‘And that’s why I like living in community,’ she said. ‘We share each other’s lives.’
This sage thought came from a near-stranger, now friend, who I met just today, who offered me and my two small companions generous kindness as she saw us struggling in the lunch line, who sat with us afterwards as E and W played on the college lawn, and who, to the less than quiet background noise of children’s excited play-voices, opened her heart like a bird unfolding its wings.
And in a short but special time, she told me her story. It included much trial, and hardship, but amidst this and through this and amongst this, much light. Light shed in many ways through the very community we are just now becoming a part of.
And in some ways it mirrored our story, and it reminded me of several key things. Real community is built through vulnerability. Only when we are truely honest with one another, do we really know best how to love one another. Only through knowing and being known, do we together grow.
Stories have always fascinated me, particularly people’s life stories. And everyone has one, even those you wouldn’t expect.
Our story is in fact one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog in the first place, as a form of reflective space, and hopefully a space of encouragement to others who may have been or may be presently going through similar times. I also wanted to record our story to remind myself to see God’s provision in hardship, and his absolute dedication to our formation, even when times seem so very tough.
And our story is more than this present time, it’s composed of the past too, the story of the last 20 years or so, a story that began before I met Dr M, but has since grown so very much with him.
I hope, as I start to record fragments of it in this space, that it is of some benefit to those who may read it. I had planned to write it in a series of posts, a sort of mini-autobiography, but I think now that it is better to let it come as it comes, the past and the present intertwining, for surely they are never entirely separate.
Though we move forward, we are formed by what comes before. Even the messy stuff isn’t wasted in our Father’s guiding hands.
© All photos in this post by Rob Viuya. You can follow Rob on Instagram at @rr_v