I thought I’d share with you some email that really makes me smile. Some of this is really personal, so I’ve disguised some of the details so no one will recognize who the original writer was. But I enjoy seeing the process of transformation unfolding in people’s lives, drawing them into greater love, greater honesty, and greater freedom.
This is from a pastor who recently resigned his position:
I’m going through an intense transition. Mainly dealing with, “Do I feel valued for just being me?” I have resigned from the church to learn what me looks like. I want to know in my heart that I’m the gift. I couldn’t do this from my position as senior pastor. I’m also learning how to be a friend. I’ve bypassed this part of life because of my desperate need for approval through performance. It feels very vulnerable but also very rewarding. The questions that I’m asking and wanting answered feel very foundational. Questions that I should have answered in the beginning but was to busy trying to lead people. The questions are: Who is God?, Who am I?, What is my purpose on the planet?
Can you imagine the courage it takes to walk away from something you deeply love, to find out more about the One who is deeply calling you into life and freedom? Most never discover the road less traveled, because they won’t risk the vulnerability of stopping the train of their own self-approval needs and discover the life that really is life. Bravo, my Friend!
And then this from a mom of teenagers:
My heart is full of gratitude for the way God has used your teaching to bring me to a new place of freedom and fellowship with Jesus. My love for Him continues to deepen as He faithfully reveals His love to me. It just keeps getting better and better. I’ve loved living in this new place and have enjoyed passing on this life-altering, paradigm-shifting good news of “living loved” to many God has graciously sent my way.
But, the thing I am most grateful for is how God has used you in the lives of my four kids. They have all read He Loves Me and have been greatly impacted by the Love of Father that is revealed in that book. I love the conversations that we have been having with them and how often they will go back to an example from that book, or a quote from it. My second son, has listened to your Jesus Lens series and Transitions. He loves them both. The Love of Father that I have seen coming out of my kids as they have moved more deeply into an understanding and experience of His Love brings me to tears. Tears of gratitude for His grace and love. I know that it is all His work and His doing, but I have loved the way He has used you. Thank you for your faithfulness and love for the Body.
I love it when kids engage this journey and take ownership of their own walk with Father, learning and exploring their own engagement with him and knowing he wants to lead them too. This sounds like they have some interesting conversations around the dinner table.
And finally, this from a friend across the country with whom I’ve had occasion to cross paths on a number of occasions:
I just wanted to encourage you in this season you are in. I think it is a great thing that you are taking time away, not only for yourself and family but for all of us out here as well. I am realizing more and more how easy it is for people to be followers of the latest teachings (teacher). How in many of us we have a desire to be next to the person who “knows”. How, because of insecurities and shame, it becomes not only easy but almost a necessity to attach to someone who we think is the guru. The first time I connected with you via email years ago it was refreshing, and safe, to me that you weren’t trying to tell me what to do and how to think. You listened and encouraged me to listen and allow Father to sort things out. As I have gotten to know you more over the years that seems to be ongoing and very intentional trait of yours. That’s why I say this is a good season for all the lifestream readers and listeners as well as it is for you.
I love it when people realize that my life and teachings are simply scaffolding to help others engage God on their own and learn how to listen to him and follow him. I’ve received much encouragement during this time from people who are being freshly reminded not to draw nourishment from Lifestream, but to draw it from Jesus. I agree that too many people are still seeking a mediator between them and God, unable to believe that God wants to walk with them and show them the way. I realize we’re supposed to be breeding dependence on Lifestream to ensure our future success. But I’m all for Lifestream decreasing as God increases in each heart…
Tomorrow I head home from Canada with a very full heart. So many wonderful things have happened on this trip and I have some interesting conversations to share on future podcasts. I so incredibly blessed to see the body of Christ in the world from the vantage point God has given me. She is a lovely lady, being shaped by the Father as a precious bride fit for her King. I have no idea what’s ahead for me, but I am content in his love even in the uncertainty and I am ready to follow him however he desires me to do so.