March 24, 2017

Me with Lox

The thing is, sometimes God has to kick you out of your boat when you're petrified of jumping ship—especially when you’ve spent 20 years building your vessel. For decades I’ve been careful to build my reputation, words, relationships, and ministry in an evangelical Christian ocean. And when you’re in that ocean, you learn very quickly not to rock the boat by addressing hot topics (like gay couples fostering or adopting orphans) or you get fed to the sharks. We tend to write blogs and attack character with those we disagree with. We talk in green rooms and call out names and sins from the stage. Leaders tweet out things like, “Farewell, Christa Black Gifford,” letting our group know you're officially ‘out.' Yesterday, the hubs had the courage to post something I was too chicken to—our Christian opinion about Tennessee legislation that would prevent gay couples from being able to foster or adopt the 350 kids that currently live without families inside our state group homes. And because of our beliefs, I won’t be standing on a platform tomorrow in Pennsylvania.
Luke and I are both preachers kids, so we get it. We understand their decision to remove me from the conference. And I’m finding myself forced into an ocean that I’ve kept my mouth shut to avoid.

These waters are as cold as I expected, and there have already been some sharks circling, but the thing is…..I’m not drowning. ???????? I’m currently face to face with my greatest fears—the fear of rejection, of public condemnation, of being bullied and hated. I’m facing the fear of losing my reputation (a nightmare for 3’s on the enneagram), the fear of losing my ability to make a living, of losing our house, of losing friends, of having my books pulled from shelves. But I can stand to look at myself in the mirror today with my head held high, knowing I dIdn't keep my mouth shut to stay politically correct or get a paycheck….like I have so many times in the past. ???? I'm sorry, friends, that I haven't given you ALL of me in fear of your rejection…even the controversial parts. I'm finally loving myself enough to change that. ❤

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