Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blessed by Our Stories

I am 32 years old, married to an amazing sister in Christ, have been blessed to be able to return to & finish seminary, have witnessed church like I never thought it could be at Wllow Creek Community Church, & now find myself being transformed through serving some 50-60 people as interim pastor. These days I have been encouraged & supported to dream way outside of the box, given plenty of room to blunder my way through learning how to preach & communicate, & upheld by the support of other burden-bearers in this same community. God has given me a highly-skilled executive pastor to mentor me through my learning process & a variety of faithful friendships in a number of different worlds to keep me balanced & focused. I still have big obstacles to becoming who God wants me to be, but I am encouraged at His relentless perseverance in working on me.

I have suffered distraction, diversion, & the consequences of idolatry in my younger years. I have seen ministries crippled by my pride & resurrected by my repentance & surrender. I have endured a difficult beginning in marriage that resulted in a total overhaul of my personal worldview. I have felt the grip of serious doctrinal disagreement from within structures & bosses I was inescapably tied to & discovered, at times, that mine were the doctrines needing revision. I have been confonted with the demons of deception planted in my past but living in my present. And these too, though more difficult, have been miraculous blessings of becoming for me.

We each have personal stories of pain & pleasure. May we be blessed as we pause to listen to God explain them to us & how they fit into His continuing plan for our lives.

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