Over a month ago, my cousin, Peyton, introduced me to a blog written by a woman named Angie Smith. The blog is called "Bring the Rain: The Story of Audrey Caroline." Angie is wife to Todd and mom to Ellie, Kate, Abby, and sweet Audrey who has gone to be with the Lord. The whole blog is about Angie's grief over the loss of her daughter, Audrey. Angie and Todd were expecting Audrey and were told that she would not live long after birth, if she was even alive at that point. They were given the option to terminate the pregnancy or carry Audrey to full term, knowing that she would die shortly thereafter. Terminating the pregnancy was not an option for the Smith family. So for the next few months, Angie carried her sweet baby with the knowledge that she would never really know her Audrey.
Peyton and I have been reading this blog like it is a novel that we just can't put down. It's almost like my daily devotional. Angie's faith is stronger and more alive than I have ever experienced from any one person in my life. Her dependency upon our Lord and Savior is inspiring and humbling. I admire her boldness as she proclaims the name of Jesus Christ in a non-aggressive way. She is warm, inviting, and open when it comes to her beliefs. She is sincere and consistent. Her story is thought provoking and full of lessons. She doesn't portray herself or her family in a way that they are not. She is simply human and talks about life as it happens. She is quick to admit her faults and just as Paul wrote, Angie says that she is "the greatest of sinners."
Angie's words make me stand in shame as I realize that there are probably those around me who have no idea how devoutly committed I am to my faith. There are times when I sit silently as others mock the name of my heavenly Father or carry on conversations about religious and spiritual things. As someone who longs to serve the kingdom of God as a missionary here in the states and overseas, there should be no doubt in any one's mind where I stand, yet I daily fail the gospel message. I daily fail to express my faith is word and deed. I daily fail to boldly stand before the thrown of Christ as His daughter and I daily fail to bring others with me as I fall at His feet.
Our conversation in small group tonight revolved around our roll as Christ's ambassadors in the world around us. How do I effectively bring the gospel to those around me in a way soaked with humility and grace all the while being content with the knowledge that it is Christ at work and not me? How do I minister to those around me when my boldness is lacking? My life is not perfect and I am the least among my fellow believers. Yet, I long to serve the Lord, even as I fail to show that in my day to day life.
I invite you to share and explore Angie's journey with me. I promise that you will not be disappointed. God is surely using her in ways that are far beyond my own understanding.