“It’s what we’ve asked the Lord to do,” he says when I ask him if he’s scared. “We have asked the Lord to prune the team and that’s what is happening. We’re being pruned.”
“What if they all leave?” I ask, my own fear seeping out in my words.
He packs his lunch and slips into his jacket and I hear the smile in his voice, “It’s OK. We’re OK. Pruning hurts, but it’s necessary for growth.”
I walk to the bedroom to finish dressing and I hear him shut the back door.
In these early morning hours, when my hands are wrapped around my coffee mug and I’m waiting for our children to bound down the stairs, I feel my own fear creep in and I know this fear has the ability to choke me.
Maybe it’s us, I think to myself. What if we’re so out of the box that we can’t culturally relate? What if the Jesus we offer isn’t the Jesus this city wants or thinks they need? Maybe this city needs the stained glass and Awana and 3 Beth Moore studies a year and maybe the Bible, shared in authentic community, isn’t enough.
Maybe we’re not enough.
I feel choked as I sip coffee from one of the same coffee mugs that our church uses on Sunday nights and I have the crazy notion that maybe the coffee doesn’t stay warm enough in these mugs…what if I find a way to keep it hotter? Would that matter? What if we change the way we handle the tribe of children and hire enough people to keep the children hidden during our gatherings? Would more people stick if they couldn’t hear their children crying on the second floor?
I’m choking on my own irrational fears and believing Truth is hard when the Liar is prowling around in my church and my home.
This church in my home is leaving me feeling naked and I long to clothe myself from head to toe, to preserve what little pride I have left.
Even as I write that word, pride, I pause and know that’s the truth-the thing I am most fearful of losing.
It’s pride that eats away at me, that makes me so afraid of failing or being disliked or having my stuff critiqued or having my favorite brand of coffee cast aside.
I’m afraid that the Lord’s pruning will leave us exposed and that new growth will be slow.
And can I be really honest? Being naked in a small town is much harder than being naked in a big city.
*I ask for grace from all you folks who so kindly read my heart everyday. These are my words, my stumblings, my nakedness all over this screen and they are not intended to be used for anything other than to encourage you to run your own race and share your own journey. If you read everyday, my prayer is that you see the Lord’s ability to redeem all things that are made ugly by human hands. I am not jumping off this bus that the Lord has us on, but I am working through my own willingness to embrace this journey with both hands wide open. Please extend grace to me and especially to my hubby, who so graciously encourages me to write-even when what I share leaves him wide open for critique. I thank you for always reading, for joyfully walking with us, and for carrying us to the Lord in prayer.
Much Love Always,