Today I want to welcome a #livefree friend who I love like crazy. Her name is Laura Polk.
She is brave and courageous and loves the Lord. When she began to walk as the 13th disciple, it brought up tender issues that needed to be addressed. She shares her story and I believe it will powerfully impact many women today. ~ Suzie
The 13th Disciple – The Worthy Disciple
I’d never really placed myself in the disciples’ shoes before.
But, the idea of being the thirteenth disciple fascinated me. I could imagine myself there with Jesus and the twelve. Leaning in as he told his stories, walking home each night with my mind full of everything I’d just learned.
The idea of being chosen, being so close to him, was intriguing.
Each time I closed my eyes to see it more clearly, I couldn’t see myself at the table with the others.
I was an outlier, unseen, and unnoticed. As in, I would be there, fully present in the room and yet no one would notice. Like the invisible woman in the room. The invisible disciple.
And it bothered me.
In the last years as a single mom, that is exactly what lie has felt like for me.
Sitting at my children’s school programs . . . unnoticed.
Sitting in pews at church . . . alone.
Going shopping, and to movies, and out to eat . . . by myself.
Even in ministry, I was leaving behind what I’d previously done and was setting off on a new path . . . unseen.
I’d actually come to accept the solitude, and grown quite accustomed to it. I’d learned to linger in the back. To cower in the shadows for fear of someone else making me feel unwelcomed.
Honestly, a girl can only take so much shunning until she breaks bad and shows her rear, people.
And I so didn’t want to be that girl.
The truth is that I’m a strong person. The kind that stands up for others. For herself. The kind that doesn’t take mistreatment of people kindly. The kind that would come into a room like that of the disciples, love the fact that we were ministering to those on the fringe, and join in. Help them plan. Pray over the people we might be led to serve. I’d want to be right there in the thick of it, fully present, fully serving—and yet somehow, I was hidden.
But, that’s not where God intends for me to be.
And it’s not where He intends
for you to be either, sweet friend.
He Wants You at the Table
Jesus longs for you to understand that there is nothing more important to him, than you coming to the table to live alongside him. He values your presence. He wants to hear your thoughts and challenges. He simply wants to look amongst those he is closest to—and see you there.
He Wants You to Fellowship with the Other Disciples
We are all messes. But, when we find others who are transparent, and honest, and raw in their friendship and fellowship with us, something incredible happens. Walls crumble, and we begin to build something real. Something lasting.
Jesus didn’t just choose one disciple, mentor them for a year, then move onto another. He met with the twelve. As a group. For a reason. We are meant to not only minister together, but to church together.
You play a vital role in church.
If you’ve left the church in all likelihood, it wasn’t a fear that caused you to leave, but actual incidents. And unlike others who avoid church because they fear their choices fall outside the norm, you were likely an active member at some point. You were all in. Until you felt that you were no longer welcome.
The church has a lot to learn from you in where it can reach others who feel left behind. Because truly, that is who they are called to serve. Your voice is more important now than any time in history. Don’t silence it.
Instead, turn a deaf ear to the voice that is telling you that you are not enough. That you don’t deserve to sit at that table. That you aren’t deserving of walking alongside Jesus.
And listen to the voice instead that asked each of the twelve to drop the past they had in order to move forward as his followers. To the voice that followed those he called, even when they returned to their former lives after their initial commitment to him. To the voice that didn’t give up on them. To the one who saw what others could not.
The voice that is asking you to follow him as well.
To come with him, as the thirteenth disciple.
Laura lives free as a “Daddy’s girl,” loved and cherished by her Heavenly Father.
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Cindy Krall’s #13thDisciple Story: Following Jesus Helps You Find Home