In Between Two Worlds
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
When the Lord is about to bring something new, he may have to uproot you from where your currently positioned .He will use imperfect people, as we all are, to assist in this shift. It`s one of those incredible things about our creator. He knows we are all imperfect but will use our imperfections to bring glory to him. Psalm 147:5 Great is our Lord, abundant in power; his understanding beyond measure.
I`m currently at a crossroads. My journey at church over the last 8 years has been one of faith, perseverance and rising above, caring and showing compassion to all no matter what wrong doing had been done or pending judgement I knew may eventually be cast upon me. I walked into church being called by the Lord no doubt as an extremely broken person who was at my witts end. Trying to `fix myself`was a never ending battle. Giving my heart to the Lord and continuing to follow him, I have a softened heart, I know what forgiveness is, I have a love and view on life through eyes like I`ve never experienced before. Chains have been broken and convictions have been felt. Continuing to follow, read the Lord`s word, praise him, love him and grow in relationship with him, through his spirit working through me and using others along the way, my life has turned upside down.
Walking into the church, I had a girlfriend of many years. Early in my faith journey we parted ways, for reasons aside from attending church. I`ve had a personal journey with `relationships` knowing how the `church` stood. However the Lord was moving within me and I knew what conviction felt like and I never felt it on this matter and still don`t. See, the Lord knows me inside and out. He knows my heart is his and he opened a door and entrusted me to lead within ministry.
I have been in Youth ministry for 5+ years .To get there, I endured some heartache within the church prior, due to a falling out with a mentor. In the early years as I endured the aftermath of the falling out, that was the first time I thought, `If I was my old self, I`d be out!`. Although, I persevered through my trust in the Lord and prayed for the opportunity to teach and lead the youth in his time. I felt like I was running arms and legs flailing backside facing the church but the Lord had me by the back of the shirt saying `you are going to stay right here`. I knew the power of the Lord and knew if I had the opportunity I could speak the the truth with utmost conviction, passion and heart through the experiences I`ve endured.
Moving forward, the Lord answered my prayer. He entrusted me with the youth. The experiences and relationships that have been built within the last 5+ years, incredible!! From week long mission trips, weekend retreats, week day programs and more, my heart is overflowing everytime I do anything that aligns with the Lord`s will for my life and to speak into the kids lives. Having fun, sharing experiences, looking to the Lord and showing them how to see him in all things. Always reminding them that the Lord will never leave them. They are not alone, they are loved and their prayers are heard.
The elephant in the room with all this being said, In the minds of some people within the church community I am unable to have this faith journey within the four walls of the church as having a girlfriend is not in line with God`s word. I struggled with that concept knowing who I am and knowing the Lord was using me. I have had girlfriends through my ministry and it`s personal. My friends, family and many knew and really, the only judgement I`ve ever faced is from people within the church. I know their views and I know some arguments against it but this is not what this message is about.
Knowing how on fire I was for the Lord and seeing him use me in the messages I shared with the youth and the teaching that just flew out of my mouth with minimal notes, I knew he had a tight hold. Knowing this and knowing I`d been hurt prior within the church walls, I spoke to a high leader a few years ago stating where I was at and asked if the people of the church were going to take the youth from me. After conversations, it was was concluded that the Lord was undeniably at work through me and to keep doing what I was doing.
That brings us to today. I have recently been asked to step down from all ministry, via email, due to seeing a woman and they`d like me to continue this conversation in person. After the huge blow, instead of reacting I maintained calm. In the world outside of the church this would be considered discrimination. I have been told that believers are to stand apart. I believe this to be true. However, not in this way.
As a Christian, there is a hope, a spark, a light, a joy, a peace that surpasses all understanding that some people just can`t grasp fully. Yet the ones who do not know the Lord may want to know more and instead of reading a bible they read the believer. I truly want people to see the passion and the faith that remains unshakeable through this storm. That is the gospel. To seek the Lord with all your heart and soul. He wants our hearts first and foremost and he has a plan for each of us, individually. It is a journey worth taking.
A week ago I let leadership know, if they want me to continue being the exact same person I`ve always been and continue within youth ministry, I`d be happy to talk in person. If not, I did not need to come in for them to explain that I am doing something wrong and in turn make me feel small for something that does not define me. I am made up this way and not by choice. If I have this strong faith that my life can testify too, why would I choose this for myself knowing the challenges that come with it? The Lord is using me regardless of narrow views and and this is never a topic I want to rest on. To me, it`s always been about the relationship between him and the heart that has been given to him.
Further to my email, a week later, bringing us to this very moment I have heard nothing from leadership. These are the individuals who have praised me for my heart and passion and that I`ve known for many years. I see where they stand and I`m happy to move forward and remain above this even though my heart hurts when I think of the youth. I was disheartened that no leaders have reached out on a personal level but it is what it is. It solidifies the truth that we are all broken people, which does include me. I need the Lord to help me get through this and I will continue to step out in faith.
I will continue to tread lightly on my views and actions of the leadership. I know many youth look up to them and some may be related to the leaders and all of these kids, I adore. I even have no ill will towards the leadership. I do not condone their actions and feelings of banishment that have been cast upon me. However, I`d still have a coffee with any of them. I knew their stance on same-sex relationships throughout my time at church but always chose to stay above it and genuinely care about them with no judgement.
To any of the youth that see this, you are all truly amazing! I look forward to time spent together in the future someway and somehow, Lord willing. To the girls who always scream, Jenn, Jenn, Jenn, as I walk in and you come share your stories with me, you have no idea the simple joy that brings. To all of you, from the small group discussions, prayers, games, ping pong battles, 21 and all the individual conversations, I am thankful for every moment. Thank you again, for being incredible kids, jr high and sr high alike.
In closing, this verse has been at the forefront lately, Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord`s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
I am in between two worlds. The people of the church have their views, the people who don`t go to church but know me, think going to church is crazy. However, I`m actually quite content in between. In my opinion, I am on neither side, I am firmly planted and deeply rooted on the rock and firm foundation of Christ. He has brought me to this journey, through this journey and in order to see what is next, he must move me or I would stay where I am. I am excited to see what church I am led to and what ministry I can be part of.
Once again, I will only ever bring Glory to God first and foremost.