District Conference went very well! It was a wonderfully refreshing time of connecting with God, catching up with old friends, and getting to know some new friends.
The worship leader and the speaker were challenging, pushing me to deepen my relationship with the Lord.
The business meetings were…well…necessary. 🙂 Kidding. There was some good and important stuff presented. And I enjoyed seeing the process of how things get done in the CMA. It reminded me again of a lot of the things I appreciate about this denomination and why C and I want to do ministry and life with them.
The women’s lunch was a great encouragement. I enjoyed hearing Mary K’s heart and passion. It refueled my heart and passion for going overseas. It reminded me of why we’re doing all of this, what sometimes just feels like jumping through hoops. There is a purpose for it all. God is training and preparing us, building us up in this part of the journey and readying us for the next part of the journey. I try not to say, “I can’t wait” for this or that because I think that is an attitude that cheapens/disregards the here and now. But my heart does burn to be overseas, and I look forward to the day that God allows that dream to become reality.
So here’s one of the biggest lessons God taught me over the last few days. It’s a lesson I’ve taught to my students and the kids I nannied for many times. Because it’s a scenario that occurs often with kids….and, as I am coming to discover, with adults as well.
“He made me do it.” “She did it first.” And one of my personal favorites, “She disobeyed more.”
If you spend much time around kids, I’m sure you’ve heard various versions of these.
My response is always along the same lines. “Did I ask you about him? You made a choice for yourself, and now you have to deal with the consequences.”
The crux of it is: You are responsible for your own actions, your own reactions, your own choices. Regardless of what others have done. What I want these kids to learn is that they cannot determine anyone else’s decisions, but they have to learn to determine their own.
And suddenly it was like God was speaking these words directly back to me. There were attitudes and choices I was making in my life, but then I was blaming them on other people.
“Erin, why are you feeling lonely?” “Because, God, that person over there isn’t pursuing relationship with me. And the other one over there, they obviously don’t care about me. And those ones over there, they don’t need my friendship.” “Erin, why are you feeling lonely?” “Because, God, all of those other people are making me feel lonely.” “God, I’m so lonely, why won’t you bring more friendships into my life?”
In some form or another, these were the conversations I’d been having with God over the last few months.
And finally he opened my eyes [or maybe I stopped stubbornly closing them] to see that I was doing exactly what I am always trying to teach kids not to do. I wasn’t seeking out friendship with those other people. I wasn’t calling, e-mailing, or Facebooking them to hang out or chat. And yet, I was blaming them for it.
Time to let go of some pride, take responsibility for my actions, and ask forgiveness.
I am so unbelievably thankful that the Creator God chooses to have a relationship with me, teach me, grow me, love me. He is so gently and lovingly firm. “O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!”