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I Left 99 and Became the One

It's been a while since I shared on my blog. It's been a good thing, not a bad thing, to take some time away from writing to reflect. This last year of quarantine has brought some clarity and renewed understanding of myself, my life, my choices, and my hope. On this blog I try to share from a place of honesty and real life, but I found myself filtering my journey to be appealing to the 99. The truth found here in this blog is not for the 99, it's for the one.

It's for the one who is broken.

It's for the one who is rejected.

It's for the one who is abandoned.

It's for the one who's afraid of all of the things above.

This hope has come with scars, concerns, fear, worry, anger, rage, and a whole bunch of other real experiences where I was losing hope.

"“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one?"

Matthew 18:12 TLB

I grew up with a Christian mom and an agnostic, alcoholic dad. I always thought I was part of the 99, and I was while we looked like the typical family. My dad was never interested in pleasing people. He was a creative who needed to make things from nothing. He saw potential in the smallest things. My mom had no limits on who I could become. Her biggest desire was that I knew why I did what I did and could stand up for my decisions. We lived in the world and lived well. The only place I didn't make sense was in church. I didn't know this until after my dad left. We had a nice life together and for many years I resented my father after he left, but I've grown up a bit and realized, he was simply a human who made a lot of mistakes.

After my parents' divorce, I stopped being the 99 and became the one. The one who was depressed and angry, but was told by the 99, "let your mom get on with her life." The one who was lost and without hope and went on my own pilgrimage to find hope again. I thought I found it in religion. I could keep up with the scholars in Bible college and got a Bachelors Degree in Bible, but I never felt like the 99. I wrote beautiful worship music, but inside resented the subtle messages that I could never measure up because I was from a broken home. It sucked being the one, but in being the one, I found the others who were just like me. I knew my purpose was to find the one and leave the 99.

I read this passage below recently and realized it was while I was the one, that my life found meaning. I could do more for the other ones out there more than staying with the 99. I don't know where you stand in life, but I guarantee at some point, you've been the lost sheep who is no longer in the flock. No one asks why the sheep strayed. Most times the 99 just judges why the one left. Why didn't someone in the 99 notice that one was missing? There are lots of reasons people hide out and most of them are part of a journey few understand.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

because the Lord has anointed me

to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim freedom for the captives

and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

a planting of the Lord

for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-7 (NIV)

I know that heaven rejoices each time a child of God is restored back to the Father.

"For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls." 1 Peter 2:25 (NIV)

I know that nothing can separate me from the Father's love. Life might cause separation from my loved ones by distance or decisions, but nothing can separate me from the Love of God.

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:38-39

He will always give me hope to rise again, even when I'm the one rejected by the 99.

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