Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My First Five

So this week I, along with 29 others, are down in Orlando, Florida attending the Mennonite USA Convention. Over the years I've been to 5 of them and have loved and cherished all the times spent in different cities across the nation.  These conventions have greatly impacted my walk with Christ and have shaped me into the woman I've become today.

This time it is a little different because my brother, Cameron, and I are youth leaders instead of high school students! We have enjoyed getting to know the students better and to see them grow in the few days we've been here.

The theme for this week is "Love is a Verb." Seeing what it looks like to love like Jesus did and put that love into action.

Well tonight's worship session hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if God was shining a spotlight on me, speaking into a megaphone saying, "Alright Kenz....listen up. This one is for you."

So we've all heard the question - "If you could choose any five people in the entire world to have dinner with, who would you choose?" Answers usually range from celebrities, favorite singers, family members who have passed, people throughout history, etc.

But tonight's message had a twist.

They challenged us to think of the five people we would NOT want at our table.

Who would be the absolute last people we would want to serve our favorite recipes to? Using our fanciest plates & glassware. Who would be the people we wouldn't let sit at our table to laugh and fellowship with? Who would we say "no" to if they asked to come in for a simple glass of water?

And so I asked myself - who is in my first five?

I often think of myself as someone who can get along with anyone. Someone who can meet a stranger and become friends instantly. (My mom jokingly tells me I could make friends with a wooden chair - LOL)

However, I hold the worst of grudges. Like bad grudges. Like ones that last years. When someone does me wrong and deeply hurts me, I honestly just want to write them out of my life. Erase them completely. It has gotten so bad that even someone's name can instantly put a fire in my belly and trigger immediate anger.

Well that sounds like someone who is kind, loving, fair, and full of grace doesn't it??

WRONG. That sounds like a terrible person full of hate, hostility, and just plain full of crap! This part of me is a major downfall in my life. It hinders me to grow toward my full potential and cuts off ties to people that I can reach.

One day I will be married, have a house and kitchen of my own, and I'll even have my own dining table. A table that will hopefully serve many, many people. A table that will have people young & old, from near & far, and people like & unlike me.

But before that can happen, there has to be a revolution. A transformation and complete renewal of my heart. If I want to love like Jesus and live according to how He would live and serve - then I have to get my head out of my butt and start acting more like Him.

It's simple, really. But simple doesn't always mean easy.

I've made mistakes. I've burned bridges. I've hurt others because I've been hurt. But I want to change that.

My home, wherever that may be, is always open to you -- whoever you are.

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