A Vocation That Is Like No Other

Creative Commons License I am an outsider. That’s how I’ve felt — in regards to my relation to the Church — most of my Christian life. Rejected by the world but loved by Jesus, I thought that my only chance of finding a place where I could truly belong is within the community of believers. After all, that’s how it’s supposed to be — an upside-down Kingdom, where the poor, the weak, the broken-hearted, the outcasts, the slaves, and the nobodies are given priority. But guess what? I’ve been rejected in the Church too. Many times.

Is it me? Am I just too different? Too weird? Too deep? Or maybe I’m just too talented. Too gifted. Do I arouse intense feelings of envy in others? Or maybe I’m just too committed to God. Too passionate. Too honest. And too unpredictable. Do I convict them of their lukewarmness? Of their sins?

God knows how long I’ve waited to find the right people… and God knows how much I’ve tried to belong. But it’s clear to me now that, no matter what I do, and no matter how much love I give, I might never be truly accepted in the Church. And that is because of my vocation itself, my calling. You see, my friends, God has ordained it that I, Arjay, would not stand among them — other believers — but to stand a bit separated from them. On the boundaries. At the gates.

I am a Swordsman of the Word, and I stand at the gates — between the Church and the world, and between them and God.

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My Side of the Story (3)

Creative Commons License There is no question that, besides having the assurance of eternal salvation, a Christian also has the promise of a blessed life here on earth.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus speaks about having our needs provided for if we “seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness” (WEB). In John 10:10, he also speaks about having come for his sheep so “that they may have life, and may have it abundantly” (WEB).

This same promise can be found in the Old Testament. The writer of the first Psalm compares the righteous man who loves God’s Word to “a tree planted by the streams of water, that produces its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither” (WEB). But God himself declared this promise most beautifully:

It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to my commandments which I command you today, to love Yahweh your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. I will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full. — Deuteronomy 11:13-15 WEB

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It Ain’t About the Money, Nor the Fame (4)

Creative Commons License It’s all about knowing God.

And to know God, to really know God, is to be loved by God. Maybe not exactly in the ways you’ve always wanted. But for sure, to be loved in ways you’ve never thought possible or even imagined.

I know the questions that are burning in your mind right now. Is this really possible? Is this for real? Yes, it is. Because it happened to me.

I don’t know about you, my friend, but when I was much younger — in my teens and young adulthood — I used to think that a love relationship would solve all my emotional problems. All the loneliness and emptiness I felt, and all my pains, would all somehow magically disappear, and I would be filled with joy… if only someone would love me.

That probably sounds familiar to you, eh? Maybe you can even personally relate. This is not the time, however, to talk about the reasons why I was like that, nor to dwell more on the story. And that is because my story was a really troubled one. My woes were more than mere adolescent angst and a need for validation, which I believe all of us go through in our lives.

And so for now just know that, if I am a girl, I wouldn’t love who I was back then. Instead, I would run away fast, as many had indeed done. Because honestly, I was just plain scary. And weird. And I had this black hole in my heart that was screaming, “LOVE ME! LOVE ME!”

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Note: This post is part of the series My Testimony.

If I had been born to a better station in life, I would have undergone psychotherapy — I know this now. As it was, I struggled alone for years. With my identity. With my runaway thoughts and emotions. With loneliness. With rejections. That is, until God found me, and made me fall in love with him. With Jesus.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost. — Luke 19:10 WEB

At last… at long last… I’d finally found the love I desperately needed. And yes, it was not what I had imagined, but it was much more than I could ever hope for. Life and love, joy and peace were all literally poured into the black hole of my heart as God took residence, until I was overflowing.

I was never sure of my salvation before; I was then.

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