I also caved while I sat through the Pumpkin Pageant last week.
Yes, you read correctly.
The Pumpkin Pageant*. I could only cheer for little girls in make-up and big girls in sequins for a few minutes before my fingers found my phone and I gleefully scrolled through the glorious pictures of you and your crazy ones. A quiet smile erupted on my face and I enjoyed you for a moment.
Just a moment, and then I tucked you away in my burlap coffee bean sack of a purse and tried not to miss you so much.
All you faces who taught me how to do life with others and receive grace…I am missing you this week.
Missing you all kinds of terrible.
But enough about the happy-sad kind of stuff, I need to pick up with where I left off yesterday.
I was a senior in high school and in love and brokenhearted all at the same time.
I was in the middle of a small town scandal and my church had become the place that I feared the most.
I was lost in good ‘ole boy thinking and Baptist living and I knew for the first time in my life, that this way of living and thinking is crazy.
I walked through life like a shadow, with my eyes turned downward and I longed to hide in my skin. I went to school and my part-time job and I dated.
But I always had one eye looking over my shoulder and I always wondered when they would get me. Those boys with whom I had laid bare, my heart and soul, and invited into my life. Those boys with whom I had learned about Jesus and done life with.
Those boys and that scandal and the small town sweeping under the rug kind of thinking, had made it easy for me to walk away from the church that had laid the foundation of my Christianity.
And I did, walk away.
In my heart, anyway.
I closed up the part of me that wanted to let Christ in, and I opened up other parts of me that let sin creep in and take up residence.
And while my body fell into sin, my soul held onto what it knew to be truth.
It held onto the quiet whisper of the Lord that said,
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you,
I have summoned you by name, you are mine.”
I was His…no matter what I did or didn’t do.
He was redeeming me and His light still flickered in the midst of all of the darkness that I had invited in.
I was His.
* And on a side note, I attended the Pumpkin Pageant to support Cassidy Wheaton, daughter to Chris and Amy Wheaton. She won! And God is restoring all that the locusts have eaten. So keep praying, all you friends who know the whole story…God is at work in this family and I love to watch how He continues to write this story. It’s Beauty and Grace and Redemption and all things that make for a good Old Testament kind of story.