Thursday, September 26, 2013

World Changer

My mom posted this video to Facebook.  It's worth a few minutes of your day if you're a woman, know women, have a daughter, a mother, a sister...

But if ain't nobody got time for that - there's a part in the video where he talks about strong and courageous women in the bible.

He says,  "Esther, Ruth, Martha, Mary - These women changed the world forever.  And inside of each and every one of you is a woman with that same power, and that same strength, and that same world changing capability and your responsibility is to find that woman and to set that woman free."

I stopped for a second to consider what it means to be a world changer.

After all, these days, I'm a woman who can barely make it through the day with her emotions intact.  I'm huge and pregnant, tired and sore, achy and exhausted from 9 months of tossing and turning and 3 weeks of a toddler who is on sleep strike.

And it's more than that.  Since the day Todd & I got married, behind every nook and cranny, around every corner of our lives I feel like one or both of us have been putting out fires. Ministry, a blended family, raising children, unexpected pregnancy, pregnancy loss, pregnancy after loss, financial stress, personal tragedy, family tragedy - at times I feel like life will not let up.  Like God will not let up.  I know pretty much anyone reading right now can identify.  We are no different than you.  Ever hear about spiritual warfare?  Some days I feel like Satan has an arrow pointed directly at us.

With all that going on - how can I be a world changer?

And then I remembered two stories - I remembered two moments in my life where I felt God speaking directly to me.

I'm not the kind of person who has those types 'interactions' with God.  I have faith and I work on my relationship with Him - but I'm not having experiences where I HEAR him very often.  So these have stuck with me.  The first involves sitting in a church service and God whispering something to me that told me I was to marry Todd.  It's personal and it's not a story I share often but I knew Todd would be my husband from pretty early on in our dating relationship.  It actually even involves one of those world changing women from the bible that was mentioned earlier.

The other time was one night, not long after we'd gotten married.  Like I said - we've had a rocky go of it.  The beginning was tough.  I never believed in a fairy tale romance or wedding or life - I'm not that kind of girl - but I was not expecting the battle to be raging from the moment we said "I do".  And no lie - family tragedy occurred the night before our wedding.  So one night, I remember lying in bed crying out to God for relief, for understanding, wanting to know why.  (You guys see I do this a lot, right?)

I was confused.

He told me marrying Todd was the right thing to do.  So why were things so hard for us right from day one?

I have since learned that very rarely is doing the right thing the easy thing.

But on that night, God made something very clear to me about marriage.  Anyone reading this that has been married for a long time will probably already know it.  But it was a revelation of sorts to me.

He told me that marriage was not designed to make me happy.  Marriage was given to us because it's one of the most perfect ways to learn to become like Jesus.  My job as a wife and mother would be to mirror Jesus in my day to day dealings with my husband and with my children.  To view these precious gifts from God the way that He does.  Unconditionally loving, patient, understanding, and unbelievably filled with grace.

CS Lewis said, "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you"

This has been a challenge that I have remembered OFTEN in my marriage.  To look across the dinner table at the faces that join me there and see them just like Jesus does.

I promise I haven't gotten off on a tangent here.  What I'm trying to say is - that right now, in this season of life - my ability to be a world changer happens right here, in my home.  It happens at the dinner table, in the car with my kids, in late night conversations with my husband.  It starts with hugs and kisses and smiles and reassurance that these people who share my life are loved by me, imperfections and all.

Am I perfect at this?  No.  Am I even good at it?  Probably not.  No one ever said being like Jesus was easy.  And it's not.  But it IS something I remember often and try to put into practice as much as possible.  To change MY world - the little world inside my four walls - as best I can.  And as a result, these people that I pour into on a daily basis can take that outside these four walls and start a domino effect that just might change the world.

So if being a 'world changer' overwhelms you, start with a spouse.  A child.  A friend.  Pour into them, see them as Jesus would.  Change your heart and it WILL change the world.

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