I am an oldest child. My poor parents cut their parenting teeth on me, and survived not only me but 3 more offspring. They did well though, no one ended up in jail and we’re all pretty responsible members of society. At least we fake that part well most of the time 🙂
I have always been one that is a tad different, maybe even eccentric at times. I tend to think out side of the box, dance to the beat of an odd drummer, and I color outside of the lines. All this is a good thing, or can be, if I keep it under the lens of a biblical perspective. On the simplest of terms, what would Jesus do. I am not overly fond of that WWJD thing but it works for now. Perhaps it would be better said, what would a daughter or son of the Most High do, what is the most Christ like, God honoring thing to do? I love jewelry that is crowns, but not because I think I’m the self-appointed queen of anything. I love crowns because they remind me that I’m the daughter of the King of the Universe, and that one day every crown I’ve earned will be cast lovingly at the feet of my Savior in heaven. I wear a cross necklace not to tell everyone around me that I’m a believer (my behavior should do that), but so that when I see it in the mirror, I am reminded to look closely and be sure my reflection is mirroring my Lord and Savior.
Nearly 2 years ago I returned to my home church briefly. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was but I let too much get in the way of it being the life line. Part of issue I had was that when I went back expecting things to be as I left them, and they were not. When we left it was “Pete and Marti with the party”. When I returned it was a solo, emotionally and spiritually battered mess. I left and it was various friends, one couple in particular. I returned and our former best buds were divorced and it was him alone in the pew with his kids. Other members had left, and there were many new faces. Then as I was trying to regain my spiritual footing in the midst of feeling judged (my heart issue), a former friend turned enemy decided to send my pastor an email making sure the church knew that they had a wretched sinner among them. She, claiming to be a born again, God-fearing believer herself, wanted to be certain it was known that I was a former swinger, and that I had ‘attacked’ her on twitter. It rocked the boat for me just too much. The wounds of losing my husband in a divorce, the former dear friend turned enemy, the attempts to smear and attack (not to worry they already knew about where I had been), I was unstable and just didn’t last long there before going all lone ranger Christian. How did that work out for me? Not so good as you can well imagine.
Here I am now, just 2 months shy of the 2 year mark of trying to return, but this time I went back ready. I am prepared for the storm of judgment and attacks that may or may never come my way, either from others there, others in my life, or that former friend who herself is neck deep still in that swinger lifestyle. My heart is very aware of where it needs to be each Sunday. I’m back to being in God’s Word every day, or that is the goal. I openly admit I miss one now and then but most days it is the case and I’m in the middle of some good bible studies that help too in reaffirming my faith. This time I’m prepared to stick it out, because I’m not here for anyone by me and the Lord. I’m there to worship Him, and be fed. Anyone having an issue with my past, or how I dress, or my wild, bleach blond hair, well that is their issue not mine. That is between them and God to deal with, not me.
Sadly, when one lives a life of coloring outside of the lines, they leave themselves open for other people to judge. Okay even those that color meticulously inside of the lines also are objects of others scrutiny. Anytime you are different from those around you that is just human nature to pick it apart. Different draws attention. But different is not always a bad thing.
I dare to be the line pusher, rule breaker and that can be both bad and good. I have always colored outside of the lines, but not always in a good way. When we sin we color outside of the clear lines set down by the Lord in His precious Word. That is a big mistake. It causes damage, it is sin, and sin always has consequences. But when I stay within God’s lines, yet color outside of man’s lines? Well that can be a good thing.
I’m going to be doing a series of posts about coloring outside of the lines. Some will be about my journey off the path and into the pig pen, some will be about my journey back home as a prodigal daughter. Both are really one big picture of coloring outside of the lines. But maybe, just maybe, when I’m done, you can see that it isn’t always a sin when the color goes past the boundary, sometimes it can be a beautiful picture if you stand back and look with an open mind.