You could put your verification ID in a comment Or, in its own meta tag Or, as one of your keywords Journey to Fabulous and Fifty: My journey includes the inside too: Faith, Friendship and Fellowship

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

My journey includes the inside too: Faith, Friendship and Fellowship

I don't even know where to begin this blog post. I've been on a journey to become fabulous and fifty. My 47th birthday is quickly approaching, and the three year "deadline" looms. I don't just want to change my outside, I want to change my inside, to grow, to learn, to understand. I want to be the person who reaches out to others when they need something, even more than I have in the past.

Hubby Dude and I on our journey through life -- together.
It's always been about family for me, my children, my husband, my parents, my sister and her family, etc. That's it. My world was my family. And that was fine. But then my kids grew up and it was just me and my hubby. And he got sick. And he almost died. And he couldn't continue to do the work he had done in the past. And I didn't want him to get sick again. So we made compromises and we built another life, another good life, together. With our kids. And our family grew to include a couple of awesome girls who I hope some day will be my daughters-in-law.

But something was missing and we reached to God for answers. His reply to us put us on the track to helping out in our community, in one specific place. And it was a prayer answered for us. Our horizons expanded, our knowledge base grew, our understanding of human beings of all shapes, sizes, colors, orientations, young, old and in-between grew and grew rapidly. We quickly learned that we needed to look deep inside ourselves and what I found inside my heart was not as pretty as I thought. I judged people. Though I asked not to be judged myself by my outer package, I was judging others. So I prayed, I prayed over it with my husband and by myself. I asked my husband for answers. And we both began to change.

And while we changed our minds opened up and we listened to others. We offered an ear, our talents and our time because that's what we had to offer. And we thought we were making a difference, no matter how small. A smile, a warm welcome, a hug, a hot meal, a kind word. I felt truly blessed to have these people come into my life. And I felt as if I was truly on the path to becoming "Fabulous and Fifty" on the inside too! In my heart and in my mind! And then things started to slip.

And then one big thing, at least for me, one tiny post on Facebook, several incredibly cruel comments changed my whole way of thinking again. Someone who asked to be judged by their heart and by their actions, a person ministering to others, a person involved in the lives of teenagers and trying to help them through the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood posted something about gays that was, in my opinion, awful. And the comments that ensued broke my heart and I wept.

I wept at first because this person showed such venomous intolerance for a group of people based solely on their sexual orientation. Based solely on one person they had met. This also angered me. But I prayed on it, I slept on it and I didn't react.

When I woke up the next day I realized not only was I weeping over the venomous intolerance of someone who asks for others not to judge them by past actions, but I wept because this person bringing the word of God to others, this person trying to change the world, to lessening bullying, this person reaching out to teenagers and saying it's okay to be you, bashed gays and allowed the comments to turn uglier and uglier and uglier. And I thought, what if one teenager who follows this person on Facebook read that. One teenager who thought that going to this person was safe saw that post and those comments. What did they feel? If I felt horrified and unbelievably sad, what did THEY feel? And it made me feel ugly inside again because I allowed that person into my life, just a little bit. And in my usual passive-aggressive fashion, I said nothing. Why say anything really? To be lectured on the sins of gay people? I agree to disagree with anyone on the subject of same-sex marriage and whether God intended for it to me only one man and one woman together. What you believe is what you believe, what I believe is what I believe. But when you are reaching out to people under the umbrella of "accept me for who *I* am" and you bash an entire group of people, IMHO, you lose the "right" to be accepted for who you are.

So, I wrote this blog post, because I know deep down in my heart that even if the issue were discussed, it wouldn't change anything. I wholeheartedly believe that as we grow older, we change. Change is part of our growth, right? Apologizing for things we've done is part of that growing process? Peacefully agreeing to disagree is part of life, right?

Yes, you have every right on this Earth to post whatever you want on Facebook (according to their TOS of course). I guess I'm still searching for answers as I follow my journey to fabulous and fifty. There's a whole lot more growth going on here. I hope that you'll hang in there with me and let me know what you think. Respectfully, please. I entertain all thoughts, opinions, but I ask that you be respectful.

May God bless you on your personal journey!