I'm reading this book about the man who started The Voice of the Martyrs. Holy cow. It's just amazing. I swear that if a non-Christian read it, they would be in tears by the end of the first chapter. The ordeals that this man went through during 14 years in prison have not weakened his faith. Lord, I pray that I would have such bravery and courage and faith. I do pray that I never find myself in such an ordeal, but I know it's always possible. If you call me to that, I pray I also have the courage to step up and love the ones imprisoning me.
How amazing and awful that people are still tortured and killed for Christ today. We think of this as a free world but in so many places it is not. Even in America, we aren't tortured but think back to high school. Christians are persecuted there and in college. Often they aren't "cool" and are laughed at and ridiculed, even hazed for being virgins, not drinking, not cursing. I hope they realize that deep down, those who torture them probably are insecure and look up to them for being so mature and at peace. I know in high school, I was so judgmental in thinking of popularity. But those who were mature and calm (although there honestly were no other Christians in my school) were the ones that I respected. I think of my friend Brady who is one of the only Christians I knew in high school. He was so wonderful in not judging me even when I poured out my heart and soul to him, telling him secrets I didn't tell my best friend. He knew how I felt about my sex life, my alcoholism....he knew I was unhappy about it...that it really tortured me & tore me apart.
I'm so glad to be free now. I'm not free from persecution but I'm free from that life. I am still judgmental, don't get me wrong. I am a gossip, I get anger...the sinful kind, my thoughts are not pure nor are my actions, thoughts or words. I am a sinner every day. But I try and I repent and I try harder. Unfortunately, I don't choose this every day. Sometimes I slip and don't ask forgiveness for weeks. Usually this is when my sin is at an all-time high. But how awesome to know that I'm free because my Savior is there to catch me when I do fall, as I always do. He knows my heart, my awful murderous treacherous heart. He also knows that deeper than that it is loving and it loves Him with all I have. I love Him more than my husband, my son, my best friend, my mother, my father, my sisters...I love Him more than I hate, I love Him more than I judge, I love Him more than I sin...yet He loves me more than that.
I am so blessed to live in a country where I probably won't be killed for my faith. I am so blessed to have a husband who believes as I do. I am so blessed to live in a country where my family doesn't shun me (totally) for my beliefs. Although I do with they were more open to it. Pray for them.