Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.
I’ve had some significant learning over the past two years. God has been interacting in my life in a big way, and I don’t think it’s an accident that all of it has followed the loss of our daughter. During that time in the hospital and at our home with hospice care, I HAD to lean into the One who could carry me through it all. There were days when I got up and kept moving only by the grace of God, especially in those first few months after her death. I had to learn how to breathe again, to feel again. And my heavenly Father carried me through it all.
When you are in the palm of the Father, you learn how to hear His voice. For me, when the worst was over, I needed to seek out opportunities to listen again. So last year that’s exactly what I did. In four months’ time (January-April 2012) I attended four different events: a youth ministry symposium, a DCE retreat, a children’s ministry mini-conference, and PLI’s annual conference. Each one tapped into a different part of my life and made a huge impact. You see, my walk with God is not in a vacuum. It interacts in my relationships with others. Each hat that I wear – whether it’s Pastor’s Wife, Director of Christian Education, Youth Leader, or Children’s Ministry Coordinator – they all are part of how I live out my Christian walk each day.
Since that time, I have also had the opportunity to attend two different pastor’s wife retreats and a second PLI conference. This summer will be the National Youth Gathering. This fall we will be attending a Grace Place Retreat, and possibly the Wiki Conference. You could argue that all of this is unnecessary, that I can encounter God in my daily walk. And yes, I can. Samantha’s brief life taught me a great deal about that. God does indeed dwell in our midst, right where I am. But I also know that I yearn for learning opportunities, to sit and listen and learn from those who have a great deal to teach me about faith and mission and ministry. I find joy in gathering with others who share at least one hat with me, because we can often support each other. This, too, is where God dwells.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my walk with you!