This past weekend, I received a surprise visit from my friend, Nat. We did youth ministry together and I led her in Bible study for a year before she moved away to go to Physical Therapy school. It is always such a treat to be with her and laugh and share and be authentic. I do love that girl! She has been such a faithful encourager to me these past months. And she’s Italian, so we share the same blood. Too bad she’s from Jersey or she’d be even cooler.
But I digress.
Nat has a penchant for writing and asked if she could share something she wrote on my blog. I enjoy my guest bloggers, because it’s an opportunity for all of you to somehow meet each other and all be connected through this beautiful blogosphere. And because it’s fun. Not to mention then I don’t have to write a post myself.
So, without further adieu, I give you, guest blogger, Natalie.
Many of us have been following Angie’s story. Her blog has reached from the Valley to California, to Japan to Philadelphia (that’s me!). We have shared in some of her hardest as well as some of her most joyful moments over the past 8 or 9 months. We have experienced her story. Even more importantly, her blog has allowed us to see how God has been faithful to her even through the suffering, pain and fear.
Angie’s battle with cancer is now part of her story, and it would not be complete if she simply pretended like this never happened. We have all been touched by it. I think it’s also important to step back and consider our own lives. I know for certain that Angie is not the only one who has a story to tell. I believe that each of us has a narrative that has shaped us into who we are today.
What is your story? Specifically, what don’t you want to forget? If we forget our stories, we cease being real and true to ourselves. Without the good AND the bad, our stories are incomplete. Just as Angie reminded us through her post Living The Moment, don’t forget your story!
I once listened to a sermon by Rob Bell, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, MI. The sermon was entitled, “My Father is a Wandering Aramean.” The sermon was on Deuteronomy 26 and speaks about a time when the Israelites are freed from Egypt and have wandered through the desert and have finally reached the rich land that God promised them. In his sermon, Rob Bell commented that God knows man’s tendency to forget Him and to forget the way He had provided for them. For this reason, God told Moses and all his people, when you enter into the land of milk and honey declare, “My father was a wandering Aramean.” Essentially, he is reminding the Israelites that life wasn’t always easy. The road to the promised land was really really hard. There was a lot of pain and suffering in the Israelites’ story. Nevertheless, God did not abandon His people in the desert. He kept his promise and delivered them from hard times and troubles into a rich and prosperous land.
God makes the same promise to each one of us. God is a faithful God; He keeps his promises. One day there will be no pain or suffering. One day there will be no cancer, no addictions, no poverty. He is everything that we need. It would be so easy to just forget the pain and suffering in our stories. However, I don’t think we can ever be fully happy or fully ourselves if we separate ourselves from our pasts. Furthermore, it would be so easy to think that we made it through the desert by our own efforts. When life is good, when life is easy, we don’t think we need God as much. But, I believe that we will need God that much more. Like the saying goes, without suffering, we would know no joy.
So, I ask you again, what is your story? Why do you believe what you believe? What deserts have you wandered through before reaching the place where you are now? More importantly, how did God keep His promise and remain faithful to you? Maybe you’re still wandering. Or maybe you haven’t had to go through any deserts. Whatever the case, I truly believe we each have a story. How is your father a wandering Aramean? What event(s) have shaped you into who you are today?
What is your story?
You can follow Nat’s story at her blog. She’s pretty cool.