Thursday, October 9, 2014

Her Issue - My Issue

I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise. She was only a few sentences into her short story (a story not about me). But in a strange way, it intersected my own story.

My involuntary reaction was swift. My body stiffened; my breath caught; her words in that story not about me offended, still.

Only a few sentences later, and the hairs lay back down, my body relaxed, and normal breathing returned. That part of the story was good; I liked it. It’s okay that our stories intersected now.

What was going on? Why the reactions?

The story, both the offending piece and the part I gladly claimed, sounded familiar. Although our circumstances were totally different, the theme brought back a memory. And my very different circumstances clarified in the hearing of her story.

Yet, interestingly enough, just the day before my story had been brought out of mothballs with two trusted friends. For years (lots of years) I carefully guarded that part of my story; I had shared it with only a few insiders … those few I felt would understand.

God was speaking. In case I hadn’t heard his thoughts the first day clearly enough, he revisited it the next day from a different direction. (I’m smiling as I type). As I pondered later on day two, I saw the connection. Very gently he seemed to say, Sue, you don’t need to hide that part of your story. Sue, you don’t need to protect The Navigators (the mission board we work for was part of my story). That’s my job. 

And for the first time it occurred to me, God created that story. And maybe, just maybe it was not for me alone. In the telling of it, might not others be ministered to? God is able to do far more abundantly than I even imagine. 

I’m thinking, God writes stories to redeem stories. Vulnerability is not just for me. I’m feeling redeemed.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

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