We walked down the sidewalk and up to the door where we were met by 8 teenagers.
Being the extrovert (most of the time) I of course gave them a warm smile and a hello. What did I get back? Silence and directions to their youth room.
Okay cool, I thought, maybe they're just shy right now. No biggie.
Up the stairs we went to the youth room where we again were met by some teenagers and more than a few awkward stares. Again, no biggie.
We found a seat, sat down and waited for the service to begin. It was us and four or five other churches all gathered together to hear the Word of God.
They asked where everyone was from, I told them where we attended church and more stares followed.
Normally, this would have bothered me, but not too much anymore. My acceptance doesn't come from how many girls and guys love me or even like me. It doesn't come from how welcomed or unwelcomed I feel. Though it has taken years to see that and still I have days where the struggles to understand that come, He helps me keep fighting.
Acceptance should be found in who we are, and who are we? Children of God! Made in His image. Fearfully and wonderfully made. Chosen. Precious. His. More than that, acceptance should be found in who HE is because who He is never changes. As long as we believe that and know that, we will readily follow Him wherever He goes because we know He can be trusted regardless.
We left feeling a little weird about how many stares we got but when my head hit the pillow and I was getting ready to sleep, there were no worries about it (though there were some others... oh letting go and letting God is hard sometimes, friends.). Who knows, maybe they were feeling inadequate, maybe they're still wrestling through their identity in Christ, or maybe they didn't even know that's how they came across. I choose to let grace work because grace through Jesus has covered my life.
That being said, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be welcoming and share His love with all people regardless of race, age, or whatever. When people see you do they see Christ? Hmmm. Let's think and pray on that today, mmk?
Lord, teach us to be accepting of others and lead them to Your heart. Thank You for accepting us and being the One who gives us worth and value.
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