My husband called himself the black sheep of his family this week. I'm glad he did it first so I didn't have to. It's not that we're the social outcast because we're bad people mind you...we're just not into the whole "stepford wives of Christianity" thing.
I am the Christian most likely to drop an F bomb when I'm mid-prayer. I am the Christian who still wants a ward tattoo even though I know God will protect me without one. I'm still a Christian working on my abililty to love well despite a sometime crippling rage that consumes my thoughts about some people. I'm still a work in progress. I am a structure created by my choices, how I choose to react and not to react will teach you more about me than what has happened to me ever will.
I picked the church I attend because the Pastor there once told me that he wanted the church to be "come as you are" and I told him that "come as you are and we'll fix you" wasn't very appealing to people. He said he preferred to think of it as "come as you are and we'll use the gifts God has already given you to show you gifts you didn't know you could use".
He said that too me... but it isn't a part of me. What defined me is that I choose to stay and to actively worship in the belief that my God would listen and my God would understand and that my God will someday use me to disciple to someone that it is ok to be the person you are...with the gifts you have...and God will be so mighty with love for you that he will use you to further his kingdom.
I remember when I was about 15 I went with my mom to this Mission by the ocean. There was a thing there about testimonies of faith and she told/asked me that everyone has a testimony in their life and they use it to stand for something. It was an off hand comment but it stuck, obvisiously, because I still remember it now many many years later.
So I guess this is a part of my testimony, and I am willing to stand alone for it. It defines a part of me, the part still be sculpted by God...
I am the testimony of a God who's love can pour over you like a gentle rain and wash away your shattered pieces and broken fragments to a place where they can wash up on shore and become beautiful art that moves people to do things beyond themselves.