How funny is it that for the woman who tends to quickly move on in life that God orchestrated this past year as a year to learn the discipline of remembering. How appropriate!
As I struggled to make sense of all that happened this past year, I find Him teaching me
about remembering who I am and what He has done in my life.
This year, he has put 4 pivotal events to help me to remember my heart, my passion, my life and my calling.
1) The book: Let Your Life Speak, by Parker Palmer has really helped me to be mindful of
my life. From day one, there has been a unique Margaret Yu’s mark that God has put in
my life. That I have always been me! And really it is as I have grown up, like all of us, that I have lost my way. The way seemed subconsciously easy to fit into others’ dreams of my life or what I think my life ‘should’ be instead of what it is…truly God’s creative beautiful creation.
I think I forget sometimes that I have always been me. From my birth to now, I have always been me. And that God is most glorified when I am being true to my calling of being me…and being me shaped by Him to become more like Him. I was reminded that the most difficult calling in my life is not just following my vocational calling, but that the most challenging calling in my life is being ‘me’.
2) This was a year in which I longed to avoid the waiting of a difficult relational process that helped to basically caused me being removed from my job. It was very painful. In August of
’06, I knew in my intuition that the big horrible move may happen (I was right about being removed from what I loved to do) and thus, I wanted to leave staff. But God would not let me. And throughout this year, I have so often wanted to leave this process. To my chagrin, God would not allow me any of the leaving.
But over and over again, I sensed God wanting me to stay in the process so I would learn and live through the pain. As the year unfolded, I had felt the urge to move on very quickly with my career…and realised that I had a drive to just move on and avoid the hurt. But God remained stalworth to keeping me to remember my own grief. I have had to learn how to grieve and to stay in the pain and gain freedom from that. God made me stay in my grief as I had to say goodbye to co workers who were close friends and kindred spirits to me. I had to grieve over what my life, work and dreams were before being shaken out of my role. At various times this year, I would find myself ‘shoulding’ myself about how I should be able to forgive or let go of my hurt or pain, or even be able to just look for a new role or job? At those times, God would teach to slow down and remember the reality of what I was going through. I am learning to give myself grace to feel, to heal, grace to grieve and the grace to remember my own hurt and pains. (This is still a daily struggle for me…that is why this blog is so good for me…)
3) At the Learning to Love the Master Retreat (with Journey Companion Ministry.com), I was reminded of the importance of inviting God into all of our memories…be they great or horrible.
I was blessed to be able to see Jesus in my stories from my childhood. I was thoroughly challenged to do this for the rest of my life. I also reflected over all of my life…and discovered God has always had a theme to teach me. From my times with Him, he made it clear that from day one, He has always been giving me Songs of Confidence. And that really throughout my life, God has given me Songs of Confidence via many venues in various lifestages.
In my younger years, He gave me a Song of Confidence via supportive friends who believed in me more than I could ever believe in myself. During this dark year, He has given me a Song of Confidence via hardship and self doubt. From this time when I was so shaken from my loss of confidence, He somehow was able to instill in me a truer confidence in me. The miracle of God’s power is that from my crisis of confidence, He has gained it in my soul…as I breathed and exhaled. He did this as I exhaled what I greatly feared and he inhaled in me a resolve in my soul to not be anyone other than myself. After my initial shrinking back, He infused in me a stronger sense of myself. That is the power of the Holy Spirit and community.
4) As a part of my transition on staff, I participated in a tool called Motivated Activities Pattern (MAP), this again confirmed who I am. The tool required for us to sit and reflect on all of our achievements from all of our lives and we had to pick the top 8 and write about each achievement in a one page report. From there, we did an interview with a caseworker who recorded everything we said about our top achievements. Finally, he comes up with themes of motivational thrust in our lives.
It was helpful for me even before the written 21 page summary of my patterns.
I was again struck by how God has always been weaving his design in me.
As a result, I am now more abled to determine which jobs will fit me or not. I am able to figure out what will give me the most satisfaction. This totally excites me as Frederick Beunchner would say:
God’s calling is the intersection of where our deepest satisfaction meets the needs of the world.
As I sit, I feel so free having had this time to slowly remember and recall who God is and who he says I am. I am so humbled by his calling for me to walk in integrity of being me, even in my pain or hurts. I am challenged to choose to give him the greatest glory by being me and not anyone else. I am so much more secured knowing that God truly wants me to be me and not anyone else…that indeed he loves me for me….no more and no less.
What a year! I am still in it….I am still learning to remember….