Thursday, May 1, 2014
I was once very proud.
A proud American.
Proud in my intellect.
Proud of my heritage.
Proud of my calling.
Then things changed, as they always do.
My country is now my residence. I feel tolerated at the most. "If you don't like it here, you can always leave." I have heard that a number of times.
I was proud of my intellect, until my best friend showed me up in it and put my knowledge to shame (a humbling, awe-inspiring, and altogether good thing).
I was proud of my lineage: Fourth generation Salvationist, fourth generation officer in the Salvation Army. My ancestry was awesome: Norwegian, Scottish, Irish, German, French, Cherokee. Then I realized that I could not lay claim to any of that. The accomplishments of my ancestors cannot save me or make me who I am.
I was proud of my calling, then I realized that God did not want me proud. He wants me humble.
So he humbled me. Dare I say it? He humiliated me. He broke me. He allowed me to be sent back to the United States under less than comfortable conditions. He allowed me to experience suffering in my return. He allowed me to experience shame, regret, indecision, loneliness.
I held on to the shattered pieces of my life and cried. I gave them up. I am broken.
He is leading me to a new life: New friendships, new ministry, a new calling. He has granted me a vision that keeps me going.
I realized that my knowledge is worthless without God's love.
I realized that my calling is worthless without God's love.
I realized that my heritage and my citizenship is worthless. My identity in God is what matters.
I am broken, but God is the cement that keeps me together.