With all the New Year’s resolution talk came some blog-thinkin’ too. You know very well that this blog has become a huge part of God’s ministry here in Countryside. Just the other day this site has had over 11,000 views since it was started in August 2012. I realize those are all the same people reading the different posts, but just thinking about that blows me away. That means we have had the chance to share Jesus THAT MANY TIMES! The number one, supreme, and primary focus of this site is to bring attention back to the God and Creator who made this all possible. To prove that He works in ordinary lives. To show that He works in the little things. And to show that He loves us so very much.
That got my wheels spinnin’. I know for a fact that some of YOU have very exciting stories to tell also. Some have traveled hard journeys, some have seen miracles, and many have seen the hand of God work so clearly in their lives and they long to share their story.
And when God chose for us to move to South Carolina, He gave us a whole new set of friends to get to know and love.
With all that adding together, we thought it would be cool to give you a platform to share your stories. This is gonna be good, y’all!
On this blog every Tuesday in 2014 will be reserved for Testimony Tuesday. Those who have committed to writing and sharing their story come from many different backgrounds, countries, and walks of life. Some asked to remain confidential.
The overarching point of all this is that we all have a story to tell. It’s a story that points to Jesus. It’s a story that needs to be told. One person’s story may speak to you so deeply and cause you to grow closer to God. One may bring you to tears. Our prayer is that ALL of them will bring your attention to the God who is at work in our lives.
So, without further ado, I present you with our very first edition. This is Shanda. We met a few months ago when she was interested in teaching ESL (English as a Second Language) to our Hispanic friends in the trailer park. Shanda’s heart breaks for the unreached Hispanic people. Her love grew at a young age “out of nowhere” and she longs to be on The Farm in Peru with “her people”. She is a single mom of three teenage boys and a Nurse working in Case Management.
May you be touched by her testimony today.
We don’t have to live several lives, just many lives in one
While completing a bio my company is performing on their bilingual case managers, a rolling of thoughts began. My mind contemplated my childhood heart’s desire and dreams…who I wanted to be, who I have become, and the woman I am one day to be.
A love grew inside of me at a very young age for a language. A language in which I had never been exposed. A language that drew my imagination into a culture and unknown to me at the time, would have such an influence on my future.
My elementary child’s mind was amazed by the beautiful flowing words and the mysterious culture. My vocabulary began to build with books read from the library and my dialect from mimicking books on tape. Though the origins of this desire to learn this strange language was and still is a mystery to me, it held true through high school where I was finally able to learn in a formal setting. This led me to study in Spain and Mexico for a brief period of time. This led me to subsequent visits to Mexico, where my love of the language and culture has grown.
My desire soon included not only speaking the language, but to combine it with my other loves…people and medicine. The roads were still separate, but I had hopes the paths one day would merge. A dream began to grow…providing medical care and interpreting in a village in Mexico…submerging not only into the language…the medicine…but also the culture.
My path to medicine led me away from my study of language into volunteering, nursing school, surgery, and finally case management. Many lives were led here…marriage, children, divorce, single motherhood, the death of my mother. Motherhood, I will say is a life that is a blessing every moment of every day. These lives-I yet do not know how they will feed into each other…how each has shaped me into the woman I am one day to be. Their paths have crossed and then been led far from each other. Spanish took a back seat during these lives, and I wondered at times if that part of my life was in the past. I have at times thought my initial dream was lost in these lives. Case management was not my dream and is many times frustrating. Yet working with the Latinos, has made it so rewarding. These moments remind me of my dream…like the sigh of a daydream.
Yet, just today, I am able to see how all of these paths…all of these lives…led me to here. Where now I can see how the village came to me. The details are different, but the goal is the same. My love of the people, my love of the language, and my love of the medicine is growing as more and more of the village has come here. And in this realization, my dream again has begun to grow…when I thought it was lost. The village has come to me, and I have lived and loved, bore and am raising my children. But when the time is ready…when I am ready, and truly only life and God knows when…I will go one day to the village.
We are not limited to living one life in our existence. And it is not an impossible dream to live many lives. We can be many different things at many different times. And all of these lives contribute to a final masterpiece. We can be all that we want to be…in this life…if we seize every opportunity-the good and the bad. Life will mold us and prepare us for the next step if we are courageous and take that step every day to our future…in spite of the fear…in spite of the pain. If we step out of the box set aside by others and by ourselves. You don’t have to live several lives, just many lives in one.