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Things I've Learned

Subject: Things I've Learned
Date: Thursday, January 29, 1998 8:02 AM

Hello everyone,

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 his trial.



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.

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