A few weeks ago we started the “Not a Fan” book by Kyle Idleman for our Life Group class on Sunday nights. Usually we have a Life Group at 5 pm and then an evening service at 6 pm. Well as usual, during the winter and every few years, church attendance drops on Sunday nights. So we decided to try something different this time around and combined the two services. Also my father-n-law, a.k.a. the pastor, had surgery recently. You see how this worked right?
The book is good. It hits on some hard questions. Questions we as complacent North American Christians don’t want to think about and probably haven’t even considered until digging into this book. The main question or theme is, “Are you a fan or a follower of Jesus Christ?” Throughout, the book helps you understand the difference and to determine where you are in your walk. I’ll admit I have my fan moments and days, then conviction sets in and I remember and am reminded why I’m a follower. Those truths that have rooted me in my faith of who Jesus is to me are what makes me a follower. They are unique to each person, because each person is different. There stories are unique unto themselves.
I love at the end of each chapter there are personal stories titled “not a fan”. They are from people who are followers of Christ, telling why they became that way and still are. Last night we finished up Chapter 4 and our class leader, who also loves these stories, ended with a question, “Why are you a follower? If you were asked to write one of these, what would it say, just a thought.”
So, why am I a follower?
The minute he asked that my immediate answer, in my mind of course, was “Because He has never left me!” As loud as the day is long. He has never left me! The little girl inside me, 6 years old, freckle faced and brown hair stood up and yelled at the top of her lungs, “He has never left me, everyone leaves me, they all leave, even if they said they loved me and would never leave, it doesn’t matter they did anyway. They walked out the door and left, they died, they ran away, they didn’t want me, they didn’t care and they left! He has never left me! He doesn’t care if I say the wrong thing or break something or if I cry too much. He doesn’t care if I don’t love him the most all the time. He doesn’t care if I don’t put him first all the time, He doesn’t even care if I scream and yell at Him because the people who left me have broken my heart, He has still never left me!” Yeah that little girl right there is why I am a follower.
So many people throughout my life have left. When I say left, I feel like I need to clarify. I mean walked out of my life, in some form or fashion, whether it was physical, mental or emotional (yes you can be in the same room with a child and still that child can feel alone), having nothing to do with me as a child and then later on as a teen. My life as an adult, I have made some decisions, too, of my own to leave people I love due to their life choices and the negative effects it had on me and my immediate family. Even those closest to my heart, dearest to my heart, had their own personal selfish desires and would not or could not put me first, and in the end they left me.
My Papa passed away 6 years ago, he could not stay with me, he to had to leave. Yes I will see him again, but it still hurts and that pain of being left is strong with this one. Even now in our church, since I have been a member for a good 10 years, I find it hard to become attached to new members. I feel horrible sometimes because I don’t want to come off as cold, and I do pray that God heals my heart. People these days, who claim to be Christians and followers of Christ have no problem doing what I call “church hopping”. Which is going from one church to another because they don’t agree or they got their feelings hurt or they didn’t like the music, what was preached cause it felt like it was directed at them. Yeah that is a heart problem not a church problem. This means you have a problem loving other people and you really don’t understand the Word of God. I can’t get close to these people, they will leave. Sorry, soap box rant over now. Back on subject
Jesus has never left me. He has never left that little girl. Even though there are times when He is not first in my life, and times when, yes I totally forget about Him because I am so caught up in the world, yet He is still with me. Those moments of shear agony when my heart renders a cry of pain that no words can describe and no one is around to hear, He hears me. He holds me and He comforts me. He always has. So when I look back on my life and even forward because it will happen when my children leave for college and get married, though that will be a happier time of leaving, He will still be with me. More loved ones will pass away and friends will leave for their on personal reasons and selfish desires because, well other peoples’ worlds don’t revolve around me, (I do understand that, I am not that selfish) He will still be with me, even in death and new life. That is the best part, right there. I hope you caught that.
(Something I will miss! Legos, Yes Legos! This is Baby Dinosaur who was found during a shake down before entering daycare one morning! He was confiscated from Jedi Skywalker’s pockets and jailed in Mommy’s purse until bail could be posted after school.)
I can’t express to you how much it means to that little freckle faced, brown haired girl, with tear filled eyes, staring at a door, out a window or sitting on her bed alone and knowing that He has never left her and He never will!
My name is Holly Walker, and I am not a fan.
I encourage you to grab a copy of this book. It will make you think about things you might not have considered before. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and I hope you have a great day. May His Son shine on you and yours!
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand
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