Most folks would like to hear those words of “Welcome” at some point in their life. Several years ago, there was always some kind of club or group I could never seem to get my foot through the door to become a “member”. When I ached to join and suffered rejection, I pretended I didn’t really care about being in the midst of the fun after all.
Youngsters formed Clubs in the neighborhood for “Friends Only”. You were allowed entrance only by invitation and only if the invite was issued by a founding member. I recall one group just around the corner from our home which met in an actual tree~house. I thought it was the coolest club ever and I would walk slowly down the street at meeting time, in hopes that someone would see me casually strolling by and invite me into the “Club”. I wished fervently to know what they talked about in there. I was dying to know what was in the bowl of goodies his mother carried out every afternoon and what flavored drink might be in that metal pitcher. They noticed me all right. But they just pointed, laughed and climbed the ladder to the magical palace in the tree. And silly me kept walking by every afternoon, thinking this would be the day they chose me.
One afternoon, one of the cool girls came running from the tree~house just as I was strolling by. I gave her a big grin of excitement and my heart beat out a sweet, fast rhythm. She stepped up in front of me and pointed her finger in my face. “Karla, you are not allowed on our street anymore. So stop!” I responded, “This was the last day I was walking over here anyway!” and ran all the way home in tears. I shut myself in my bedroom and listed all the reasons I didn’t want to be a member of their stupid club and then cried some more.
I was never one of the cool kids. I was not athletic, or bubbly, or super smart. Never fit in with any clique or group of kids. I stood on the sidelines of my own childhood. The only “friend” I had as an adolescent was one girl who enjoyed pummeling me. I was her practice dummy in case she ever got into a fight at school. I didn’t know how to fight back and knew if I did, I would get in more trouble at home, so I withstood the occasional beat-down. She was bigger and stronger and could grab me by my ponytail and swing me around in circles until I hit the ground. She would sit on me and punch me. I never fought back, although I wanted to in the worst way.
I was and still am quite average. I was never encouraged to excel at anything. So I made it through tenth grade by the skin of my teeth. I went back later for my GED and took some college courses to better my chances in the workforce.
I don’t excel, I don’t initiate, I don’t engage. I sit back, observe, and learn. I am not a naturally gifted people-person. I don’t seek others out. I am content to watch. I am content to enjoy life from the sidelines.
But as a parent, I encouraged my children to find their “thing” and be the best they could be at whatever it was they found to be their niche. Whatever they tried their hand at, I was always in there telling them to “go for it!” But I tried to never steer them in one direction. Each of them has found a place of contentment, fulfillment and that fills my heart with joy. Two of my children have children and each of them is unique and owns their own special piece of my heart.
I am fulfilled. I am content. Life has not always been kind or behaved as I might have imagined, but as an adult, my heart has always been full and that is more than enough. I have found my place in God’s Club. HE welcomed me with open arms and I will not turn away from HIM or HIS presence. I am a life-time member of “I can do all things through Christ!” I have an amazing husband with whom I share my heart. He completes me in a way I never dreamed was possible and our beloved children and grandchildren round out the picture of “Home”. The sidelines have been perfect for me.
There are many opinions on faith and what God does or does not need to do for us. There is the Name it and Claim it camp that believes whatever you claim in Jesus’ name is yours. The Disclaim it and Blame it folks think if you refuse to accept it and put the blame squarely wherever it belongs, it cannot effect you. Personally, my faith provokes me to APB the situation. Acknowledge. Pray. Believe.
I prayed for a doctor who was Godly, wise, and kind. God provided abundantly. So when he does the tests and tells me what is going on, well, I’m going to trust him. I am going to thank God for the incredible minds HE gave these scientists! However, God still has the final say in my life over everything! So, I can acknowledge the diagnosis, pray to my Heavenly Father who has all things in HIS hands, and believe that HIS perfect will is unfolding in my life. If HE chooses to heal me instantly, Hallelujah! If HE chooses to heal me as I walk through it, Hallelujah! And if not either of those? Hallelujah! anyhow!
God is still and always will be in control. Nothing touches my life but what HE has said, “You can do this with MY strength. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I trust you to lean into ME and when the going gets tough, rest in MY everlasting presence!” Welcome to the Club. The membership guidelines are clearly stated in the Word of God. Many have been called to join, but few are actually chosen. Thank God, I’m in the club of a lifetime whose membership carries you through eternity!
I am also a member of another club. In the Acknowledgement phase, I have Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. In the Praying phase, prayer never ceases. And the Believe? Oh, yes, I believe! APB!
This blog will now be dedicated to this journey as we walk it out. I will be sharing insights from my husband and children through the process. I covet your prayers for my family. The sorrow has been abundant and it is a tremendously heart-breaking situation for them. They are my loves and my life so please keep them covered.
If you are not a member of the God Club, I invite you to pick up your Bible and allow HIM to lead you into all truth. When the vicissitudes of life are rocking you to your core, HE will be the steady hand you have always sought. When you grieve, HE will send comfort. When you are hurting, HE will hold you. HE will place the perfect people on your path to be a source of strength and guidance. HE will see to it that you are fulfilled and content and ready when HE returns for HIS people! Welcome to the Club!
I love you but Jesus loves more!