I want to write about authentic community.
I want to write about grace.
The house is finally empty after having a house full of leader pastors and their wives, and it still smells like Mississippi Mud Pie and hamburger grease.
It smells like Jesus and grace and new beginnings.
And it almost feels like authentic community.
We have come so far in 10 months and I’d be lying if I said what happened here tonight was no big deal.
It was a HUGE deal. And I want to spill it out here.
But, alas, I have committed to journaling about 31 days of grace, and it’s time to get to it.
I have committed to listening to the Lord and seeing my walk through His eyes.
Even in the ugly, He was there.
So, I will pick up where I left off yesterday.
It would be the summer that would forever change my life, the summer before my senior year of high school. I would meet the boy that I thought I would marry and I would walk away from the church youth group that had consumed most of my teenage years.
It was July and the sweat was running down my chest. The birthday party was for my closet girlfriend and it was sultry. The air was thick and dripping with humidity and we were in the backyard doing what teenage girls do. She had a serious boyfriend and he had a friend home from college and there we were: one boy and one girl, both nice kids from nice families, and a sense of morality.
We became a thing and I became the good girl who settled.
He was nice and his family was amazing and really, he loved me for me, and I settled for good and nice and safe.
We dated and after a few months, I knew he was the nicest boy I had ever met. He was a virgin and so was I and after years of True Love Waits, I just knew God had set him aside for me.
He was the only pure guy I knew.
I spent months walking through my days and waiting by the phone for his daily calls. And somewhere during that time, I stopped going to my church’s youth group.
I also lost my best friend over a silly prank that really wasn’t so silly. It actually turned into something quite ugly.
What initially began as a way to get back at me for choosing one boy over another, quickly escalated into a damaged car and one boy’s arrest.
And the one boy who rallied the others to pour oil and paint thinner in my gasoline tank was in my youth group.
Overnight, my life was turned upside down. I was never the same. And our youth group was never the same.
I ran from all that I knew to be of God and clung to the nice boy who loved me and I continued to lose me all along the way.
But God was there.
He saw it all and when I curled up in bed each night in my parent’s home, He was holding me while I cried.
He was already working to bring beauty from the ashes that I was continually making.
And I had piles of ashes for Him to work with…
I am jumping in a litle late and linking up with The Nester, as more than a thousand others spend 31 days writing on a whole host of topics. Click here to read more…