Thursday, June 7, 2012

Discipleship - The Way It Should Be

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life."
 Titus 3:4-7 NIV

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 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 really not mine. It was an honor to run to the cross with these women. Looking 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 is the way it should be!

"It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God's gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there's more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this." Titus 3:4-7 The Message

Photo credit from


Allison Reynolds said...

Love this blog. I struggle in the same area. Because my family moved around so much, I have a hard time letting go. As I get older, I am really starting to realize and understand seasons. Some people are there for only a season and with a reason. God has a purpose. But sometimes I struggle with that little girl who doesn't want to let go. Good work, Lisa. You really touched me.

Aleatha said...

As always, this was wonderful for my heart. Some truth you put out there touched my heart in a big time good way. Love you!

Doris said...

Great post Lisa! Yes, all is as it should be :)...You are answering your call and being obedient...It reminds me of the woman with the infirmity that knew if she could just touch the border of His garment, she would be healed...He felt the healing power flowing out of Him... His power has been flowing through and out of you as you minister to those He has called you to comfort and counsel...It is an investment of time and emotion, but with a much better return than Wall Street, Amen?! ;)

Those in need are drawn to you because the One who is in you is drawing them...When it's time to let go, it's hard but time to refill and recharge cause He's got lots more planned for you girlfriend!! Blessings and thank you for sharing your heart :)

Bev said...

Amen,continue on the journey and choose Joy. God blesses those who are obedient and love him. Thank you my dear friend for stoping and drawing each of us closer to Him. I love you Lisa.

Michelle said...

Discipleship. I like this post. But from a different point of view. I love that about God how two different view points can be so touched by Him. By His stories in and through people. Keep on sister, it's not your movie anyway, you're just listed in the credits along with many other faithful people.