As I continue on this journey, I realize that not everyone understands or likes what I’m doing. In the past, that would have bothered me, a lot. Now by God’s grace, I am able to let it bounce off and continue on. As long as I am obeying and pleasing God, it doesn’t matter what people think.
Making that statement and actually meaning it can be two separate things but I mean what I said. I used to be a people pleaser but that has changed. God got a hold of me and now His opinion is the one I look for first. Galatians 1:10 tells us Paul’s thoughts on the subject. “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” NLT
The first action I took that didn’t sit well with some was after I forgave Jesse I embraced him and his family. I reached out to his parents partly because they were victims, too. The actions of their son put them into a situation they never thought they’d be a part of. In the world’s eyes, they were guilty by association I guess.
Through the pain of my loss, God reminded me that they lost something, too. Their son would spend the next few years in prison and be labeled a felon the rest of his life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning what he did by any means. He broke the law and took someone’s life but I can’t imagine the guilt and embarrassment that caused his family.
One of the first comments I made to Jesse’s mom was that I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes and she wouldn’t want to be in mine. She agreed. The events of that night brought our families together whether we liked it or not.
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has plans for each of us. The plan of salvation is for all who believe but in addition to that there is an individual plan for each of us. I believe the plan God has for me includes embracing Jesse and his family. I also believe it includes writing this book and sharing my story with others, hoping that someone will be touched, moved, healed or changed by it.
God’s plan for me is not necessarily the same plan He has for my friends and family. One day they will accept that. In the meantime I’m learning to put God’s opinion first, period. It’s not always easy. Rejection comes from all directions but with God’s help, I can keep going despite any opposition.