I am going to start typing and see where it leads. I can already tell I'm going to be more transparent than I normally feel comfortable with. Sometimes however, it is those moments when we are more vulnerable that we can be used the most. We shall see. When I use the tool of journaling or blogging as a form of therapy for my own soul, it is usually a great way for God to show up and minister to me, and on occasion, others as well. I've been studying GRACE, but my heart has been on discipleship. (Oddly enough Deitrich Bonhoeffer refers often to grace in his book..."cheap grace" versus "costly grace".) Perhaps that is part of my calling, discipleship. I love pouring into people, praying with people, spending time with people. I've learned a great deal about discipleship during my college days with campus ministry. I've read books on discipleship, The Cost of Discipleship by Deitrich Bonhoeffer, One-on-One Discipleship and others. I had a phenomenal leader in Pastor Mike Durning. He really was responsible for discipleship of my husband. I know that he and Mike spent hours, days, years working on their friendship. They did so much together. They were friends. My husband respected him and credits him for much of his spiritual training, and in fact still does to this day. Now that I think about it, he and Mike Durning really don't have much of a relationship today. Not due to anything but time and proximity. Hmmm. I think I'm getting something here.
I have had the hardest time letting go lately. I love people so deeply, that it is painful to see them go. Especially if they've not gone far (proximity), but they chosen to exit their day-to-day dealings with you. It's like being cut off. However, I think where I've misunderstood discipleship is at its root. I have chosen to pour into people's lives, hours, days, years spent. When they've needed me, I would be there. I had mistaken my calling, as a relationship that was two way...when in fact...it was one way. It was what I was supposed to do, the other people...ideally...just had to grow closer to Him...not me. Ouch. I think I'm beginning to understand. So, is it pride in me that leaves me feeling....hurt/sad? You know that "right of ownership" - that would be pride....well, gosh, I've worked so hard on our relationship...then boom...see ya later. Or is it that I have abandonment issues? That was actually asked of me as I have confided in wise counsel. Perhaps. I don't like it when people I love deeply move on so dramatically...or in some cases not so dramatically.
Then there is the other thought. What is God doing in me? What am I supposed to be learning here. I find it so interesting that many ties are being cut. My husband's family has chosen to cut him out of their lives for good. They have made it very clear that they want nothing to do with any of us. As far as they are concerned...once Pop passed away, Mike and his family do not exist. Done. Then the Lord is moving people out of my life and making room in my life for new friendships, relationships, perhaps new discipleship opportunities, perhaps missions, perhaps.... Who knows? I see that Jesus really on had the 12 and then the 3 very close ones. How silly of me to think that the only way these people in my life would change is if I, or they, moved away. Time to grow up Lisa. Time to continue pointing to the cross, running to the cross, with whomever God places in your life and whatever moment! I'm smiling now.
Yesterday I went for a jog/power walk, whatever you want to call it. On my way back, a lady from my church was with a woman whom she works with. This elderly woman has dementia and the time may very well be getting very close to her end. Needless to say, I was called from my workout to come and pray with them. I didn't think even for a second. It is what I absolutely love to do. Yes I had to be home by a certain time, I had someone coming over and I left my children alone while I went to workout. But really, my time...is really not mine. It was an honor to run to the cross with these women. Looking back..it was a joy...all those days, hours and years spent with these other women.
Taken from his book Dietrich Bonhoeffer says "And if we answer the call to discipleship, where will it lead us? What decisions and partings will it demand? To answer this question we shall have to go to Him, for only He knows the answer. Only Jesus Christ, who bids us follow Him, knows the journey's end. But we do know that it will be a road of boundless mercy, Discipleship means joy."
In the end...I want to be like Him. I don't have to be liked. I have to be good with that. I will be spending eternity with Him - I'm accountable to Him. I love people...nothing has changed there. I still love deeply the ones that have moved on. I pray they continue to move closer to Him. Search me and know me is a prayer I pray often - Psalm 139. It is imperative that I stay on my face and in His presence. I choose joy! Thank you to all of those women who invested in me, spent time with me, discipled me. As I think of it now...we have moved on. The way it should be. There is my answer. It's the way it should be. It's not personal, its not pride...if it was indeed discipleship...it is the way it should be!