There is a notion that has become very popular in our culture in the past few years. It goes beyond the childhood ideas of a “BFF”. It’s the idea that of having a “person”.
Many years ago I had a conversation with my sister about soulmates that we have in our lives that may not be our spouse, but rather a friend that we will have for life. A few generations ago, most people would have considered their “people” to include only family. But in this generation, with the dysfunction that is so typical in families, people are decided that they are going to chose who is family to them; we are choosing who we allow into our lives.
I love my family and they are without a doubt, “my people”. My hope is that we raise our children to love and appreciate family too. However, I still have some “people” who are not biologically related. These are friends who have been in my life for many years who I love dearly.
This past year, my family set out (with a team) to plant a church in south Austin. It has been in my heart that my family would attend church together. I’m traditional like that. Over 10 years ago my parents and one of my sisters and her husband helped to plant a church in San Marcos, Texas. They are rooted there. Since they did not feel called to join our City Chapel launch team, I had to resolve myself that I wasn’t going to get to attend church with my family (anytime soon). One really great thing is some of our dear friends are on the launch team…these are friends who helped us through the fostering and adoption process, we have served in ministries with them, they are some of “our people”. Since my family isn’t going to attend our church I set it my heart that I really wanted some of our other “people” to join us. My husband’s brother and his girl started attending church with us a few years ago. They are some of “our people” and they are on my list. I have a friend that I have known for as long as I can remember, her and her honey are on my list. I invite people to church who I want to go to church with. I met a lady at Kohls one day and invited her…I instantly liked this women, she’s from Alabama and reminds me of my friend Angela (one of “my people”).
I’ve been praying for “my people”. I talked to God about it and I told Him everything that is in my heart.
We have had some hard years, spiritually speaking. The Hubs and I have gone to few churches that liked one of us but didn’t like the other. We may have been kicked out of a church after we said we were leaving. It’s not complicated, it has been difficult to find a place were we are both celebrated. Most churches want the Hubs because he plays and sings and he is a worshipper. Not every church focuses on prayer…seriously, I’m surprised at how prayer is an afterthought sometimes. In any case, over the years, we have had our ups and downs when it comes to church. We love Jesus but His bride is a little “iffy” sometimes. Over the past four years as we have gone down paths of freedom and healing we realize that you cannot really love Jesus without loving what He loves…His bride, the church. It’s not possible. So we are falling back in love with church.
As I have been praying over the past few months for City Chapel and “my people” who I want to attend my church, I have felt God begin to chip away a little more at some of those stony places in my heart. I admit there are areas that have been in self-preservation. I can attend a church and even serve but be stand-offish. Anyone can do it. It’s not always easy. At times God has given me a prophetic word to share or a payer to pray and I want to run away. There has been some negotiating (If they are open to a word, then let them ask if anyone has a word then I’ll share the word) Our church team has some lovely people and some difficult people and some people who like me and some people who don’t. And I don’t have to care because they aren’t really “my people” unless I say they are.
As I pray for “my people”, I hear God say, “They are ‘My people’. Before they were every ‘your people’ they are ‘My people’. In fact, look around, they are ALL ‘My people’. I want them all.”
As much as I love “my people”, God loves them more; them and everyone else.
We have to begin to see the world as God sees the world. Throughout scripture He uses the phrase, “My people”. When we see each other as He sees us, it’s a game changer. He wants the best for us just like I want the best for “my people”. If I’m one of His “people” then it my responsibility to find His other people and help them be the person they are called to be. Let’s find God’s people and let’s get them to the place where they can hear God say, “You’re my person. You will always be mine.”