“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.”
It often takes me more courage to walk into somewhere where I do know someone than where I don’t… if I am not sure how I will be received, that is. Like a blind date vs. sharing your feelings with your best friend–there’s more at stake. Houston–the looming January chunk on my calendar has been that very place for me. “No” after “no” after “no” paired with many a “we’ll get back to you” (in this life?) has stirred an anxiety in me that I wasn’t quite prepared for. Driving to Texas felt like having to prepare to see a group of crushes that turned me down or worse, felt sorry for me. No one wants to be taken on a date out of pity–everyone wants to be wanted.
And so, my month in Houston began: in fear. Fear of being unwelcome, unwanted, unreceived. At times I let the loneliness of rejection draw me to Christ. I do believe some of these moments were legitimate and fruitful in helping me to find my confidence in Him alone. However, I have to confess: more often than not, I was the one building up barriers. After all, it wasn’t really the people who have been shutting me out–because if the Lord wanted to grant favor, he could have. I don’t know what he has been doing in others (no matter how much I think I can judge hearts–I can’t), but I do know what he has been up to in me. Ripping out my pride. Slowly and painfully he has revealed how my ego has allowed my thoughts to drift towards a subtle demand for respect, honor, and glory for me instead of for Christ. Especially here in Houston. In a land where I was ‘known’ I had a greater sense of entitlement–seeking to be seen, birthed from a disastrous desire to prove myself. Deep in some dark recess of my heart, I was seeking approval that my testimony of “God has called me to _______” would be evident, so that I wouldn’t be seen as a fraud. So I wouldn’t believe this true of myself.
Conviction. My awful, ugly pride unveiled in my immature response to a people and place that I love has brought me to my knees. Confession. I am unworthy of this calling, and I know now more than ever that all of this is for Jesus–for His glory–and I am to follow wherever he leads. Clarity. By going forward with open hands, I have such renewed joy and peace. No longer are my eyes set on what my imagination has conjured, leading to disappointment when my plans don’t see fruition. Rather, I can now look around at what God has prepared with awe and anticipation. He is good and He will fulfill his purpose for me–whatever that may be.
And so, I am so so eternally grateful for all that the Lord has done in and through my time in Houston. With new eyes I now see how beautifully prepared this season has been. He has given me extended time with dear friends (who I count family), the opportunity to present His Word to so many loved ones–both new and familiar–(and for those who were not able to attend or host–he is up to other wonderful and extraordinary works–yay for the Body!), and even more than I will ever have eyes to see. In the meantime, may my eyes and yours see Jesus more and more clearly, in glory–He is so so so so so so so good. (Not enough so’s).
Grace and peace be with you all.