We had quite a busy weekend around here, if you missed the news earlier this summer, my family was moving to a new home & prepping our own home for sale. I have such a testimony to share about that, but I’m saving it for another day. Today, I’d like to catch up on my missed posts. So, 4 Q&A posts will be morphed into 1! All are again prompted by questions from the Table Topics Spirit Edition of conversation starter cards. (This is not a sponsored post, I’ve owned these cards for nearly a decade)
Q11) “what’s the greatest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?”
I have bought meals for people, raised funds for people, shared the Gospel with people, etc. Those typical things we do because our heart compels us to (out of compassion, obedience to the Spirit’s prompting, etc.). But, today I want to really answer this with a different perspective. The greatest thing I have ever done for someone else was to listen to them & believe their experience. I didn’t try to justify what happened to them, or question their interpretation of it. I took what they said at face value. People who have experienced trauma are often also a victim of gaslighting from those who traumatized them or even good natured people who struggle to believe that the accused would “do such a thing”. People who have invisible illnesses often have their symptoms & emotions trivialized because someone can’t see that they are sick/suffering. I can’t tell you the number of people with invisible/chronic illnesses that have uttered the words “I wish I had cancer, because then people would believe me.” I think to simply believe a person, is a great gift to them. I’m certainly not suggesting throwing caution out the window, or building up a lynch mob based on a person’s account without any facts. I’m simply suggesting it is possible to sympathize with a person from their perspective. Being the friend, while the experts can get to the truth of the matter & handle it appropriately.
Q12) “in what way would you have chosen to have God’s existence proven to you”
What a question. I came to a real belief in Christ at an older age. It wasn’t some miraculous event (like being instantly healed) but rather a slow revealing of Himself to me over time & challenging my own thoughts and beliefs. I remember lamenting once that I wished I had a great “testimony to tell”. A friend told me, “I assure you that those who do, wish they had your testimony and didn’t have to lick the floors of hell first.” That was eye opening. I also remember lamenting once that I wish I had been raised in the church, more intentionally, and had a faith that goes back to my childhood. But, I have also learned that many who start out their lives this way, still will struggle with their doubts about their faith. Questioning if they really believe for themselves vs. inheriting their parents beliefs and just going through the motions. So, I suppose really the only other way that would have been way easier… would have been an encounter with the voice of God, the presence of God so palpable at that moment that my knees bowed & my tongue confessed it. But, the Lord gave me my journey for a reason. I’ll honor Him through telling it, as it is…
Q13) “if you died today would you have any regrets”
Here is what I know, no one dies without regret. I don’t think that anyone facing immediate death wouldn’t think about things they wish they had done (or hadn’t). I would have traveled more, I would have spent more time with my family, I would have worried less, I would have eaten that entire cake. I would have apologized more, forgiven more, loved harder. I would have fought more, I would have gotten a better education, I wouldn’t have delayed certain things and I would have pushed others on to the backburner. Because I know in my heart this to be true, I don’t dwell on it. I can’t. I won’t. I can’t focus my attention on dying without regrets. Instead, I will choose to look forward at what can I do so that I don’t LIVE with regret. Part of our moving into our new home, and the decisions we are making with how we will use this home, is so that I don’t live with regret about things I wish I had done, people I had spent time with, etc. I can’t wait to use this home for the glory that God has instore for it. This will be a home of ministry.
Q 14) “is there a cause that you’d be willing to sacrifice your life for”
Since the question was specifically about a “cause”, the answer is no. If were to give up my life for a cause, in the sense of dying for it, there is no cause that warrants loss of life. If we were talking about specific people, or my faith… that’s different & not a “cause”. Now, if we define “sacrifice your life” as in giving up your spare time, leaving a well paid career to become a volunteer, etc. … well, that is a different story. Women’s Ministry is an area where I have done so, because this is a cause I deeply believe in. I believe that women need a place that ministers to them specifically as women. A ministry that speaks their language, understands their experiences, that reaches them from a place of compassion, sympathy, and empathy from living similar experiences. (I also believe this is equally important that men have a solid Men’s Ministry in their life). I have, and will continue, to put my life (defined as time, energy, resources) on the line for that.