Monday, January 7, 2013

Opening That Can of Worms


Confession Time.

I goofed Up. Again.

Have you ever had one of those moments when a thought pops into your head that seems completely unrelated to what is going on around you? Sometimes it is a drive to do something outside of your comfort zone. Or one of those things you don't really want to do. Perhaps you find it too bothersome.

It may be something as simple as 'You really need to grab the umbrella.' 
I dislike umbrellas. I find them cumbersome while dragging around a toddler, a diaper bag, a purse, my coffee cup and someone's pink blanket. There is no place put the dripping wet umbrella when you get to the grocery store and then it just gets everything wet and messy. Oh, I don't like wet and messy! I would honestly rather get sprinkled on. Unless of course, I had a feeling I should bring that umbrella and I ignored it and then proceeded to accidentally lock myself out of the van. With a toddler. In the rain. Gosh, an umbrella might have been helpful. Maybe I should have grabbed one....

Maybe it is that nagging feeling that you should call so and so from church or send grandma a love note. You are standing knee deep in life while canning tomatoes with a sick, teething, baby and you have spelled Minnesota fifty-five times for your elementary student's state report in the last twenty minutes and in pops, 'You should really give Matilda a call. Maybe she needs a meal.' Really? Umm, I guess I don't have a free arm for that.

I have been getting better about this business of listening. I know in the past I have brushed off that nagging little buzzy bee and said, 'No, not me!' to more than one of the LORD's commands of me. Now though, now I am listening better. The more I read my Bible and pray the louder that command is. Hard to brush it off when you know better. 

A few years back I was standing in the checkout line of a local gas station thinking about how much I wish I could buy one of their amazing pizzas for supper with my gas money instead of going home and making a real supper. I was politely minding my own business in my daydream while holding my youngster's hand and intermittently saying no to gum, chocolate, candy, and lighters. Once I got up to the checkout woman we visited a bit because I knew her vaguely through my husband. 

In my head popped this idea: 'Invite her to church.' 
What? There are three men waiting in line behind me and my child has just grabbed a beef stick off the counter for the third time... I need to get out of here. I'm not inviting her to church! 
'Invite her to church.' 
No, it's weird. She will think I am weird. 
'Invite her to church!' 
People don't talk about that in checkout lines. No. 

I left with child minus gas money, beef sticks, and my peaceful heart. 
And I never forgot that feeling of disobedience. I had no right to decide no. My job is to say it even if it sounds foolish and crazy. I felt guilt for quite some time.

Flash forward to my now world. I have learned so much since then! I invite people to church all the time. We do hymns and modern worship. We raise our hands. We clap. We hug and pray. We fellowship and drink coffee. We HOME church. Not an easy, chattable topic for most people because it is a little on the fringes of 'normal'. We never intended to home church, it just happened according to the LORD's plan. Who am I to not invite people to hear God's word just because it may be different? 
So I am not ashamed and I have gotten pretty good at those nudges from the Holy Spirit because I do not like the feeling that comes with disobedience. I really try to act on those buzzy bee ideas even when I am so very uncomfortable I want to squirm under a rock afterwards. I'm trying to obey my LORD and doing okay. Or so I thought.

Two weeks ago I was at the grocery store, this time with three kids, a list and a mission. I ran into an some old friends. Well a friend of The Preacher Man. The Preacher Man's used to be best friend before the ministry they were in fell apart and dissolved along with their friendship. When that ministry center took a dive it swallowed up and spit out too many Christian brothers and sisters and the pain was a resounding gong that hasn't fully healed in any of us. Aren't church splits the absolute most painful? 

So here I am, forced with a need to be friendly when it feels so awkward and unsure. There was an ocean of disagreements, tears, and regrets standing in the 4 feet between me and ex-best friend and his wife. It felt uncomfortable, icky, sad. We talked politely. My heart trembled. And I heard it. I felt it.

Where are they going to church?

Oh please LORD no.

Are they churching anywhere?

No, no, no, no.... this is too hard. That ministry almost ruined my marriage. No.

Just give them the address. 

No... I don't have it memorized.

Invite them to church.

No, it just hurts too much.

We say goodbye. Sir Bean has to use the restroom. Prince Ray has seen a friend. I am dazed on the inside and yet mostly calm on my exterior. 
I am sweating.
I can hear my internal dialogue on a loop like a bad movie trailer. OVER AND OVER IT PLAYS. 
I feel instant guilt.
I pray. I pull out my phone and quickly text to get the official address and scrounge through my purse and find a scrap of pink princess paper. 

