I don’t think we measure up to a lot of people’s expectations. When people meet us, they see a family with six kids, the girls all in dresses and headcoverings, my husband with a beard and tassels, and they probably think we’re incredibly extreme in our faith. For some, this is a put-off and they don’t want anything to do with us. For others, this is exciting and they think we must be part of some extreme Christian group and they want to know what we’re all about. Some people, when they find out we don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, are repulsed by our legalism, and others, when they find out we keep the Old Testament commandments, are put off by the fact that we are lenient in our interpretation and application of them. Some people think we’re lost because we believe that God speaks to us and that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still in operation today. Others think we’re lost because we don’t believe that people have to know who Jesus is (according to who we think He is) in order to be saved. Some people think we shouldn’t even say the name “Jesus” or the word “God,” and others think it’s ridiculous that we won’t display the cross in our home, or wear it around our necks. Some people think I go too far with the modesty, because I don’t wear short sleeves or pants (except when I run and go on photo shoots.) Others think I’m immodest because I wear makeup and jewelry (and wear pants and short sleeves when I run and go on photo shoots!!!) Some people think we’re not good stewards/environmentalists because we use don’t use washcloths instead of toilet paper or have a garden. Some think we take stewardship too far because we tithe. And when I ran my 10k on Saturday, I’m sure there were a few Saturday Sabbath keepers raising more than one eyebrow.
I’ve long struggled with the tendency to adopt other people’s convictions and make them my own. For a long time, I have assumed that if God is telling someone else to do something (or not do something), He must also be telling me to do it (or not do it.) For a long time, I’ve imitated other people’s relationships with God, rather than discovering His will for me. For too long, I’ve doubted myself and the still, small voice of God telling me to go right when everyone I looked up to and admired around me was going left. The truth is that we all have a special, individual relationship with God. I’m not a bad wife because I don’t cook often (or well), and I’m not a bad mother because I have hobbies and interests outside of the home. I’m not a legalist because I keep Torah or a liberal because I run on the Sabbath. I’m not immodest because I don’t wear a headcovering all the time, and I’m not a prude because I won’t wear shorts. I’m just a girl who loves Jesus, and I have a relationship with God/Yahweh/Jesus/Yeshua/The Holy Spirit/The Ruach HaKodesh that is unlike the relationship He has with anyone else. I’m following the still, small voice that is directing my life.
I’m a disappointment to a lot of people. And for that, I’m thankful.