Serving has really been a saving grace for me and Justin. Wallowing in our own self-pity would be so destructive for us. We couldn’t imagine not connecting in community. And, the more we give, the more we receive. God is weird like that.
All that to say, we both are serving again at iMPACT (I get paid to be there so the actual “volunteering” comes with hanging out with teenagers on my own time…which I LOVE to do) and facilitating Vantage Point 3, a 36 week study that explores three questions, who am I? who is God? And, what does he want to do through me? I took the course 2 years ago and Jut took it last year. It has been difficult and a stretch for us to facilitate at the same time, a blessing. Balancing who leads is a constant theme in our marriage, so to co-lead a group has been interesting. Jut does a great job. I also see how God is up to something in our lives. He is shaping and testing us in this season for a reason. Why in the world would we be stretched in our leadership abilities now? We continue to see God show up in our classmates. The stories of their lives are God-breathed, so it is cool to see how they responded and continue to respond to God’s shaping hand in their life for God’s bigger story.
God is so cool! Although it is always a journey of me laying down parts of my life to Him as I trust Him more, the more I see the relational aspect of God. Just like I need to step down in my marriage, so Jut can step up, I must do the same with God. And, when I trust Him, it should be an easy process. When He shows Himself faithful, it just makes sense. The problem, is sometimes “faithful and trustworthy” looks much different than I want it to look like or feel like.
I also have really bought into the lifelong learning process of getting a mentor. I believe that there is value in doing life with a wise woman who is further in their faith journey, speaking truth into my life. The first year I had Christy Davis, a woman I admire very much. It was just who I needed at the season I was in. I really wanted clarity on parenting and female friendships. The second year was with Marion Medina, another wise woman, very different from Christy. She was able to journey with me through the diagnosis and first year of Sanfilippo. What another blessing! She has a gifting to enter into suffering and actually help me see the love of Christ and taught me new ways to connect to my heavenly father.
This year, I asked Justin’s Aunt Jill. We have met twice, and although I feel like I am chatty Kathy, I look forward to this year and learning from her. I was telling her that I was trying to be obedient to God’s prompts….you know…that pit you get in your stomach when the Holy Spirit is prompting you to go where you don’t want, do what you don’t want, say what you don’t want….when you are stretched to die to self? I spent too much money and felt prompted to return a pair of black pants (ladies, I own no black pants AND I got them for $17!!! From the GAP!!!) . I had a pit in my stomach until the moment I walked out of the store with my money back. I have been asking that God be very clear with His prompts to me…He chose a way I dislike….an anxious pit in my stomach…to help me listen and know that it is God. It also helps me be more obedient quicker, because I hate that feeling! Anyway, I returned the pants and shared my story with Jill. Yesterday, I was at Joan’s and got in my car only to find those exact pants with a note from Jill in my car. That is why I asked Jill…not because she buys me pants, but her character. WHO she is. I look forward to learning from her.
If you don’t have a mentor, get one. If you have one, say thanks. God continues to stretch me and humble me. Just reading this makes me realize I will never “arrive” and how far I still need to go. Thank you, God, for your patience!