Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Predicament. Schooling. And Thoughts on My Witness.

Dear Blog Friends,

I have a slight predicament and need some advice.

I currently have a few close Christian friends, but most of them live out of state, or are soon too. 

I really want to get together a group of ladies, girls, women, I mean "siestas," to do the LPM Blog's summer study, but I don't know who to ask. I know I only need a few siesta's to do it with me, but I'm not sure exactly how to approach it. 

I have prayed some (and probably not enough), and I don't have a clear answer about what to do (possibly because I haven't prayed enough).

Currently, most of my girl friends are from my school. And my school is very liberal, very un-godly, very "progressive and tolerant" as they like to say. Which means, very un-open to Christian ideas or theology and especially to Christ. It means completely intolerant of Christians, because they think Christians are intolerant of their desires and what they think are rights to gay marriage and abortion and feminism.

All of my friends at school,(I think all) know that I am a Christian. They know I go to church regularly, that I didn't live with Mr. RH until we were married, that I am a believer in something they don't really know much about. At times, I have had some small conversations with many or most of these ladies, but usually they don't hear what I am saying beyond the "I'm spiritual" context they put it in because spirituality (not of any partiular kind) is familiar to them. Because "spiritual" is a term they are comfortable with. Because to them (in our post-modernist culture), that what is true for me (Katie---that Christ is the one true Savior) isn't necessarily true for them (Liberal Feminist---they can live how they want without boundaries or rules and there may or may not be a creator(s) and if there is he or she, may or may not care about what is going on or about them individually). 

This culture (meaning my school environment) is filled with  post-moderns, spiritualists, new-agers, atheists, or bitter anti-Christians, and it is very different from the culture I grew up in, which was very much like a part of the Bible belt. People who don't go to church in the town I grew up in aren't offended by the fact that some people do. People who don't go to church in my town don't balk when someone says "I'll pray for you." But people at my school now, do. The people in my school now, are offended and basically write you off as some sort of religious wacko if you believe in something that makes them uncomfortable in some way. 

I don't know if I am saying this very clearly, but I am trying to say that I want a group of Christian girl friends in the city where I live and I want my friends at school to know the love of Christ. I have lived here for basically 6 years, and have had periods where I had Christian girl friends, but none really long lasting, and none with whom I can really do this summer study now. And while I have an idea of a few Christian girls to ask, I have been considering expanding my invitation to the study to the girls I am friends with, who aren't Christians.

But I don't know if these ladies will be open to a Bible study. Or a summer Christian study. Because they basically don't have a reason to be.  It isn't part of their values. It isn't something they understand. But some little part of me wants it for them.

So I'm thinking about asking them.

And this is a difficult thing for me to do, because I continually  struggle with how to best witness to them. If I talk about Jesus all the time, then they write me off and don't hear anything I have to say. However, if I never mention the Lord in our conversations, then they never really know me. While I recognize that really my friendships with non-Christians are and will always be somewhat superficial and will likely not last very long, I still want these friends to come to know the Lord. 

But its a scary place to be for a girl like me, because these are my friends! And I'm not the best at making friends and I don't have a large group of girl friends in this city (Christian or non-Christian).

But there is a tension. I know as a Christian, that I may be the only one who plants a seed in their life or that God might have a plan to use me in someone's life, so causing friends to be uncomfortable or being uncomfortable myself in sharing, is bound to happen at times. And that God can use that uncomfortableness to bring Glory to His name. So as a Christian, I am required, or obligated, to speak or offer opportunity, even if it makes me uncomfortable and even if it means I offend someone so that they don't want to be my friend any longer. Eternity hangs in the balance. 

So having thought through this, I am considering inviting some close school friends (along with some other girls) to the study with me. I think I will do so by email, so they have time to consider it and so the Lord might move in the right women's hearts that I might grow closer to Him and that maybe someone else will come to know Him or return to knowing him (as some of these school friends also grew up in churches, but may have never really known the Lord). 

I would appreciate your prayers as I spend a day or two more deciding who to "invite" that I might be led to invite the right women, and that the Lord might soften their hearts and prepare them to maybe do something they aren't used to doing. And that if this study won't be appropriate for those women who are not yet in relationship with Christ, that the Lord would make that clear as well and would keep me from hurting or isolating these precious ladies. 

I'm here. And I'm still writing,


Kelley said...

Katie, I will be praying for you on this. I completely understand not knowing how to talk to those that you spend the most time with. Work is so full of people who refuse to even go into the Christian faith. Thankfully, they are pretty tolerant, but I have no idea how to witness to them without them thinking I'm shoving the Bible down their throat! I hope that they come at least out of curiosity, and stay because the Lord touches their heart!

I wish I would be here and I would totally come!

d.a.r. said...

Oh that's a toughy. I'm sorry you aren't surrounded by wonderfully supportive Christian women! Wouldn't that just make life easier? I hope God lays it on your heart what to do!

Brittney Galloway said...

Oh, that is tough. I will be praying for you as you send out your email! Who knows? Maybe God will use this opportunity to use you as a light on your dark campus!

Jonathan said...

Go for it honey. You said it best when you said "I may be the only one who plants a seed in their life." It's a very hard thing to do, but I know you're seeking the Lord in this, and that because of that, he'll guide your steps in the process. And it may only be a seed you plant, that you may never see the fruits of, but it's what we're called to do. I'm proud of you.