Do no conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not earthly things... Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:1-2, 5
The words fell onto the table. Shaken I replayed them in my mind, "You don't even go to church." So much out of the dynamics of that sentence, the abrupt statement, it hurt. I looked at the eyes staring at the host of those comment, but so much of me wanted to join her in the thoughtless sense of mockery. The words themselves were not true, I was a faithful attendee, Sunday mornings 9:00 am. I was there, you could count me in... my hands held high, words coming forth, a note taking queen. So why did those words sting? Why did they hit so hard? Why did I feel like a broken record stuck on the same song, "You don't even go to church, to church, to church, to church..."
The rest of the evening was a bust. Unable to move past it, my mind suffering from the wound in my heart. A cycle of anger, bitterness, self-pity when everyone else seemed to have already forgotten and moved past the words that were swarming around me, stinging over and over again.
Weeks went by, the bitter wound resurfacing every time it played in my mind. Then it hit me like a wall, it wasn't that it was a lie, it wasn't the person whose confabulation shot an arrow into the depths of my soul, it was my own self that I realized was wrong all along.
I was the problem here. I did not shine Jesus' light. I did not glorify him in all I did. I partied along, gossiped with the girls, slandered co-workers. I was definitely not set apart from them. How my heart ached, throbbing and pain pouring out, wrenching my very thought, teeth clenched, hands tense. I was displeased in my thoughtlessness. In the awareness of the life I have been living the past year I became embarrassed and ashamed. The Jesus who is changing me revealed a very important part of my life... and said sweetly, gently, and with forgiveness looked for love within my heart and whispered "Do you love me? Feed my lambs... Do you love me? Feed my sheep... Do you love me? Follow me." (John 21:15-19).
He reinstated me and I surely denied him more with my actions than Peter did with words. Yet, he looked into my heart and he knew it wanted all of him and he saw that that was good enough, a great place to start.
"So here I stand, with arms high and heart abandoned... in love with the one who gave it all. My soul Lord to you surrender all I am is yours..."
Life changes little by little, by when he finds a coward and calls her courageous, calls her to live for him... he better bet she is going to in all her clumsiness, dash towards him double-speed with a heart craving to be in his arms. Yet, he knows her awkwardness will cause her to stumble, to fall sometimes, but he's right there to say, "Eyes back up victorious one... eyes on me."