I get convicted a lot in church. It confirms that not only am I on the right track in terms of my spiritual walk, but I’m under great leadership so I don’t mind the mental chastising. But listen…. Trying to transition to a Christ-like lifestyle is not easy! That’s mainly why in the past I’ve been so comfortable at a certain level, and not necessarily growing at a set pace every such-and-such amount of time. If I’m honest…back when I first started taking my relationship with God seriously for real-for real, I was taking my time…only dealing with what I felt was good enough for God but not too drastic of a change for me.
Does that make sense?
Now this doesn’t mean that any growth that I’ve experienced since I began taking my relationship with God seriously was fake. What I am trying to say is that I was doing the minimum. However when I became a parent, my world was turned upside down. I panicked. I was depressed. I was embarrassed. I had no one to lean on but God and in those intimate moments, I realized that pregnancy was a new chapter. Not just in my physical life but in my spiritual life also.
I guess you could say that becoming a mom made me soft. I’ve never, ever been a mean person but I can be tough and stern if the situation calls for it. I get that from my mama! I used to be very judgmental and I would size up a person based on what I saw on social media or what I’d heard about them. I also didn’t have much empathy for some people. I used to be a “you made the decision now deal with it” kind of person. I would speak on things I had no experience with and the list goes on. I was kind of a bitch. But a nice one. 🙂 (Do those even exist? LOL)
Anyway, having a life grow inside of me softened my attitude and it made me a lot more sensitive to other people and I truly believe that God humbled me by giving me a child. I know that according to my beliefs, marriage comes before the baby. But that’s what makes this whole story that much more powerful. God pulled me off my metaphorical high horse by giving me something beyond my control to be judged by. Whew!
Of course I was having pre-marital sex so technically I could’ve controlled it but I didn’t and in turn, it became out of my control because Marley’s life had formed. I could either put on my big girl panties and accept responsibility for the child that didn’t ask to be conceived or I could disrespect my faith by rejecting a blessing from God and continuing on the path that I was on. I chose to trust God, no matter what people would think or how they would talk about me.
I was sitting in service yesterday and Pastor Kevin asked us about how we view people.
It was like time had frozen in that moment and I thought back to all the unfair judgements I’d made about some of our members and other people that I’ve never genuinely tried to get to know. (I’m trying to keep it real with ya’ll.)
The conviction hit me when Pastor Kevin informed us that if we aren’t looking at people how Jesus looks at them, then we must question whether we’re truly following Him or not.
I know I always talk about Tony and his traits but he’s such a good example for most points I try to make! I would criticize him to no end about how nice he was to people who I didn’t feel he should be nice to. I hated that he maintained friendship with people who, in my opinion, were dead weight or holding him back in life. He would always defend his decisions by focusing on the good qualities that those people possessed. It made me sick – even to the point where I didn’t want to be around him when those people were around. I believe in having balance in all things but for the sake of this post, he was doing what Pastor Kevin was challenging us all to do.
So God created mankind in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
– Genesis 1:27 NLT
In all of my faults, shortcomings, mistakes and flaws, Jesus Christ still views me as a woman who was made in the perfect image of God. He wants the best for me and will never give up on me and is there to pick me up when I fall short. He wants to see me win and is never happy when I fail or make mistakes. He hasn’t abandoned me and he never will. Who am I to deserve that type of love and perspective?
If I don’t deserve it, yet God still views me that way in spite of…then I should never think I’m so much better than someone else to the point that I can’t look at them from an empathetic point of view. No one is just inherently bad or broken or “crazy” or insecure or whatever other trait you can identify them with. Every emotion or trait has a starting point and many times, it stems from something that was beyond a person’s control if you go deep enough. It could be the way they were raised, from a tragic accident, or a genuine ignorance. But whatever it is, God sees them as the person He created them to be and we should too.
I know it sounds all poetic and stuff but it’s the truth…or at least it’s what I believe to be true. I’ll be the first to say that it’s a lot easier said than done though and I am still trying to get this right. If I claim to be a follower of Jesus, I have to stop making judgements or assumptions without trying to lend a helping hand. Although I’ve come a long way with this, there are still some folk who make it extremely difficult. Just being honest. *shrugs*
I’m going to fight my superwoman complex and try to tackle this one person at a time, either mentally through journaling or actually trying to foster a real relationship with them if they’re close to me. I’ll let ya’ll know how it’s going.