Monday, December 21, 2015

Jesus Coming of Age Chapter 19

People often ask me, "Have you always been this skinny?" I usually answer either, "Yes, since 1952." or "Ever since I was 12 years old."  In Chapter 19, which is this week's reading, the questions that intrigued me were such echoes of the 'skinny' question.  "What were you like when you were 12?  How are you the same today? How have you changed?

I have pondered these questions for several weeks. Here are some answers about Nancy at 12.  I was a daughter, a niece, a grandchild.  All of these roles are now past with the deaths of each elder.  I was a sister and still am.  I was too talkative and ....(well you know me).  My church friends were my role models and closest friends.  You continue to fill that part of my life for me.  Mentally I was curious, quick to learn and eager to share what I leaned with others.  Ditto 2015.  I had a long period of illness that year.  Thankfully I have never repeated such a trauma. So far I've found only one difference. Well...... Oops.  So far I might as well lie on my forms and put DOB 6/13/1940 and still be a 12 year old.

So.... what lessons have I learned from life?  How has living far from my village of 100 persons ever since 1961 changed me?  I guess if you have 4 or 5 hours some day I can BEGIN to tell you.  I'll list some of the things I know have changed me and perhaps you will do the same in the next few days so you too can ponder.  "Am I still my 12 year old self?  How has life lived with God and others changed me?  What has God done for me (what Amazing Grace)? Have I gained wisdom as I have gained stature?

I have been changed by my years at Carson-Newman College, by pastors (too many, too marvelous to list them all), the Alliance of Baptists, Wanda Barker, Joanne Davis, Glen Stassen, Nancy Hatfield, Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, Park View Mennonite Church,  Gallaudet University, foreign students living in my home, working and teaching in Xi'an, China, Moscow, Russia, Prague, Czech Republic, IBTS students, gay co-workers, friends and relatives, my first female boss, my first female pastor, close friends of different races, books I have read.

OK  --  I can't list even a quarter of the life changing experiences I have had.  .  My mind is reeling?  Time for you to start your list!  Hurry!  It will be amazing to you.  Then perhaps you will share what you have learned from this pondering and let others be amazed at how God is working in all circumstances in your life

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