Leaving the Ivory Tower
Posted September 15, 2009on:
Last night, while humping myself and books back to my car after a night class, it hit me. I’ve probably been in contact with more unsaved people in the past couple weeks since school started than I have for the past 15 years. That’s scary.
I’ve been quite sheltered since I started having children. Besides family members, for the longest time, I didn’t know anyone personally who was unsaved. I had church friends, joined homeschool co-ops and joined into online communities with Christians.
It is so simple, when you are surrounded by Christians, to feel that everyone believes as you do and that those things going on in the world are just anomalies. Everyone in my social circle believed, at the minimum, that Jesus died for our sins and that we are accountable for our actions. All my friends (irl & online) were moving in the direction of being formed into the image of Jesus. During this time that my passion for evangelism was almost nonexistant. How passionate could I be if I didn’t have relationships with lost people (except my family, but that’s a whole other issue)?
There were several times in those 15 years that God told me to get out of my ivory tower. I really didn’t understand what He was talking about. I do now.
Imagine my rude awakening when I started delivering newspapers a couple years ago and had to run into non-Christian people. I was shocked by the details of some of their lives. My heart started to ache and I longed to tell them about Jesus (and some I actually did!).
Last night on the way home from school, the topic of discussion on the radio station I listen to (Star 99.1) was “How did you reinvent yourself?” They were talking about voluntarily changing your life direction, reinventing yourself. I certainly did not change my life direction voluntarily.
Instead I feel like I was thrown out of the Ivory Tower by the seat of my pants. I didn’t have one of those cool landings where you roll out the force and into a stand gracefully. Nope, I hit the ground face first, body crashing into the ground leaving a crater. I’m slowly getting up amidst much pain, checking for injuries.
Over the past year, a big part of my identity was ripped away, leaving me kind of confused and wondering who I am and what life has in store for me. Since Ariella was a newborn, when I first held her in my arms, I made the decision to homeschool her and shelter her from all the yuck out there in the world. As each child came along, I’d think, add another couple years of homeschooling to my life because I planned on homeschooling each through high school. I was a homeschooling mom and proud of it. I relished my role and even the admiring exclamations that came when I mentioned I was the homeschooling mother of 7. My whole identity was built around it.
Until the fire, the chaos and finally, putting the kids in school last year. I felt like a failure, but secretly inside, I hoped this was a mere bobble on my life plan. This summer, I knew that decision was not just a bobble, but a new way of life and it broke my heart. All my talk about how sending a Christian kid to public school is sin crashed in on me. My disgusting judgmental and critical self was humiliated. Pride comes before the fall and I ate crow in huge helpings.
God had to strip me of who I thought I was to not only to change my character, but also to get me out of the ivory tower into the world. I have to learn to interact with unsaved people and not let my shock show on my face. I’m also learning that who I am and my worth does not depend on what cool thing I do. I belong to Him and that is enough. I am learning (slowly) who Dawn King is and who God made her to be. I’m learning to seek Him, listen for His instruction, and obey so I don’t end up in another mess. I am not reinventing myself, God is reinventing me into the person He created for me to be. Out of my ivory tower, trying to reach others for Christ, hoping that my experiences will bring someone else hope.