Friday, August 18, 2017

How He loves us

Oh, How He Loves Us

One time we were part of a church.  They claimed that they accepted all people, “just come as you are.”  This was their mission statement of sorts.  They accepted you until they found out who you were, a sinner.  We were two people in love, two people who had worked out many issues both amongst themselves and personally.  Two people who love God, just two ordinary people.  We were nothing special.  One of us was heavily involved in the church, working on the Tech Team and working the camera both at the baptism area, sanctuary and elsewhere.  One of us sat in the sanctuary and listened to the message while the other one worked behind the scenes.  I thought alright, I like this church, I like what they stand for, I like that I can come with my sins and be forgiven because after all I’m human and they accept me for what I am, a sinner.  WRONG!!!

I got pregnant in January of 2011 and we found out in February 2011 (the 15th to be exact).  Once they found out we were sinners, suddenly we were shunned.  Suddenly the one who worked camera in the baptism area and in the sanctuary, could no longer do so.  The elders could never find out that someone got someone else pregnant outside of marriage, oh my.  Someone was told that they could no longer work in the public areas because then the elders of the church might think that they accepted this kind of thing, you know a child out of wedlock.  Here I was pregnant and yes, some very kind people in the church wrapped their arms around us and loved us through it.  They loved us through the tough times, the hard times, the scary times and they prayed for us.  It was a tough time for us, we needed our church’s support because my parents weren’t supportive and they sure as heck weren’t accepting.  What happened to come as you are?  Where did that go?  Just because I had committed a sin didn’t mean that God loved me any less, He loved me just the same as the day before.  He died on the cross for my sins, yet the church couldn’t accept that.  They wanted perfect people.  We were not and still aren’t perfect people, we never will be.  We are human and every day we make mistakes, but we are forgiven.

In October of 2011 we welcomed a precious little boy into the world.  He is perfection if there ever was such a thing.  Some members of the church came to see us, while others kept their distance.  My small group leader set up meals for a couple of weeks while we adjusted to the life of a new baby.  It was very kind and gave everyone a chance to come by and see the new bundle of joy.  I’m really grateful I was part of an awesome group back then. 

January, 2012 We wanted to get married in the church.  OH NO!!  Excuse us for wanting to do the right thing and complete our family, how dare us.  We were living together, after all we did have a very young baby.  We were told that in order to get married in the church we’d either have to go to the Justice of the Peace and do it or we’d have to live separately for a few months.  We couldn’t afford two separate rents, there was no way.  We fought with the church for a month about this.  Why wouldn’t they let us make things right?  “That’s our policy” they exclaimed.  Finally, on February 29, 2012 we ran off to the courthouse.  After we had that nifty marriage license in our hands we drove to the church and threw that in their face.  Now we could finally have the church wedding that we had longed for.  Here they were holding our sin against us, but Jesus has never done that. 

This brings me to the point of how He loves us.  He loves us as we are, though He yearns for us to be better.  He loves us even though we carry a lot of baggage and that baggage should be given to Him.  He loves us even though we make mistakes.  If God can love unconditionally, without judgement, without boundaries and without conditions, why can’t people love in the same manner?