With less than a week before the tangible commencement of this journey, I take a moment to reflect on the journey thus far. Sitting in coffee bean just off of Wilshire blvd., I am flooded with memories of my time here in Los Angeles. This pre-trip “Love Reunion” with an old friend has already brought out more than I could have expected. After 5 long years, I had intended for great times with this very special friend, but God had so much more to give me. He is giving me back pieces of my soul that I have left scattered in so many different places. Lost parts I hadn’t even realized were missing. Wow, I’m sitting here shocked.
Let’s take a step back…
Hearing from my old youth leader from high school, she recalls my very first missions trip to Juarez, Mexico. A trip I knew instantaneously changed my life… This first trip aligned all the idiosyncratic character traits that made up the Imani I know today. At 15, as most were, I was dazed and confused, screaming for an identity. And yet I knew “compassion” would be ‘tattooed on my heart’ for life. I knew the nations would be my sanctuary. And I knew I was (being) set apart.
12 years later… Here I am, gathering the broken pieces that have been left behind, with people and places I chose to hide myself from. Sorting through them to choose with wisdom what is “meat” and what is “bone” … I feel like I’m on oxygen, and parts of myself that have remained lifeless for some time are now breathing in new life.
Speaking of this trip, it was brought to my friend’s attention that this will be my 8th trip. In theory, that could make me an “expert” one way or another. Frankly, this feels more like a beginning than any trip I have ever taken. Besides knowing The Lord has called me, with each decision, my knees are trembling! With each step, I am at peace that I am being made new… And I wouldn’t trade that truth for the world.
For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Incredibly moved by your boldness to follow Jesus, despite what His disciples, Pharisees and passerby strangers say… My kinda Christ follower! #walkinginthedust of the Master! #sorrynotsorry
I guess it’s time to “come out”: I don’t identify as an Evangelical anymore.
That’s hard to write and put down in words, considering that I’ve grown up in the evangelical church and worked in evangelical ministries and churches for my entire adult life, but it’s something that I’ve been feeling and thinking for awhile now. I think it really crystallized during the whole World Vision debacle earlier this year, when thousands of Christians (primarily those who identify as evangelicals) dropped sponsorship of over 10,000 kids in poverty because they didn’t agree with a policy change that would’ve recognized the rights of Christian employees who were in gay marriages. I stayed away from blogging and engaging the issue on social media due to my penchant for getting in over my head in online debates and, honestly, because I wasn’t ready to come out as an ally of the LGBTQ community…
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