I started a blog post early Saturday morning but for reasons of their own did not complete it.

My mind has been a torrent of thoughts. I attended an IF gathering. A collaboration of woman all around the world, learning and sharing their testimonies. Eager to become better disciples of God.

In my all around satisfaction I did not feel welcome.

Yet there I sat surrounded by woman eager to be disciples of God..

I sit as a woman, not of colour, or unmarried but rather a divorced woman. I don’t say anything of this lightly. I have no courage at all in saying it but it is on my heart and so I ask you if you are reading this to pray with me that God will give me to right words to share.

I am the woman in your church. The woman you rarely see. Many years ago I went through the most difficult events in my life. A divorce. I am a child of God. Yet I found myself surrounded by people I once found fellowship and community with who gave me the cold shoulder.

As I sat at the IF gathering on the surface everything was friendly, but I found Gods messege stirring inside of me like a bubbling currant , growing greater and greater as the hours went by.

You are all a part of Gods work. No matter where you are in the world, wherever your feet are planted that is your mission field. (these are the words that were being shared)

And I realized… I have never felt the urge to go across the world to some place like Africa to share about God.

My Africa….was the church, was at home. I don’t say this lightly.

Yes there are many countries where worshiping our father gets you killed physically. Yet I found myself feeling in danger , as though I was a ghost, sitting in my own country, with a large group of christian ladies. Killed by the judge that ruled their hearts

My life, far from perfect and my position in the church denied.

I found myself thinking. I am a believer, but I don’t belong here in this church. (to humans standards)

This is what I am struggling with. I have over the years taken the given position of the lesser child of God. The divorced child of God. The child of God who went astray. The black sheep

I don’t want to take that position that was given to me by those in the church.
Ephesians 1-11-14
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Colossians 1-12
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

and this is why I have to speak and why even now I beg God for the courage to do so.

If we are truly to be disciples of God may we never use our standards to accept but rather use His standards.

Those who are lost and looking for God will discover him through you
I was looking for God in you and sadly I could not find him

Turn to your bibles the speaker said to (acts— whatever it was) and all  picked up their bible and turned to the reference. All except me. I had forgotten to bring my bible. Yet no one noticed, no one offered to share their bible with me. Why?

My mind continued…this is your Africa Colleen, this is your mission feild. Ask…

ask to follow along in someone besides you bible. But I couldnt. I played the position of the divorced, black sheep and outcast of the church, 2 days later I am still impacted by it. The verse was about knowing someone is a child of God by their fruits. I couldnt see fruits. All I could see was a bunch of people fully equipped to read and study around me. I felt like an outsider.

The speaker was speaking about wanting so badly to get bibles into the hands of the street kids (on her mission trip) How ironic that I sat in a room filled with Gods children and not one of them would share their bible with me.

this is your Africa, God said again. It was heavy, so heavy on my heart and I ripped myself from my chair at the close of the session and ran outside. I lit a smoke and felt the space between my feet. (cold)

THis is my mission field God? How dare you? How dare you put me here with a group of woman who see me as less than anything but your child. It’s why I left so many years ago. I can’t find you in the church God. I can’t find you….

Colossians 1-12
Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

1Peter 5 6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

My heart was heavy. How despereately I have wanted a fellowship , a place of home to study with other woman with.

But this is your Africa Colleen. Get over yourself. Pick up your cross- the Holy Spirit said

At that point I was so angry- But I will throw my cross at them. I am so angry. I feel so ignored.

A dear friend of mine who was extremely active in her church recently lost her mother tragically. During the months after her passing my friend shared how she just felt forsaken by her church. No one had bothered to call, or visit her. The pastor and his wife , her fellow sisters. Not only had God calling her mother home given her a sense of her life totally being ripped from her she also endured great loss in her church family. Sadly she stepped down from her position at her church. ( i dont blame her at all, I can’t even contain the sadness I felt knowing she too was thrown into her own Africa.

And there are so many who leave the church, leave the fellowship of the Church. I have spoken to so many of them over the years. They are hurt by a variety of experiences in the church. They feel judged, abandoned and discarded.

Another young man comes to mind. He found him self being on the end of a practical joke that went too far and wrong. He was laughed at  and made fun of by another group of boys in the church, his heart was broken and sadly he now has deemed all Christians to be bullies.

Another suffered mental illness . His parents fought every night and as a last attempt to escape the trauma of his home life he attempted suicide. Thank goodness he failed but he was met by ministers in his hospital room asking his family to leave the church. Explaining their family had too much scandal and it was not good for the other people of the church. That day that young both lost his entire church. When he needed Gods disciples the most to wrap him with the love of Jesus and hold him close.

Why are Gods children who are suffering thrown out of the church, cast aside, hidden away like they used to hide disabled children away?

Today I call you to discover the Africa inside your own church. The mission-field God has placed you in. Look for those who feel abandoned by God , who are suffering the hardships of life. Who need the reminder that God still loves them, regardless of their circumstance, remind them we still love them and that nothing can seperate them from the Love of God. Do not judge them as sinners, or as those who are walking away from God do not cast them aside …Who is Missing in your church?

Pray that God will lead you to the broken. The broken right here in your own church in your own community.

don’t let them go. Run after them. Draw them close to you. Comfort them

Isaiah 40
“Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the LORD’S hand Double for all her sins.”…

Don’t let them Go….

Many years ago the church I attended …let me go. They gave up on me, they cast me aside as a sinner not worth Gods saving. I needed to see God in my sisters at that time…I needed unconditional love. I was and still am his child. I needed one of Gods children to see my heart, to see the same God that created and loved them, Loved and created me too.

And there are so MANY people like this. Who in one way or another have been harmed by those in the church, harmed deeply, and your right no one should judge who God is based on man, but if you are going to be a disciple of God and share Gods message…then please share Gods message ..not yours or popular opinion of your peers.That is a cross very few are willing to pick up.

I have been here, in my own Africa being Gods disciple.

I am worthy of a fellowship and church even if I am a divorced woman.

Please keep me in your prayers

xo Colleen.