“Welcome” it’s so much more then a word, an attitude, or a door mat. It’s a life style. Over the last 6 months, the Lord has been redefining the meaning of the words “welcome” and “discipleship” in my life. I grew up with an “open door” policy – the welcome mat was always out for friends and family. In my own home as an adult, I’ve tried to cultivate the same welcome. People are always welcome in my home, but are they welcome in my life? In the deepest parts of my heart, where it hurts to love them?
I “disciple” women and young ladies every week. We meet, study the Word and pray. Tremendous accountability, and deep friendships have grown out of those times together, but I’ve still felt like the Holy Spirit was showing me there’s more. In studying Thessalonians this verse (this treasure!) made a profound impact on me.
We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1Thess 2:8)
What does it mean to share not only the Gospel with people, but our lives as well? For me, that’s much harder.
The Lord is SO faithful to give us opportunities to practice and learn what His Word means. This summer my younger sister came to live with me. In some ways it was a big adjustment and in others not as much. Working in a rather higher stress/profile ministry job, my home is my solace, my sanctuary, my quiet place of rest. Opening that to someone 24/7 was a big step for me, but it was something I felt the Lord leading me to do. Harder than my home, was opening my life – but it was worth it.
There is a big difference between sharing your life with someone, and letting someone be your roommate. Sharing the gospel is easy – living the gospel 24/7? Adds a whole new meaning to the word “discipleship”!
I often wonder if I could have done things differently this summer, been more intentional, focused, or let her see more of the intimate side of my relationship with the Lord. But the truth is, in a small way, this summer was a success for me (and I pray for her!). Tonight I hurt. I miss her deeply, and that is success. It means I have opened my life to her enough to feel it when she is gone.
Today’s tidbit of Truth: Pain isn’t always a sign that something is wrong; it can be the proof that something is very right.
Adapted from Lisa Jo Baker’s 5 Minute Friday link up and word prompt: Welcome. (yes this is a few days late :).
Have you enter to win a copy of Natasha’s eBook Pain Redeemed yet? Only two more days! Enter here.