"DON'T ACT LIKE A CHRISTIAN. ACT LIKE CHRIST."
Here's a little snippet I wrote for Angelic Magazine a while back. It's a bit about me, about my story, and I guess my testimony as well. Xx Enjoy!
Growing up in a Christian home, going to a Christian school, attending a Christian church, and being surrounded by Christian families and friends, I honestly couldn’t tell you the day I became a believer. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I had accepted that I was a daughter of the King and that He was going to love me for all eternity all before the age of 4 or 5. I have been blessed to grow up the way I have, to be surrounded by a community of believers, but so often I found myself getting caught up in what it looked like to “act like a Christian” instead of what it meant to “act like Christ”
I was so confused as to why the people around me spoke one way and acted another. I was so torn when those around me seemed more judgmental and hypocritical than accepting. I was so frustrated when it seemed more about the rules you must follow and the verses you must commit to memory, than the relationship you had with your heavenly father. For me, there was this giant disconnecting between Christ and the way his followers were demanding that you live. It wasn’t until I set foot in the country of Uganda, 9,346 miles away from my home that I learned what it truly, honestly, and genuinely looked like to “act like Christ.” And ironically, it wasn’t the church leaders, the teachers, or even the adults that I met, but rather it was the kids that taught me what it truly looks like to love.
There's something about the faith of a child, to be completely in awe of what Christ has done for us and so full of joy that you can't help but explode with love. The little ones I have met over the course of my five trips to the beautiful country that I get to call my second home have taught me just that. Each and every time I see their shining faces, I see Christ in them. The way they hold my hand so tightly when we pray in church, the way they worship their heavenly father with a devotion most adults struggle to find. They understand that they have a savior that loves them, that cares for them, and most of all believes in them.
From little baby Muaka, who isn’t much older than two, teaching me it’s okay to fall down, its okay to stumble, and its okay to skin your knee every once in a while. To my beautiful sponsor child, Benita, teaching me to laugh through heartache and find joy in the midst of pain. From spunky and sassy Drake teaching me that God definitely has a sense of humor, to sweet, precious Jane showing me that sometimes you can fix everything with just a good game of hide and go seek or a long hug.
All these little ones have taught me that our goal as Christians is not to act perfect or to follow some set of rules. But rather it is to realize how we are broken; to realize that we are complete and total train wrecks. To accept that we are not perfect and we never will be. And once we realize that, once we realize that everyone around us is just as imperfect as the rest of us, we no longer live with this constant pressure. More often than not I felt like I lived in this little bubble of believers but instead of living in His abounding peace and overwhelming grace, I felt that I was constantly battling my insecurities and my imperfections. I was being held back by my fears and not living in the freedom that the Lord provides. Because of kids like Muaka, Jane, Benita, and Drake, I no longer view my faith as rules or regulations but as a relationship. I no longer strive to “act like a Christian” but rather “act like Christ”. I am humbled because I have learned the Lord takes us, as we are, complete and utter messes. He takes us by the hand and whispers, “you can do this.”