The room wasn’t small by any means, but it felt too tiny to contain the depths and the grandness of everyone’s stories as they shared. Each story had it’s own unique font and cover, but the current page in every story read the same. They wanted to be known.
From the depths of who we are, we each carry a deep desire to be known and to be understood. And as much as we like to think we are okay on our own, the desire to be known stems from the heart of the Father’s plan for us. It’s in knowing and being known that we can first taste the freedom of being unconditionally loved.
In 2010 I first tasted the freedom of being known and loved while I lived and study with 40+ other students at Focus on the Family. When you live, sleep, study, and worship for months in close quarters with others, it quickly becomes impossible to hide your mess. They see it all – your pain, your sin and ugliness, your beauty and your potential. When my blots and smudges were known and read by others I discovered something radical: I was STILL loved. When they knew it all and then chose to still love me in spite of what they knew; it became a powerful force that launched me towards freedom. That experience wrote some of the most transformative pages in my story.
This October for a ’31 days’ series, I invite you to read a few pages of my story as I journey in deep with community again. This year has held a lot of changes for me both personally and professionally, and in September I joined a different team and ministry. I’m now living a dream of mine that was birthed five years ago at Focus – to be an RA at some type of leadership school or ministry. I’m officially called the Cultural Coordinator for a Discipleship House of young adults – but what I really get to do is to love, teach, and walk with nine beautiful students through life. Helping create a safe place to know and be known.
These incredible friends have chosen to say ‘yes’ to each other and to grow in deeper with the Lord for the next nine months. The honor is mine to go in deep with their stories and learn alongside of them.
This series will be varied and flexible – some days it might be funny stories that always spring from living with your best friends, or it could be something the Lord is showing me in my own story. Community living is like your church small group – only you live with them and commit to working out your differences with them. When you live together – it’s much harder to pretend there isn’t a problem. But it’s also a lot more fun because you don’t have to say goodbye each week.
And so I invite you to read along for the next 31 days and take a peek into my story, and perhaps the stories of a few others.
A traditional Jewish saying highlights the connection between God and storytelling by saying, “God created human beings because He loves stories.” Perhaps the opposite could also be said. “God created stories because He loves human beings.” As quoted in “Girl Meets Change”
I leave you with one thought:
How would your life or perspective be different if you believed the Lord loved (even LIKED) your story and the one He is writing with you? Even the ‘in deep’ parts?