Melissa Danisi is the Co-Founder of Self Talk the Gospel and serves at The Well Community Church, encouraging and equipping women by teaching God’s word and shepherding leaders. Her greatest passion is to see women walk in the freedom of the Gospel and grow in their love of Jesus through the study of Scripture, which led to writing bible studies on Ephesians, Philippians, Sermon on the Mount, Spiritual Disciplines, and most recently Genesis. She recently received her Master’s Degree in “Pastoral Care to Women” from Western Seminary and has been married to her very Italian husband since 2006.
I know it’s not Christmas, but I can’t stop thinking about those 3 words: God with us.
God leaving his holy dwelling, putting on flesh, to dwell among us, to enter in to our mess, our need.
Unlike any other religion, Christianity has a God that is both transcendent and immanent. He is beyond our understanding, beyond our finite thinking, and yet intimately involved in every detail, and with us in every part of our life.
I have long tried to stuff what God has given me because it didn’t feel right when I compared myself to other women.
Even writing this I know that my “post” compared to the others isn’t as sexy or cool. It’s on discipleship for crying out loud, and who cares about that?!
But don’t we all do this? I look at the woman who delights to cook for her family and feel like a failure. She looks at the woman who delights to lead and teach and feels like she doesn’t measure up.
I can remember my very first visit to The Well Community Church. A church full of young college kids that someone had the courage to invite me to. And out of my brokenness, I accepted the invitation and went.
I smoked a cigarette on the way there.
Got out and walked in, hoping no one would make eye contact with me, no one would be that super-happy fake Christian with me, and just let me walk in, sit in the back, and listen.
No one sets out to run a marathon and says “I’m going to do this today, and I’m not going to drink any water or eat any snacks along the way!” That’s insane. But if I’m honest, that’s how I was living for the last couple of weeks. Trying to run the marathon, without stopping to hydrate. I was on mile 15, my legs were cramping, and instead of stopping to get well, I kept going. Until, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and I collapsed.
This is the blog post I never wanted to write and the words I never wanted to say.
Probably the biggest lie I have had to wrestle to the ground these past few years is that my infertility is a punishment.
For my past.
For my sin.
Now I would never say this out loud, nor would I let any of you. But I think it all of the time.
And there are days, those hard, dark, painful days that I actually believe it.
Because I know my past, I know the depths of my sin, and I know how far I was from the LORD.
I also know there is a kind of suffering that is unexplainable, and so you start reaching for explanations.
I am often pulled in what feels like a thousand different directions and most of it is my doing! I’m a bit of a thinker/dreamer/call-to-action person and imagine doing things, big things-small things-lots of things, to serve the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven. Which leaves me with about 100 new…