it can sometimes be difficult to be surrounded by brilliant students and people who are completely focused on their future plans. i would not put myself in either of those categories. but two occurrences this weekend were sweet reminders that i am not only where i am supposed to be, but the path i have taken to this point was the route God specifically planned to use to shape my heart for this time of life. (he is not surprised by how things have turned out.) both dinner with a student and the sermon in church helped me remember that the experiences of my past are monuments, or memorials, in my faith development and growth as a woman.
i have had some big, life-changing situations and realizations over the past couple of decades. the lessons i have learned--sometimes in good, affirming ways, and sometimes in hard, painful ways--are still valid for me...and they are also still being used to bring freedom and life to the people with whom i come in contact. remembering what i have learned (and where i've come from) and being able to use the good, the bad, and the ugly from my past are really important...and sort of the point of living in community--both where i am physically and where i am in the entire body of Christ.
for example, dealing with depression for many years was so frustrating on many levels--but i cannot count the number of students i have been able to minister to because they are fighting a similar battle. my pain has been used for God's glory. pretty sweet validation and redemption of something really horrible.
and i know you can never hear me say 'vulnerability breeds vulnerability' enough, huh? :) yes. baring myself and trusting other people to show grace has both allowed me to then be a bearer of grace and to help others release their shame and share in this freedom.
anyway...just a little something on my heart.
care to share about the stones that have built a faith monument in your life?