I think I used to be in a cult. Well, not a real cult with it's own name and taxi fare to ride Halley's Comet, but rather a cult of my own making. I used to only wear long (and ugly!) dresses and skirts. I used to not cut my hair. I surrounded myself with people who thought just like me, and I only read books that reaffirmed my then-twisted beliefs. Anyone who believed differently from me was surely going to hell or at least leading other people there. I thought God was a stern task-master, and if I just did this or that then I would stay on His good side and avoid His wrath. But God is good, y'all. He is SO incredibly good and PATIENT with me. I've mentioned before that I only seem to really learn these lessons the hard way. I have to go through the pain of the experience to really internalize the lesson and make the changes with God's help.
Let me go back for a minute. Wearing modest clothing and having long hair are not bad choices in themselves. It's all about the heart. Now, since I've come through that dark and miserable tunnel, I still only wear skirts. What?! But I thought you said...! Hold on, when was the last time you wore a skirt? Girl, they are soo comfortable! And, most importantly, the hubs likes me in them. So, my wearing skirts now passes my little 'heart check.' I no longer HAVE to wear skirts, but rather I LIKE to wear skirts. Make sense? However, I so totally chopped off my hair not too long ago, and it really did feel like a symbolic act of freedom. Loved it! I had to hold back a big joyous WHOOT because I didn't want to freak out the stylist! Freedom. There is freedom in Christ. There is fear in rules. God is love, and perfect love casts out fear. Isn't God awesome!
Why am I talking about all of this? Well, last night we had a wonderful family over for dinner. We share many of the same values, but they don't homeschool. They are totally on-fire for Jesus and share Him with others, but they don't homeschool. A couple of years ago, that last part would have been a deal-breaker. I'm so thankful to God for bringing me out of my 'cult' in time to make this great relationship! People are different. Families are different. God has called people to different things. How incredibly boring it would be if we were all the same! God has given each of us different gifts and talents, and, as I'm learning, different callings.
So, as the school year begins, my own lessons begin.