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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stretching & Growing

My parents always encouraged my sister and I to be lifelong learners and to never shy away from a challenge.  In some ways, I feel like I do that and at other times I feel like I get more fearful the older I get.  About 6 weeks ago, I received a phone call from a friend of mine, Monda.  Monda is a pastor's wife from a church in a nearby city.  She is incredible and I truly look up to her and always look forward to catching up with her.  She called to ask if I would speak at her ladies tea.  She went on to tell me that she had been praying for a while and that God kept bringing my name to mind.  I immediately said "yes."  How could I say no?    Inside I was freaking out.  What do I have to say?  I'm really comfortable singing in front of people but speaking makes me NERVOUS.

I started brainstorming with Levi and also taking notes.  His advice was, "Tell your story and go with that."  So that's what I did.  It was honestly really healing for me.  I've heard Levi tell our story or bits and pieces of it but I've never shared my perspective.  I had to relive some of the hard parts and it was emotional for me.  I used Job as a scriptural reference.  I really struggle with the book of Job and the unfairness of it all.  I've learned that life is unfair (DUH!) and that has nothing to do with God.  He doesn't make it unfair because of our right or unright decisions or actions.  Sometimes the unfair is directly related to our own decisions, sometimes it's the result of another's actions and sometimes it's just because life stinks at times.

As I prepared and processed and worked through it with Levi, I realized that had life been fair and all that I had expected it to be, I would have missed out on some great truths in my life.  I would not have the depth of relationship that I have with my creator.  I continue to be amazed at the capacity of love that He has for me. I would not have the relationship that I have with my husband, I have so much respect and admiration for him.  Being a lead pastor and planting a church from a handful of people is a challenge to say the least, not to mention being hours away from family.   I would not have Catalyst Church.  Holy cow, I never could have imagined the people of Catatlyst and how genuine and amazing they are.  I would not have the friendships that we have with some many wonderful people from my mommy group to my mdo friends to our soccer friends and school friends.  Had life been fair and what I expected, I would have missed out.

The God that walked with Job and talked to him through the storm is the same God that walked with us through our storm.  I am encouraged in that!

I survived my first speaking engagement and am very thankful for the opportunity!

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