Thursday, January 26, 2006

Grace Mosaic

Excuse the blogging hiatus as of late. Good reason: I spent Saturday-Tuesday up in Indiana! To make a long story short, some last-minute plans came up, changed, and changed again--the result of which being some time in Indy and then a fabulous opportunity for me to reconnect with old friends in Marion.

The picture, beginning at top left: (1) Dottie, my co-editor on the newspaper staff at IWU; (2) Kelly, a dear college friend and accountability partner, and her precious 10-month-old daughter Emily; (3) Kelly, Emily and me at Panera Bread; (4) Aeron, a girl I mentored at IWU; (5) Jaala, another girl I mentored at IWU; (6) Stephanie, my roommate and fellow ministry team member for two years; (7) a group of chorale friends at Tree of Life for "caffeine night"; (8) Lyn, the awesome woman of God who mentored me in college (and sang at our wedding); (9) Sara, a girl I mentored at IWU; (10) Jamie, a chorale friend and writing major friend whom I went to Mongolia with; and (11) Sara, Lyn's daughter who's now an IWU student. (The blank space goes out, with regrets, to Sandra and Kevin, whom Steve and I stayed with in Indy on Saturday night but forgot to get a picture with, as well as Maria, who conveniently left town Saturday morning and drove to Wisconsin as I drove to Indiana.) These dear people, plus several others whom I don't have pictures of, welcomed me, drove to see me, bought me coffee or meals, opened their homes to me, and shared their hearts with me. I saw the beauty of Christ in them, and it was wonderful.

This picture--and the trip itself--is a vivid reminder to me of the grace God has poured out in my life by blessing me with so many absolutely amazing friendships. I am continually blown away by the incredible people He has placed in my life, and it was so great to get to see many of them again over the weekend. I crammed as many one-on-one breakfasts/lunches/dinners/coffees as I could into 48 hours, and loved every minute--even if I did come away a little tired of telling the same stories over and over, and a little overwhelmed by so much intense conversation and relationship building :)

I also got to sit in on a chorale rehearsal, which was fantastic. Strange to be one of those "former chorale members who come back and visit," whom Prof introduces and asks to say a few words about what chorale meant to them, etc. I didn't expect to almost cry as I urged the current members to make the most of every moment and "never offer God a sacrifice that costs you nothing," as Prof/the Bible says. I exhorted them to resist the temptation to "check out" and go on autopilot, instead giving 100 percent in worship to the God who deserves all our praise. Anyway, as I told them, chorale was without question the highlight of my college career--and I loved hearing them sing again. Prof even invited me to join them in singing the benediction at the end of rehearsal--ah, what a gift.

I don't deserve such blessings--but am unspeakably grateful for them. (And for my sweet husband, who not only agreed but actively pushed and encouraged me to take the trip, though it meant extra gas money and a couple of days away from him.) To say "God has been good to me" seems a gross understatement--but He has.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Yay for husbands who encourage solo trips that help us reconnect with our faraway friends :)

Glad to hear of your wonderful time in Indiana, Amy.

- Amanda