This past Sunday the sermon at church was on John 20:24-31, the story where Jesus appears to Thomas. The sermon was titled “A Life Changing Relationship.” The pastor talked about family stories and how it’s those stories that have been told over and over again that help to shape who we are and who are families are.
In John 20:29, Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Often times we hear stories that we think are tall tales because they simply can’t be true. But maybe they are true. Jesus said blessed are those who believe even without seeing. I’ve heard many stories from my family over the years, but I have no proof to know if they are true, I simply believe. One of my favorite stories is about my grandparents when they were dating. My grandma lived on a farm and my grandpa lived in the city. Grandma didn’t have a phone on the farm, so my grandpa would fly in a little airplane over her farm and drop her messages. I love that story.
The pastor talked about looking at our lives and telling the stories of God’s work in us. The more we share our story the more it becomes a reality to those who hear it. I felt like this sermon was important for me to hear this week because I’ve been struggling with writing my CPE Residency application. I have struggled with the idea of putting Malia in daycare and going into a full time chaplain residency. I know God has called me to serve Him in ministry, and that I have also been called to be a mother. How do I reconcile the two? One thing I realized, with the help of Chris, is that this is not an either or decision. The journey that I am on is not one that I’m taking alone, but that Chris and Malia are on with me. Of course I’m still struggling with the thought of daycare because I love being with my daughter in the day, but my call to ministry and desire to follow Jesus is also a love and passion of mine.
Following Jesus is not an easy path and the decisions we make are not always easy. But one beautiful thing I see in the midst of this is that someday I will be able to tell Malia of God’s call on my life. The call to be a mother and the call to be a minister. Malia was with me when I completed my MDiv, she was with me during my first CPE, and she was with me when I became “certified ready for a call.” She is a part of my story and call to ministry and will be a part of my story forever.
I pray that God will continue to guide me through this process, and guide me to make the best decisions for our family. I look forward to the day when I tell Malia the story of God’s work in my life and that she will understand and maybe even repeat some of the stories she’s heard. The stories I share and the stories our family shares are the stories that help to shape who she is and who she belongs to. God is working in all our lives and His story is our story.