I have been on a few short term mission trips. There is something about being away, immersed in Jesus, scared, needing him, overcome with self awareness that makes it hard to come home. Those few weeks away soaking up the Son with such intensity redefine what's important. Seeing the face of those less fortunate smile bigger than I do in my abundance reshapes "want" and "need". The return is unsettling. The world you left hasn't changed, but YOU have. You want to fit back in but you can't.
I haven't been on mission in years now. Church talks about mission being right where you are, in your neighborhood and with your community. As an introvert what I hear is I'm NOT missional.
I struggle with the word evangelism. It's churchy and sounds disingenuous to me. I picture a person on a street corner with a bullhorn or a van with a sticker that says JESUS SAVES.
I don't DO Jesus like that. I don't receive him like that & I don't share him like that.
On Sunday I was encouraged for the first time in awhile that as a mom, I actually AM missional. I seek to raise and grow boys who pray with a genuine spirit of thanks to Jesus, boys who ask me real questions about heaven & wonder about their peers going to church, boys who get to know God by my own love for them.
Despite that encouragement, I'm finding being a Christian lately to be hard. Not the act of loving & or the reality of knowing Jesus, but what it means in the world. I'm finding it hurtful to love & yet impossible not to. I'm digging at the reality that I hurt people, too.
I am finding my humanity challenging, my mistakes annoying, my sins frustrating. I WANT to be this person that loves without flaw and that is impossible. I want to be loved without injury & that will never happen on this earth. I am finding all of those complex emotions under the umbrella of saying I'm a Christian are incredibly hard for me right now.
The more I sin, the more I'm ashamed. The more I love, the more likely I am to get hurt. The more I hurt, the harder it is to love.
The God I know doesn't want me to feel shame, wants me to love, says this world is imperfect & will hurt. He Himself lived in this world and felt that hurt.
I'm finding I want to go on retreat. I want to go on mission. I want that disconnection in order to connect that comes from saying TIME OUT. The problem is, I want to live in that place right now. I want to hole up, shut out, board up, and lock down so I can exist as this person who doesn't hurt others, doesn't get hurt, & just lives with Jesus unashamed.
I know I can't do that, but I want to.
I want to.....