We’re all created in a unique way… for His divine purposes, God created me with a desire to do hard things. This has been a fun, but too often lonely characteristic. Seriously, look around… how many women are purposely choosing to do hard things? To challenge themselves to do things that are outside “the box” of normalcy and stream of thought? In short, I was created to be different. Just writing that sentence brings a sigh of relief.. as if I’ve finally given myself permission (again) to be who God created me to be.
How long have I known I was different? Since shortly after God saved me when I was 10 years old. As young as I was, I knew I was completely different than I was before (duh… read 2 Corinthians 5:17) but I had no clue why. So I went about telling everyone who would listen about my decision to follow Jesus and give my life over to Him. I was quickly short-circuited by a few people who responded to my news with a blasé attitude. Like “Yeah, yeah, kid. That’s nice. Good for you.”
Since then, I’ve pursued and pursued and pursued, even when my pursuit flew in the face of the church culture in which I’ve lived since my conversion. Church Culture is the experience held by the vast majority of self-proclaimed Christians everywhere. This is how we do it, Stephanie. I don’t care what the Bible says, Stephanie, we have ways of doing things and you’re out of line. Lord, help me, I’ve ALWAYS been out of line. I’ve always asked the questions that make people squirm and feel awkward and exposed. Ugh. Did I mention it’s lonely round here?
But… though my intentions have not always been righteous, they have mostly been an effort to get back to who we are – Christ followers. We don’t live like the world lives. We don’t talk like the world talks. We don’t love what the world loves. We are the light of the world!!!! A city on a hill! The salt of the earth! We are like salmon in Alaska running hard against the stream to get to a prize, a goal because of the upward call of the living God.
Thanks be to God it won’t be a culture-bound human I’ll stand before one day to give an account for my life. It will be God Himself, who sees and knows the depths of my heart, the good, the bad and the ugly. He’ll know how much I loved Him and tried to do hard things for the cause of Christ as a response to his command, “Follow Me.”