I will never pay the cost that Christ paid on the cross for me....yet more and more I am beginning to comprehend (in the most elementary way) what it means when people say "there is a cost to following Christ".
For me, three years after beginning what I believed was going to be a relatively short geographical journey from the Rocky Mountain West to the Northwest, I'm beginning to pay the cost.
First let me say first off God has saved me on this journey. So any stings or inconveniences I've experienced pale in comparison to the amazing gift of life. But as we prepare to move on, to take the message of freedom to new friends, I want to reflect on what I thought was going-to-be to what actually is:
>I thought I would be closer than ever to my cousins and aunt who live nearby. I thought we would chum around and I would finally taste the sweetness of a quasi sibling relationship with my cousins. Instead my aunt's prison of anger and hatred toward everyone (but a lot of it directed at me as she lives across the street) has all but isolated me from my cousins. We've experienced being shut out from family gatherings that have happened across the street, lies and slander have been said behind my daughter's back about the quality of her home-based education, and my parenting skills have come under fire more times than I can count.
>I thought I would reconnect with my best friends from high school with whom I've kept in contact all this time. Those doors have shut and one friend told me she didn't want any contact with me anymore.
>My mother moved from within this state to the other side of the country within months of us coming here.
Most recently she has become extremely surly and nasty to me over the phone, because I didn't agree with her nearly a year ago when she was trying to convince me that one of my children has autism. She has seen this child three times in his life but the price I pay is that our relationship (which has been tenuous at best for some time-often because I've dared to have my own thoughts and beliefs) is now over. I did talk with her a few days ago because she left a message on my phone but now our conversation was without any reference to how my children are or how I am doing. The conversation rang hollow and empty and I noticed that when her number popped up on my phone's caller ID my stomach did flip flops. The cost.
>My cousins don't ask about our missions trips and show no interest in what the Lord is doing in our lives. Because they won't talk to us, it's tough to share the Good News with them. We've seen Korean career pastors weep with joy when they realize God's very specific and loving plan for their lives. We've watched an entire church fall under the power of the glory of God but our stories stay silent at family gatherings.
But what is this really? Nothing. Stings and barbs. Woundings to be sure, but as I turn it all over to God everyday, more and more healing comes. I'm learning to forgive like I've never forgiven before (because I've never forgiven before).
> I've made one amazing friend here who I will take with me wherever we go, wherever we end up. She breathes sanity and reality into my life almost on a daily basis. That will not change.
> Jesus reached down and saved me from a bottomless pit of endless anger and self-hatred (and therefor, hatred of everyone around me).
> I found out God's original design for my life and contrary to ALL the previous information poured into me up until that point, I don't suck!! Really, I don't!! God's plan FOR me to further His kingdom, to further His message of LOVE for the entire world, absolutely rocks. I'm so excited to be able to spread the GOOD news I can hardly stand it.
> I learned how to pray for God to get RIDICULOUS in my life. Now I'm hooked on the ridiculous and will never settle for boring again.
Never boring. Worth any cost.