With a green crayon I write the address and time with this: The LORD is leading me to invite you to church on Sunday. It may be a can of worms we don't want to deal with. Which is probably why he wants us to open it.

I look everywhere in the store. 
I lose the paper and write it again. But they are gone.

I am ashamed.
I pray. I commit.

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
~1 Corinthians 11:1

Publicly I commit to a do over on that. I think the LORD will bring us another 'chance' meeting and I will follow through.

Let's open that can of worms.

Say of your brothers, ‘My people,’ and of your sisters, ‘My loved one.’ 
~ Hosea 2:1

Always Blessed,
Gretchen :)

Possibly Linking With:
Cornerstone Confessions
Wisdom Wednesdays and Link Up
No Ordinary Blog Hop
Frontline Moms Friday Fun
The Welcoming House

Domestic Randomness~ Friday Fascinations 


  1. oh honey.... You tripped, it happens to the best of us. And the worst. And pretty much everybody. I have been known to trip so horrific and spectacularly that one might think that I may NEVER be able to drag my bruised, broken, bleeding self back up to my feet again. But, I do. It is feeble and pathetic to observe but I do.
    I fact, I am in the middle of dragging myself up from the longest most terrific trip yet. It has taken me a few months but I may be getting back to that place where I can talk to people again. The last 'Mission' didn't pan out quite like I had intended and I guess there is a lot of self-inflicted failure thoughts involved with that trip.
    However, all that being will not let that get you down. You know the whoops and you will not let it happen again. you will see them again and with pink princess paper in hand you will give them the address and invite them. We should have some business cards made up so maybe we could retire the princess invite. ;-)
    I love you and tripping doesn't make you a failure it just makes you human. At least that is what I keep telling myself regularly.


  2. Praying that you run into them again soon.

  3. What is home church and why is it on the fringe of normal?

  4. Ha! We actually church in home. As in someone's house. We set up chairs and worship with a guitar if possible and with YouTube if not. We have a discussion Bible study for the adults and a nursery for littles and Sunday school for the little bit biggers. I say it's on the fringe only because we live in the Midwest and it is almost unheard of. In fact we have been already snickered about and called a cult because we don't meet in a 'proper building'. It is quite by necessity we meet in a home. Our numbers were simply to small to afford the rent for a building. What we have gained is a real and authentic family relationship with our fellow church goers. It has been amazingly beautiful to see. But unfortunately some do not see it as anything more than 'weird' . Thanks for asking!

  5. I have NEVER liked umbrella's either!! Enjoyed your post. Thanks for linking up again over at WholeHearted Home.

  6. Oh, I feel your pain. My husband was in full-time ministry until a big messy situation caused us to have to leave the church we were in. (LONG story that I won't get into here.) Believers can sometimes do the most damage to EACH OTHER. It has taken a very long time for us to heal from all of that, thanks in large part to our current church family, which is truly beyond all that we could ask or think.

    Praying that God will heal and restore the relationship(s) that have been broken in your situation, as well - and that maybe you'll get another opportunity to offer that invitation, and that will be part of the process. :)

    And on a totally unrelated note: I bought the smallest-folding umbrella I could find, so I can fit it in my diaper bag when I don't actually have it out using it. 'Cause I'm with you - unless it's a total downpour, I'd rather just get wet than deal with the umbrella.

    1. Rachel, Thank you so much for your kind words! It is so very difficult when those you trust let you down. And yet, We all do that sometimes! Forgiveness is the key, I believe. The wound can still smart a little bit though.

      I need one of those tiny emergency only umbrellas!

  7. Thank you for a thought-provoking post. It can be so hard to rise to these challenges. I found you on the Modest Mom blog hop.
    I am probably alone in this but I thought I would mention it...I find it quite hard to read ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Hope you don't mind my feedback.
    Best wishes from the UK.

  8. I didn't know you could do church in a house. How neat. You must be very close. Thanks for answering.

  9. Sweet post and it reminds me of someone I'm to call!! Haha! The promptings of the Holy Spirit must not be quenched!, so I will do it :) Thanks for sharing your words of truth and for linking up at Deep Roots!!

    1. :) Thank you my friend, for reading. That Holy Spirit has a way of working and reminding us, doesn't He? Blessings!


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