...if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe - some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them - then you know that you're out of line. If the way you live isn't consistent with what you believe, then it's wrong.
Romans 14:22-23 (Message)
There is this thing that keeps coming up in our day-to-days. The kind of situation where it doesn't matter if the cause of a certain action is based on truth or not, the effect (the action) remains the same.
Just this weekend, we had to make an extremely difficult decision. A decision that (yes, definitely) rocked our world. Our perfect world. Which is no longer quite so shiny and perfect.
We are leaving the church we have attended for the past year and a half which means leaving the youth group that made my daughter - my 22-year old daughter who happens to have Down Syndrome - feel so welcomed, and leaving the Friendship ministry that serves adults with cognitive challenges. I have written about this youth group here and here - and about the Friendship ministry here. But there are no other options. This choice, this difficult decision is the effect.
I have been over and over the circumstances and there are no work-arounds. Which saddens me.
I cried when I asked the couple who lead the youth group to take my daughter off of their morning lift-me-up text list. They are good people. WHAT! They responded. And I couldn't tell them why - just that it was necessary - that it was necessary for us to make a church change - that it was no fault of theirs but would be too confusing for our daughter to receive their texts, to continue a relationship that can't happen face-to-face, our daughter who tells everyone she is a youth leader. It would be too confusing for her to continue to receive messages from people we would not be able to see. I couldn't tell them why because - lies or truth - the cause involved other people, other lives, and the telling would create division. Better to leave.
My daughter, thank God, is resilient. She doesn't understand why. And I can't tell her. We have redirected her - You'll make new friends.... We'll go to a new church.... She has erased her friends' names from the whiteboard over her desk. She has thrown away the youth group attendance list. Tears pour down the back of my throat when I hear these words from her. I know the cost. But I smile, and tell her I love her, and I am so very proud of her.
We will be moving again, soon. The powers-that-be in the Army are already in the process of placing my husband into his next duty station. After the move, I will be able to re-place my daughter's friends into the contact list on her phone. I will be able to re-friend the youth on Facebook for her. And I will be able to keep in touch with the friends I've made. But now - not seven months from now - now, we need to find a new church.
There is a cost for joy. There is a price in being consistent with what you believe, in not imposing opinion on others. It is not easy to keep from lashing back, and the choices, sometimes the only choice we have is full of rocks and tears. Pray for us. Pray for the cause of this division. Pray for joy.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your son - who gives us His joy. Thank your for strength in difficult times. Nothing can separate us from your love.
Linking With Monday Musings