In preparation for me taking paternity leave as soon as #3 arrives (I constantly imagine the baby singing Dylan’s lines “Any day now, any day now, I shall be released) the church has set aside today’s “message” and the next two Sundays’ messages to be led by people from the congregation (and friend of the congregation – Seth Martin). The invitation isn’t exactly to give a “message” as it is to share one’s story about God. Today’s story was shared by a woman who I have known for about 2.5 years through the church and hearing her story was beautiful and powerful.
In sharing her story she was able to talk about the difficult stuff as well as the good things that have happened to her. The story that came forth was one that was honest about the struggles she’s had in searching for God, the various churches that she’s been to (and many, turned off by), and the “many teachers” that have crossed her path and helped her learn and grow. One of the most powerful parts of the story she brought was when she shared the first time she ever heard Jesus say directly to her that he loves her. Another came when she talked about the realization that she was being invited to forgive someone she had no intention of forgiving and what it was like to work through that.