More of my story….
The stories God writes for us are forever woven together by his story, his one of a kind story of redemption which he continually draws us into. And it is this story that I really want to tell. Oh, that my story points to his story!
It takes a great author of faith to take a stubborn, fiery girl with a critical eye and strong opinions and gently infuse her with grace. Grace she desperately needs, grace she’s learning to offer back to others. And it takes a humorous author to lead this same girl — you know, the one who struggles with perfectionism and controls her environment in order to excel — to wild Africa where, in the dirty soil of Uganda, he lovingly exposes her own filth.
Striped of my culture, coping mechanisms, and social structure, my naked self followed the orange pitted roads to places of discomfort. And I stumbled to understand the new world around me – the one that’s always been there — and how I belong. Engaging a new culture and people forced me to reconsider the place I had come from and the person I had worked so hard to become.
When people dig through your garbage to find treasures, you can’t help but notice your wastefulness.
When you hesitate sharing your imported Jiffy with people who can’t tell it’s so much smoother and sweeter than the peanut butter purchased in a third world country, you question just how generous you really are.
When sickness knocks on your door and you fearfully hope that your child will not succumb though hundreds of children around you are dying, you question the way you love.
And when you witness poverty and the begging for food every day for four years, you absolutely question everything you’ve ever purchased and who or what you really worship.
I felt a godly shame in things that nobody else even saw in me. But I saw. And I knew God saw.
There were days I wanted to pull the shades in my comfortable home and pretend I was not surrounded by the pain and suffering of a broken world. Close my eyes and be transported to the place that made sense. The place I thought God made sense.
But Jesus let the light come in and showed me more of Him so I would recognize my need for Him. So I would join Him.
And God’s ever present spirit made it all bearable.
In my new environment – the one I came to deeply love – I met grace in the eyes of my Creator. Most questions went unanswered. But I left understanding a little bit more about me. And wanting a whole lot more of him! And seeing that grace is needed in all places, and in all people.
I want to be an environment where grace flourishes. For my husband and children. For those who journey life with me everyday. And especially for those who walk the long road of injustice and judgment. Really, I just want to love people. I long for my home and family to be a place where others belong. An alternative reality to the darkness and judgment in this world. A place where there is light. Love. A place where anyone can expose weakness and filth with the hope that Jesus will be strong and make clean. A place where our family in need of grace seeks to tell the story of Jesus that others may know his redemptive love.
An environment of grace. This is who I want to be. That my very being invites people to be genuine. To share. To make mistakes. To grow. I write here to process and learn about how to do all this better.
Learn with me!