Friday, August 14, 2009

The Gypsy Child Lands in a Soft and Safe Place

Conclusion of this story series …

Quest Community Church.
Lexington, Kentucky.

I am 44.

I have found a church home. I have found a community of people who share the same goal – to become wholehearted followers of Christ.

This goal permeates the place where we worship: Everywhere you look, volunteers are serving – greeting people warmly, caring for children while parents are busy hearing the Word, serving coffee to newcomers, singing praises and leading the rest of us in glorious worship.

What does it mean to you to be in a community?

As I look back at the years of the Gypsy Child’s journey, I can tell you what it means to me.

It means being surrounded by people who can support you and pray for you when you work daily in a Christ-hostile environment. These people can be your lifeline to stay strong in the midst of temptation. They can warn you when they see your weaknesses and prop you up when you fail. They can wrap arms around you on Jesus’s behalf when you really want a hug from Him. They can hear your story, accept you regardless of what you’ve done and love you because He loves you.

If anyone is a poster child for reasons we need community, I am. All you have to do is look at where I’ve been and the choices I made when I didn’t have a community – when I was on the end of a branch hanging with my fingernails. I made it work for a while by myself, but eventually, it did all catch up with me. I needed community. We can only go through so much temptation and hardship alone before we fall.

That said, I don’t want to present the idea that I have this all figured out. I don’t – not by a long shot.

I still struggle with allowing people into my life. I did things alone for so long, that I can be prideful, thinking that I don’t need them.

Sometimes I tell myself, “I have been through so much that I can do more for other people than they can do for me. I can be there for others, but I shouldn’t expect others to shoulder my burdens. They wouldn’t understand. They haven’t experienced the pain I have, so I’ll just deal with it alone with God.”

I shrink from allowing myself to be completely vulnerable. Instead of focusing on my past good experiences – like the women at Fort Bragg who helped me when I was pregnant or the people from my Lutheran church in Georgia who rallied around me when I was sick – I focus on the bad. I think about church people who let me down when I was struggling so hard to fit in and belong as a single person. I allow these memories to cloud the truth that I DO need others.

Then, as I struggle with these opposing feelings, something amazing will happen. I’ll be contacted by someone in my new community. They’ll tell me how much I am loved. They’ll share with me their concerns about my spiritual welfare and warfare. They’ll provide wisdom and insight on a problem I am having.

They’ll pray for me.

They’ll be my friend.

They’ll stand in the sandals of Jesus on His behalf and say, “Hey, I’m here for you. You don’t have to do this alone. I’m willing to help out and be His emissary for you if only you’ll let me.”

This is the Christian Safehouse. Here we can share our difficulties. If you’re not in a church where you can get this kind of support, I want you to know … I’m here for you. I’ll talk to you anytime you want. If I don’t know an answer, I’ll find someone who will. And I’ll take all of your concerns to His throne and ask on your behalf for His intervention in your life.

Are you a part of a community? If you’re not, look at the Gypsy Child’s story as a warning. You don’t want to become me.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Allow yourself to be loved by others who love Him, too.


  1. Hey Heidi:
    Have spent the last little bit perusing your two blogs; so good to re-connect with you and learn a bit more about your story. I look forward to keeping up in the days to come.

    You're right; community is key in the life of the believer, even when it's not always an easy fit. We need one another.

    Blessings and peace to your this week~elaine

  2. ..i understand and know the feeling of being "connected" with fellow believers...either in church or in a support group ...i found though that my fellow christians did'nt know how to help me realisticly (other than prayer) with my emotional problems..which were causing me and my family alot of grief..i began to notice that a majority of good well meaning christians had glaring character defects that they would never admit or address on a personel level and it did'nt take long to figure out why..Christians everywhere are in DENIAL of their personality defects and most do not care enough or have the courage to do the hard self examination and personal inventory required to be set free from their "problem" wether it be pride-arrogance-greed-anger-narcissism or selfishness ect ect...the process (with Gods help)into Christ likeness is not an instant nor painless tramsformation and much personal work is required if we are to be like HIM....

  3. @Elaine -- Thanks for the encouragement! I love your blog as well and will look forward to keeping up with you now that we have reconnected! :-)

    @Anonymous -- You are correct on all counts. Unfortunately for me, I have used these deficiencies of character as an excuse in the past NOT to participate in "community." You can probably tell from my blog entries that I still struggle with this on many levels. It is something that requires prayer on my part.
    On a more positive note, although we all have our failings and disappoint each other and let each other down, the good news is that He is good to us all of the time and can still use these imperfect creatures to bring us nearer to Him. I have to focus on that when I feel discouraged.
    And even MORE positively -- when we are finally in His Presence for eternity, He will make all things right in our hearts. It is then we will have the perfect community that He intended for us from the beginning of time. I look forward to that!

  4. You are one beloved, adored, gifted chld of a King. He has followed after like the "hound of heaven". Your career path took you into one of the most Godless of all professions. Yet, even in the newsroom, people KNEW you were different. I REMEMBER all those you brought closer fo God, from all kinds of faith and all manners of beliefs. Your strong foundation did not fail you "in a pinch". You forget, me thinks, about those you have helped, even when you, also needed help. God used imperfect vessls to change the world and your presence in som many newsrooms shone like a candle in the dark. Your life experiences have left you infinitely qualified to communicate to people around the world about what a life-changing God can do for anyone who calls out to Jesus.
    From your life, now, as a writer, adoring wife, loving mother, attentive daughter, giving, sharing, wondrous YOU can give praise to Jesus for bringing it "all together" for you as you searched for meaning and purpose. You are too beautiful for words. Growing, loving, sharing, giving Christian and child of the King...Heidi!

  5. .....there is a common psychological technique used when christians are confronted with unpleasant personal 'habits" and that is to catagorize the messenger or the message as being "too negative" thereby "deflecting" the point (avoidance)or points being made....another technique of avoidance/denial is to fall back on the ole cover-all: "God loves us warts and all"...and: "God loves me JUST THE WAY I AM"..and this: "someday..when im in His presence i'll be perfect"...these and other similar statements while true in the literal sense allow those of us who have "problems"to continue on through life without courageously facing and changing WHAT WE HAVE BECOME through our unresolved ISSUES......