I promise you I will learn from my mistakes

Have you ever had a moment when you’re going along life, living well, seemingly got things together and all of the sudden you get hit with a realization that maybe, just maybe, a life situation wasn’t quite what you thought it was? Maybe it’s a conviction thing, maybe it’s a realization of joy somewhere you didn’t see it before, but it comes out of nowhere and you have this desire to get it out of your head? Ever feel that way?
Well I’m feeling that way, have been for a couple of days. I’m realizing that there was something that happened in my life a couple years ago that I never really processed. Yesterday I was driving home from another great meeting with my mentor, sitting in traffic on Foster and listening to a cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You” when it hit me. The line I put as the title, “I promise you I will learn from my mistakes” … I felt this pull on my heart that is really hard to explain if you’ve never experienced it. I felt like God was whispering to me, “Have you learned? You messed up there, that time with that person, you messed that up. Have you learned?”
It was a gentle nudging, not a harsh calling out. It was like I was finally in the place to hear that that situation was equally (if not more) my fault than the other person. But it left me thinking, that situation has long been boxed up and put on a shelf. We are (seemingly) fine now. But I keep having this overwhelming feeling that I owe this person an apology. But it was two years ago! How do I go backwards and say, “whoops, my bad, I know that was my fault now and I apologize.” Wouldn’t that be unbelievably awkward? Two years is a really long time!
Then I thought to myself of the times where I have felt like someone has wronged me and I was waiting for an apology. I may have forgiven them and moved on, I may even still be friends with them. But that never changed the fact that I was (am) still wondering if they knew how much that hurt and if they were sorry for it.
More times than not, we are wrong. More times than not we accidentally hurt someone because of where we are at at the time. I didn’t purposely hurt this person, I would never want to do that, but I did. Because of where I was at and my own person bents, I hurt this person. I am aware now (with the help of friends) to realize just how much so. And I can’t help but think that this person deserves to know that I am sorry.
The thing is, we don’t have a precedent for this. We can’t actually look at what Jesus did because, being diving and perfect, he never accidentally hurt someone because of his shortcomings. We can only ask ourselves what he said about how we treat other people. And he told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. The “golden rule” of our childhood. I would never want someone to treat me this way, so it’s time for me to suck it up – awkward as it may be – and apologize.
I wish I could come to these realizations earlier so I wouldn’t be in this type of situation, but I’m stubborn, I realize that. But I can promise, I will learn from my mistakes and be more self aware next time.

yet he opened not his mouth

“The crucifixion scene is not attractive. There is much in that terrible scene to inspire revulsion. And yet – when one adds the words ‘for me’, it appears in a different light.”
I just read this in a commentary on Isaiah 53. I’m writing a paper on its use within the NT. More thoughts to come, just wanted to share that quote

I knew I was fine about this time yesterday…

There’s this song by Ben Rector called “When a Heart Breaks” and another song by Mat Kearney called “Closer to Love.” They both hit a nerve in my heart that is a bit unexplainable. They both speaks such devastating truth about the human situation as well as they (sort of) imply a kind of hope that is found in a relationship with Christ.
So often in our every day lives we think as though we don’t need Jesus. When life is going fine and there are just mild annoyances that we have to deal with – spilling coffee on yourself, stubbing your toe, forgetting your phone charger… easy things. In those little things, we don’t need Jesus, we’ve convinced ourselves that we can handle life on our own.
But then something tragic happens. Whether to us or around us and all of a sudden we realize that our lives are unbelievably fragile. The chorus of Ben Rector’s song says, “It isn’t easy, it isn’t clear and you don’t need Jesus until your here, The confusion and doubts you have up and walk away, they walk away … when a heart a breaks.”
I’ve written about it so many times on here. That gut wrenching moment when you realize that everything you have has changed, in a moment. Your entire reality has shattered. Nothing will be the same again.
Except God.
God is never changing. He’s like that tree that is still standing after the storm, miraculously. When everything around it has been leveled and it’s still standing. That’s the triune God that we worship. He never leaves during the storm, he’s still there, protecting us when the storm rages on us. And when the dust settles, He’s still got us. He’s still the pillar that won’t shake.
And that fact, that fact pulls me closer to Him. He never promised a smooth road. But he promised that he would be with us through the storm. And he always has been. Even when we are convinced that we don’t need him. Because the truth is that we do need him, every day.
I realize that these thoughts are a bit all over the place, but I’m processing some stuff and sometimes I just need the reminder that God is bigger than the tragedies of my life and the lives of my loved ones.

watch your back, I'm nobody's girlfriend

Earlier today I jokingly referred to this week as “gender week” in a text to my lovely roommate. I made this joke because in our online class this week we are discussing the roles of women in the church and in relationships and in one of her other classes they were discussing gender. In yet another class this week I got into a mild debate over gender inclusivity and why I am not the cheerleader for gender inclusive translations. (for the record, I am a cheerleader for overall inclusiveness, just not when you get away from the Greek…)
But I digress.
In an online forum for our online class this week we were asked the question of what our thoughts were on the message of the NT writings on gender roles. One of my colleagues made a post that basically gave the excuse that as a woman pursuing ministry, that was her stance in the debate. She didn’t feel the need to get involved when the debate gets started, she would just keep her mouth shut and listen rather than be a part of the discussion.
Now, to her benefit, this debate gets shoved in our faces a lot here. Being a part of a gender inclusive denomination is great, I am all for it. But the debate is constantly at the forefront of our classes, our teacher’s lectures and our forums and clubs. We can recite to you why women should be in ministry as well as quote scripture defense and tell you what scholars have debunked the verses that tell us to be silent. We are well versed in this debate, or so we think.
The thing is, that someday we are going to be in ministry outside of this little Covenant bubble. We are going to be out in the real world and faced with a lot of people who do not think we should be in ministry. And not necessarily because we aren’t called or gifted but more so because how could we be called and gifted? That’s not how God works. That’s unbiblical. And these people that think these things, they aren’t bad people, they don’t hate women. They love women, but they’ve been raised in a system that believes these things. They have never questioned it, they have never been asked to question it. It’s almost never personal…and yet that’s how it feels when we hear it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I’d make a great pastor’s wife. Or how I’ll do great children’s ministry some day, since the minds of children are the only ones I can mold. I’ve been asked why I’m in seminary if women can’t be pastors. I’ve been asked if women are allowed to be pastors. I’ve been told that with ambition like mine, I’ll never get married. I’ve been asked if I’m only pursuing ministry because I’m not married. I’ve been asked where a man fits into my “life plan”. I’ve gotten it all. And the worst is when it comes from those closest to me. People who know how independent I am. People who know my passions and gifts.
And I have to tell myself over and over, it’s not personal. It’s not me they are questioning, it’s the system they have grown up in.
But this is why we, as women, cannot just sit there and look pretty. My choice of vocation is not enough to educate people. I have to know the debate, I have to know what to say when those questions come up. Even if it means that people will think worse of me, even if I get called a feminist. Even if I become “intimidating” and shunned for it.
(PS…today’s title comes from a recently loved Matt Nathanson song called “Modern Love,” it’s my jam. I just like the sassiness of the girl he describes and the fact that she is unapologetic about it and that THAT’S why he is intrigued by her. It makes me happy, although I realize that out of context that’s a weird sentence.)