I have a fear.
And in the words of one of my closest friends, “It’s a whopper!”
She didn’t say that. But she would, if I told her.
I’ve decided to tell you instead. Because I think maybe some of you can relate. I hope you can’t. I hope you don’t have the silly complex that I do but maybe.
We sat around a campfire in the cool evenings of summer and we talked one night about fears. We all listed our greatest ones and were astounded by how lame the other peoples fears seemed but how really big ours did.
It’s the way it is with fear. It seems big. To you. When it’s yours. Everyone else can see that it’s kinda silly. Because fear doesn’t come from a place of wisdom or logic. Fear is simply emotion. Dare I say, warped emotion? I mean, there really is little to fear about mice but I will jump up on the highest surface and squeal should I see one! It’s never because one has harmed me. Or because I should fear it. It’s because something (movies, culture, lies) has told me that they are to be feared.
Fear rarely comes from a place of rational thought though, and rather from a mind overthinking or allowing an overthinker to breathe into us. He’s rotten that one certain over thinker. He shows up in the form of a serpent and he has to disguise himself to trick people into thinking he’s an angel of light. Christ, however, leaves very little wiggle room for fear in our life. He clearly tells us not to have them. (except for the fear of Him which is a different ball game altogether!)
He tells his people time and time again not to fear. Why? Because he’s with them. (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 10:41, Psalm 56:11, I could go on all day.)
And yet, it could be the dark or the spider or that our husband might leave us or that we may lose our job or that our kids would stray or be born with something we weren’t expecting. It could be moving to the unknown or losing a parent or getting up in front of a crowd.
OR, if you’re like me, it could be that you fear becoming too churchy lady like. *cue crickets*
Its true people. It’s a thing.
Churchy ladies, to me, were those ones who were always dressed just right in church. They wore suits even sometimes. Their childen sat impeccably beside them the whole service and they wouldn’t wiggle during prayer or get the giggles during communion. They were the ones who went to the sides to pray for people who needed that and they knew all the scripture verses to write in cards for anyone on any given occasion. They thanked Jesus for everything and knew all was His and held very little in their hands. They went to bible study to learn more about the Jesus they love (though they already knew EVERYthing) and they made meals for sick people and volunteered to bring food to the hungry.
You know, churchy ladies.
So, I sat in bible study last week (no comments, please) and I was learning deeper what the parables Jesus told were actually talking about and I was wearing a dress thingie that two people commented on (in a good way!) and I had my bible opened and I nodded in agreement with the prayer being offered up thanking Jesus that we could be there and learn more about Him. Afterwards I picked up my kids and we talked about what sort of extra thing we could do to help someone in need this Christmas season. Something above and beyond in this season of giving. Then on Sunday my kids all sat beside us in the row. (but they giggled and had cough attacks and had to go get water a million times and then had to go to the bathroom the same amount)
The picture from the outside looking in started to scare me though. Because it’s awfully churchy lady like. And churchy lady was not who I
I tell myself that I’m real and to the point and raw. I tell myself that I’m different because sometimes I wear ripped jeans and Converse to church. I tell myself that I’m cooler than a churchy lady because I have a ring in my nose and a tattoo wrapping around my arm. In fact, I’ve so aligned myself as anti-churchy lady that I probably have/do most of these things just so I can say things like, “No, I’m not! Look! I have a tattoo!” Leaving out the fact that it’s a cross. And my husbands name. My two covenants. Lord, help me.
And then I scream and want to cry because I am the new version of churchy lady!!
My identity doesn’t want to be. I want to kick and scream against it but when you line the blocks all up it only adds up to one thing.
I love Jesus.
Like, LOVE Him.
And when you do, well, it changes you.
It changes you into a crazy bible studier because you simply can’t get enough of Him and you want more and more and so you read and dig in and study the history so that it makes more sense.
And it changes you into a prayer who stops people in parking lots and says ridiculous things like, “Can I just pray for you before you go?” and then right there you close your eyes and pray out loud even when people could be walking by and hear! But you do it because you know your Jesus hears you and answers prayer and why wait until later when you can just right here and now put your hand on their arm and they can hear you and join in with you as you approach your Heavenly Father.
And it changes you into a Thank-You Jesuser. Like, all the time with the Thank-You Jesus’! Because you see that everything around you is from Him and you can’t not look at the sun rising over the mountains or see the clouds painted as though on the great canvas that is the sky and not whisper thanks. You can’t go into the hospital room and simply congratulate the mama and pop’s on a job well done without knowing that this little life wouldn’t be here without the Giver of Life. And you can’t even get out of bed in the morning without recognizing that the very beating of your heart and breath in your lungs are from Him and so you thank him.
Like a churchy lady would.
And like that you type it out and process the fact that you are who you are because Christ is in you. You are who you are because you are continually trying to throw off the things that entangle and clothe yourself in Him. You are who you are because He’s shown His grace to you though you don’t deserve an ounce of it and when someone gives their life for yours? It changes you.
I admit the fear may come back and I may have to swear or smoke a cigarette to feel badass again. (kidding mom!) But I see now that those women I judged from afar were simply becoming more like Jesus. And now I see that I want to be like them because I want to be like Him. And He did some churchy lady things like going off into the wilderness to pray and teaching in the temple and feeding the poor and stopping the adulterer right there in the open to tell her to change her ways. Of course, he also tipped over some tables and cursed a fig tree and called the Pharisees a brood of vipers, which makes me love Him and want to be like Him even more!
**Stayed tuned next week as I dive into the fine-line between being a churchy lady and a Pharisee. You won’t wanna miss it!