Things I've Learned
Subject: Things I've Learned
Date: Thursday, January 29, 1998 8:02 AM
As I was thinking
about how you have all [members of the Confessing Movement Mail List] been so
good to share advice and encouragement with me regarding the situation at my church with
Jimmy Creech, I realized that all I have been telling you is the negative or informational
side of what is going on. I would like to share some of the good things I have learned
from all of this with you, as it really has been phenomenal, too.
- During a time when I began to learn that you can't just trust a minister because he is a
minister, I also learned that I can discern who can be trusted by their fruit. There are
plenty of good people left in the Methodist church. Before all of this happened, I didn't
really know many of them. In a time when what should be my church family is falling apart,
I feel that I have more of a church family than I've ever had before...of all ages. I've
become friends with 80-year-old men and women as well! I've learned a lot from all of
them, too. I also can't thank all of you enough for your support. It really has made a
difference to me.
- Because this is a trust issue, I've learned to study the Bible a lot more than I used
to. I've developed a greater sense of my own weaknesses and ignorance, and I really know
where to look for the answers now. I'm not sure I had the right kind of relationship with
Jesus before (I know it's no excuse, but look at my home church). During the past year, I
know I have found what the right relationship is, and I know it's a permanent one. My
husband has become a lot more committed as well, and we intend to make that the most
important lesson we teach our son.
- I've learned a lot more about obedience to God and how that is the most important thing
I should work toward every day.
- I've also learned a lot about trusting God. I am one to always make lists and prepare
everything if I am going to speak to someone. In this situation, I didn't do that. I knew
that when I would go to talk to one of our pastors or someone else, I would know what to
say if I was really doing the right thing. And you know what? I did! I had more than
enough to say every time.
- Forgiveness is also something that has hit home with me this time. I also pray a lot
more. I feel like I've really developed a better relationship with God in that way.
- I could go on and on, but I guess I'll end there for time's sake. What I am trying to
say is that I am amazed at how many good things God can bring out of a bad thing. I'm not
sure why He has been so good to me, but I suppose that is what grace is all about. Another
thing I've learned...
No matter how the situation with Jimmy turns out, I have been permanently changed for
the better by it. Maybe it's the whole process that matters here, not just the results of
Diane West is:
- a member of First United Methodist Church in Omaha, NE
- She was baptized and confirmed at FUMC-Omaha
- is an active participant in the current issue regarding Rev. Jimmy Creech*
* Rev. Jimmy Creech is currently Sr. Pastor of FUMC-Omaha on suspension for
performing a marriage-type ceremony for two lesbians.