Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sometimes, You Give In

I wish I could snap my fingers and be out of this situation.  It is so confusing and odd that we hardly know what is going on.  We're dealing with leaders in ministry who have been talking and planning behind our back for months, and who are now controlling our lives without ever sitting down with us and listening.  It is just so odd.

As an American, the thoughts of "no taxation without representation" come to mind and I giggle at the thought of a Boston Tea Party.  But this is serious, so no, we will not be soaking the harbor with the headquarter's tea or paperwork.  Yet the sentiment is there.  Is it right to treat adults in this fashion and to adamantly insist on your opinion without ever listening to them?

The answers may be no.  The situation may call for the emotions of the wild Boston Tea Party.

But what does God want?  That is the quiet answer we seek.

 Just because God is not IN something does not mean He is not using it in our lives.  We do not, for a moment, believe that the situation that we are in is God's will for how people should be treated.  We do, however, believe we are in God's will in the situation, and that He is using this situation in our lives for good and He will bring good out of it.  So the question is not so much is this right, but what does God want in the situation?

I told a friend today that we feel backed into a corner.  That there are only two options for us right now with a harsh, bull-nosed leadership who refuse to listen.  We can fight or we can give in.  We don't believe fighting is the right step at this moment.

(We may believe there will come a time to fight this type of control/authoritarian system, but that time is not now.  If we ever do fight, it will only be when that fight is not about defending ourselves, but when we have been justified, and it will be about how the system injures the wounded.)

That means the only step is giving in.  That is what I told my friend today. We can give in and dance to their tune.  It is not the direction of healing that those who know us and have mentored us think is the best one, but it may be what we need to do for a season to appease those who demand without listening or seeing.  I told my friend, though, that while we may give in, we only give in to a point.  We can give in and do the type of counseling that they request, but we will not give in to the point that we think what they think.  We will not give in to the point that we accept their evaluation of us as our identity.  I will not give in to the point that I accept a man who barely knows me sitting there and calling me "damaged".  There are limits.

I have been learning over the years not to take the words of the accuser, but listen to the words of the Redeemer.  To hear what He says about me.  I am His.  Redeemed. Healed. Made New.  Loved.  And even if the words of the accuser come from the lips of the director of a mission, I will not listen.

I've just been given more chance to practice.

My friend also said not to let people who do not know me create my identity, but to be careful to listen to those who do know me and allow them the opportunity to talk.  I'm working on that.

But my identity is defined by Christ, and no one else.

So we go on, seeking God's wisdom in a very awkward situation.  Waiting.  It is clear we will not stay with this mission, but it is also clear that we can not leave well at this precise time, so we are in an in-between time, neither here nor here.  In the middle of nowhere.

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