finally, I placed my faith in the Lord - that He is ultimatly in control. I took a deep breathe and went over to her, I commented on her headcovering and how lovely it was and inquired where she purchased it. Before long, she was asking if I covered and why, "To show respect for God's authority. To acknowledge it in my life." She nodded in approval and continued speaking with me. I excused myself for a moment and when I returned, she had found two seats together in the crowded waiting area and had saved me a seat. She shared stories from her life with me - including her conversion to Islam. She shared with me the heartbreaking stories of how her Christian family treated her after she converted - calling her a cultist, terrorist, and such. When she asked them where they got that they stated their Pastor told them this. After discussing how cruel Christians had been to her - she paused and softly asked - as if she already knew the answer, "What faith are you?"
"I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus." She paused again. We began talking about the Lord - how He is everywhere and sees all that we do. I agreed. I found myself agreeing with a lot of what she said. Living our lives for God. It was almost as if the Lord used this woman to perhaps answer my misgivings about myself and my salvation, my belonging to Him. The message I took from this woman was two fold - one from her directly and one from the experience I had with her. The Lord is calling me to more obediance - to stop crawling off the altar so much and try harder to heed His call. He is preparing me - to minister to the homeless. He is placing burdens in my heart for those who perhaps are forgotten by Christians - the women who are shunned from their families, the teens who become pregnant, and the homeless who have been forgotten. Those who need the precious love of Jesus the most and sometimes are the last to recieve it.
The lady gave me her information to stay in touch with her. Perhaps I'll simply plant seeds of a different type of Christian in her life and someone else will till them.Perhaps this one encounter was all God had in mind - perhaps this was more for me than her - whatever God's plan is the message is clear. I must heed His calls and be obediant Him if I truely want to have that intimate fellowship with Him, to serve others, and to most importantly - grow as a believer. It's common sense but sometimes completly is forgotten.
I receive further confirmation from Steve - whom I hadn't even shared all this with when I arrived home. He'd been reading Romans 12:3 and it states, "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." He shared with me that he feels very impressed that this is the Lord's will for us. This is what we are supposed to be doing. So we're seeking the Lord in prayer for further direction - starting with simplifying our "stuff" that's really, not even ours to begin with. I'm not sure what we're going to do yet - donate it to teen parents, to families in need, to the homeless, or what. The Lord gave Steve and I vastly different life experiences - it's time I returned to what He has placed on me. Service. Through service I've always felt intimate fellowship with the Lord - through this reminder, He has answered my prayer. I am His, He is with me, and He loves me. Others need to feel His overwhelming, powerful love and grace too.
So, in the words of a dear friend of mine - shut up Satan.