I had a discussion with my girls about hurts that we all have gone through in the last few years. We left a church and it’s been so hard. I know for them, they have struggled with some of the friendships, that they thought they had. I also have felt the same thing. I made mistakes in believing that the body of believers, are who you spend your time with. We were taught to hang out only with believers that had the same mindset. How are we supposed to be there for our family and friends and be light in this world, if all we do is hang with those like us. I thought we were supposed to get encouragement from those believers and then go out into the world and be a help to those who need us.
We actually hurt some of our family, in not being around and doing all this church stuff. I have asked and received forgiveness from those that Michael and I both hurt. I have comforted our children, who feel so much pain from it all. One of my daughters spoke about sitting at lunch alone for months because of needing to be set apart from all these messed up kids and she had focused so much effort to fit in with the Christian kids, that at school she ended up not having relationships there. Aren’t we all messed up, in one way or another? Only Christ is perfect in every way. The funny thing is that she never fit in with the Christian kids, they were all clicky and once we left, out of sight out of mind. I understand the bible says to be set apart but how can we be around ones who need to see Christ in us, if we hang out just in the Church? How can I love my neighbor if I have an agenda, if I am trying to figure out if they are saved, if I am judging them. How can I love my neighbor, if I’m not.
Do you think someone who had questions about my beliefs would ask me, if I didn’t have a relationship with them. A friendship, a respect for each other. If God is in me, then it should show up. He should show something in me, without me even saying one word. I don’t have to talk about the amazing things he’s done in my life and I don’t have to judge them or condemn them. Some Christians think it is loving to warn, you will go to hell. Where is the love in that. Wouldn’t it work much better to just love them as they are?
Looking back at what we went through and the hurts we still carry and are working at healing them, I feel like we had to go through what we did. So we would look at others differently, so we would realize we are the same as every other person. Not better than, the same. I am thankful for what we learned, for going to China on my mission trips, cause this did have an effect on our lives, not only did we end up with Abby but we have our family now. It has affected us in the way we go to the church we attend. I am more cautious and not looking to fit myself in there. I am just learning about God and worshiping there, if I end up having a few good friends, then great. If not then it’s ok. I have realized that a true friend would not care whether you go to a church, their church, or any church. A true friend is there in thick and thin, no matter what you are going through. You can count on them, they pick you up when you fall. I am thankful to have a few special people in our lives. What more can you ask for?
This past week Aubrey went on vacation with a girlfriend, to Chicago. This picture of Abby and Aubrey’s boyfriend Derek is so sweet, at first she wasn’t too sure about him but pretty soon she was all interested in him. Lizzy just got a new job, which is making her grow up so fast. Sixteen and her first job, she’ll be working at the local mall at a teen type store. She is so happy to get some money and to be hired.
We also got some news from the agency that we have consent to adopt Abby, we are signing papers this week. We are so excited to finally get this done and the process is going as expected. It looks like the end of Sept she will be ours legally. She already feels like our daughter and sister but it will be nice to have her legally. To have her be a Tacoma, through and through. It was so sweet calling Michael at work, he was all excited. Proud papa had to call the agency to get more details, of what this actually meant.
Abby is growing so fast, it’s amazing. She definitely has her own sweet personality. She is constantly doing new things and we are so fascinated by her. Most everyone who sees her, comments on what a sweetie she is. This Sunday in church, Abby was blowing raspberries like crazy and after the service the people who sat behind us, said how she kept them very entertained. I hope she didn’t bother the pastor during his sermon. Anyway, I still can’t believe what a miracle she is, and how God worked out everything for us to be her parents, her family.
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word. Psalm 119:114
More to come later!