The Lord has more than blessed the sacrifice…and that really was what it felt like…by giving me a true love for my new church, its people and ministries. And he has done all of that without diminishing the love I have for my first church home. For that I am truly thankful.
I was able to go back and visit this past weekend and had been looking forward to it for a while. I sing with a group that ministers at nursing homes in the city, and our group was asked to play at a fellowship my old church was having. I went expecting to be greeted with many warm welcomes…big hugs, excited questions about how I was and other sentimental things. What I didn’t expect was that some people wouldn’t recognize me.
Since I left I have changed quite a bit. The Lord has done a work of intense sanctification in me (which mostly feels like He has barely scratched the surface). Consequently, habits and patterns of sin have been dealt with…one of which was my gluttony. Since July 19, 2004 I’ve lost about 85 lbs. Though the numbers on the scale are way different, I’ve been through a few clothing sizes and had to push my car seat up quite a bit, I don’t see major dramatic changes in my physical appearance. But then, I see me everyday. There were a few people I had to say my name to before they realized who I was…many other double takes…and a few more “Oh my goodness! I didn’t recognize you!”'s. I even got a couple of “You look gorgeous!”’s.
I just simply wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few people saying “I can tell you’ve been losing weight.”
Despite all that, I still don’t see a huge dramatic difference on the outside…see:
But, I am grateful for the kindness of the Lord in giving me glimpses of what others see…and for allowing me to see what He has done on the inside. That part is the most dramatic and most important to me…that is what will last…what is of eternal consequence.
I hope people see that as clearly, too....and give all the glory to the one to whom it is due.