I have written, deleted, rewritten, deleted, rewritten, deleted, etc, this blog so many times and this time I am going to just write it and post it and let the Holy Spirit do His thing. This is me stepping out of the way.
STOP TALKING PEOPLE INTO FOLLOWING JESUS
I’m sure I’ve already upset some but look, stop. Let’s stop talking others, our coworkers, kids, youth kids, friends, etc. into following Jesus like it’s an easy thing to do. Like they won’t ever face opposition, like it won’t ever feel hard because my fellow believers know that this walk is HARD. Like, really hard. Like, have ya crying at 2am in prayer when you gotta be at work by 7:30 am kinda hard.
Too often I watch kids go on a mission trip or a youth kid, they genuinely feel the touch of Jesus and then they get baptized the Sunday that they return, only to allow it to be a Spiritual high and three weeks later they are back to the same stuff, more hurt than ever and the desire to follow Jesus is gone. They get curious every Wednesday when they see their Youth Pastors who seem so perfect and put together and like they have it so easy and they want that life that looks so perfect but they don’t know the suffering that was endured, they don’t know that life is hard for everyone and that Joy is a choice.
Yeah, Joy is a choice. You can choose to be joyful even in crappy circumstances.
These kids only see what years of following Jesus and being discipled looks like, they have no idea about the suffering because no one has told them. I would be discouraged too if I excitedly gave my life to God only to feel oppression from the world that no one warned me about.
Following God is not a casual choice, it’s a commitment and just as any other commitment, you should know what the cost is gonna look like. So, I’ll just tell the internet what the cost has looked like in my life to really and seriously follow God.
It looked like giving up my Wednesday nights for some middle school gals (who I love so much<33), it was sacrificing sleep pretty much every night to be with God. It looked like losing a ton of friends, it looked like getting made fun of my senior year of high school for being a “Jesus freak” (which I am because I LOVE JESUS SO MUCH!!). It looks like crying for hours over conviction of sin and crying for another few hours knowing that I am forgiven. It looked like sacrificing my whole life, all my desires, my will, my heart, my bitterness, my sin, my old self, my whole self to follow Jesus who I can’t even physically see and ya know what?
Even with all the sacrifice, all the pain, especially with that, it has been the best decision of my whole life.
I’ve had some really hard days in the last year, my life didn’t magically turn into a double rainbow with unicorns when I gave my life to Jesus. I mean heck, when I gave my life to God, I was crying my eyes out by a pool at 11 pm. It was messy!! It wasn’t a pretty, movie scene! It was painful and it hurt so bad and in almost 3 years God has restored me in ways I didn’t even know needed to be restored. He showed me love that I never thought I could experience. He showed me sin I didn’t even know I had and He has lead me to things I could have never imagined.
One small testimony: I used to go to this thing called liturgy with Noah on Monday nights and one night, one of Noah’s friends told me I had a beautiful voice and asked if next time they led worship if I would sing, and that’s where my musical worship journey began. Now I lead worship like 3 times a month at my church.
Another testimony: I love kids so much and since I gave my life to God, I dreamed of being able to teach kids about the love of Jesus, teach all ages about God’s love. I thought I was unqualified, but God showed me that He is more than qualified for me to do all things through Him. Now I teach Sunday School to precious 3 and 4 year olds every 4th Sunday and I teach middle school girls every Wednesday about the love Jesus has for them!!
So look, I’ll keep this blog short for today.
There’s a high cost to following Christ. It’s gonna cost your whole life. Some friends, all your pride, your own will, your fears, your boundaries, your everything and it's gonna be really painful sometimes. Some days it’s just gonna hurt a lot. You’ll cry. You’ll feel confused. You’ll feel like you don’t know what the next step is, it’ll feel unpredictable, and it’ll be the best thing that could have ever happened to you. God will show you His goodness, He will give you His strength, He will lead you to places you never thought you’d touch, He will move mountains, He will overcome what you think is not able to be overcome, He will redeem what you see as irredeemable and He will restore you.
Don’t be talked into following Jesus, know the cost and then put your all into Him. As a born again Christian who is coming up on her third birthday, I can tell you that every moment has been worth it.
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18
I love you guys, thank you so much for reading this, I pray it reached you and left you stirred. Thank you for being faithful to read my blogs and see me shamble through figuring out how to write. You are so awesome.
With all my love, Lil.
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wife // local kids pastor // mama to my heaven boy + my rainbow girl