15 February 2007

There But for the Grace of God Go I

The newest issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine arrived last week. As usual, it is a blessing to me - a source of encouragement, and a vast array of some serious resources for any style of homeschooler. But there was one article by Jenefer Igarashi that was so real, I just had to blog about it. I am not going to quote her article, entitled The Unlovables: My Reluctant Testimony, so be sure to grab the winter issue and read it for yourself. But her article provoked my thoughts - which I will share here:

I found myself in a similar situation - pregnant and unmarried. My husband and I had been living together for 3 years, but had never taken a commitment very seriously. I was not a Christian, and although I knew who God was, I lived my life separated from Him. During my pregnancy, I started to feel that something was missing - that something being God - and I turned to the only place I knew at the time I might find Him - the church. My experience was not what Jen described - the loving support from believers - but more a judgmental glance, an indignant comment, and a circle being drawn leaving me on the outside. Baby showers were hosted for the "married" pregnant women in the church - and I remained invisible. I know that some of my experience was due in large part to my overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame, and even so, there were specific things said and done that made me feel that not only could the church not love me, but God could not possibly love me.
It took a long time before I was able to see past "the church" and allow God to speak to my heart about what He has to say about my sin. When I gave my life to Him, there was no more condemnation. And yet a few years ago in Sunday school, somebody inadvertently put the shame right back in my lap. This particular couple would come to our church with their "anti-abortion" stickers blazing on the rear bumper of their car, and their legalistic judgmental condemnation (the very thing that drives young women into the back alley entrances of abortion clinics) on their faces. During prayer request time, this man was asking for prayer for his niece who had recently given birth "out of wedlock", and blah blah blah, but they didn't want her to think that they condoned what she had done, yadda yadda yadda. I sat for a while as he rambled on feeling the shrinking, diminishing feeling of shame. When I finally found my voice, I was able to share that I too had a child "out of wedlock". I also was able to encourage that man to live out his convictions, and support his niece as she attempted to raise this child on her own - buying diapers, and baby food, and whatever else she may need. (The less Christlike sentiment in my head at the time was "Quit buying bumper stickers and put your money here your mouth is!" I might have also thought "freak" and then sure and sudden conviction and repentance!)
Sin is sin - and as believers we have to call it what God calls it. There is no doubt that sex outside of marriage is sin. Aren't we to help those up who stumble? Why do we look at that particular sin as if it is so heinous - and yet gloss over our own materialism, gluttony, gossip, etc. as if they are nothing. In God's sight all sin is equal.
I think that in the Christian community we need a constant reminder -
there but for the grace of God go I! I've been there - I've done that - I have the t-shirt - with a big scarlet letter branded that has since been washed white with the scarlet blood of Jesus!


  1. HEy girl! I was sad to see you left the TOS blogging community all together, but really like your new blog. I have to do a bit more reading to catch up. Sickness and rough schedule have kept me from reading blogs the last 2 weeks.

    I so agree with this edition of TOS. Jen's article was real, but I notice that with so many of the articles. You really feel as though you are getting to know the author's personally. So cool and unique!

    As for vanity in decorating, yes I do agree about that to some extent. However, if a woman likes to decorate, I don't see it as a problem as long as she isn't wasteful and doing it for nothing. For example, you have been working on decorating your whole house, because you just bought it. That is cool! But if you decide in a year that you want to redecorate just because, that is not being a good steward of your money and also not having used God's principals in decorating in the first place.

    I do sometimes get bored with a room, that's when I change it up frugally, like new curtains, accessories, color. I feel as though you should love being in your home. As for me, I have never completely finished a room, because I have never had the resources to do so. This leaves me ina constant loop. After a few years of a room not being finished, I grow tired of looking at it and start thinking about changes. Silly, I know, but I want to love where I am. Still it is vanity. I think I should pray about this more, eh?

  2. That's why Jesus tells us to take the plank out of our own eye before trying to remove the sliver from our brothers (paraphrased).
    But do we listen...

  3. Hey Jewls!
    Thanks for sharing your heart so openly! I too am pro-life, but that means I'm for any life - not condemning of it!!! I think it is VERY brave of any young girl to go through with a pregnancy instead of getting rid of it!! They certainly deserve all the love and support we can give them. Jesus didn't condemn the woman caught in adultery, so what makes us think we have more right to judge than He did???? I'm also glad that you found God - inspite of the church! What a sad testimony of the church today! Love ya'!


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