I love to tell God’s stories and my stories (see video below), with all the mess and mundane and miraculous mixed together, because when I look back over my life (37 years so far!) I see not just the separate paragraphs and pages but the whole storyline crafted together. I believe God has had a hand on me, a call on me, throughout my entire life – forming, shaping, speaking, directing, drawing me into relationship and trust, protecting, loving, and comforting amidst many trials, as well as gifting me with innumerable joys and blessings.
The love and grace of Jesus have brought tremendous healing to things that seemed forever hurt or hopeless – but in some situations, it has taken years for it to become clear. Only after living through many more pages and going back to re-read earlier sections have I come to see the connections in my ever-developing faith journey. And that’s why we need to tell each other our stories, to share, to listen, to point out themes and movements of the Spirit – to remind each other that God is ALWAYS working, that the redemption of our messes is often taking place over the long haul, throughout the course of many chapters.
Today I had the opportunity to share one of Jesus’ stories from the Bible and two stories from my childhood, which stand as significant bookmarks in my early formative experiences with Jesus. The worship service where I spoke was planned and led by the church’s children and youth and their leaders, with many parents, grandparents, and friends attending. There was a surge of emotion, a swelling of joy and gratitude in my chest seeing my own boy and girl up front, witnessing their young faith formation and seeing them use their gifts.
I was honored to be asked to give the message, and also to share it with you here. I pray that as you listen, you will also reflect on the ways God has worked in your own life over the years to embrace you and pull you closer into relationship (because friends, God loves EVERYONE and pursues us ALL with a never-ending love, even if we don’t recognize it.) I’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below!
- Another Year
- Using My Voice in the Wilderness