“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.” -Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years)
So I have this little crush on Donald Miller… yep I think that’s the best way to put it, ahaha. I LOVE reading his books because 1. God ALWAYS speaks to me through them. 2. I laugh my way through half of them… he. is. hilar. and 3. Sometimes there are cartoons in them. Pretty much.. an all around good time.
I read his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years last month when I was on my way here and it is SO. GOOD. It’s all about writing a better story: our own life story, & he talks a lot about how it’s necessary for us to take risks and move beyond our comfort zones in order to live a greater story. I was totally relating to that because coming back into missions with a new ministry was waaayyy out of my comfort zone, and I was SCARED. Here’s a quote from the book:
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
I’ve never thought for a minute that my life in Minnesota was boring, my family is big and joyous and “clannish”, there are lakes EVERYWHERE to skinny-dip in, and I really truly LOVE waitressing, but right about the time I left it was beginning to feel comfortable.. and for me, when I’m in my comfort zone… I stop growing.
What gave me the most butterflies about coming here is that I would be entering into a community, a family, that was already formed. In the schools that I’ve done with YWAM it has always been a group of us arriving together and forming our own new community, and when I went to work at the Casa Hogar in Mexico I had already formed relationships with those kids… coming here would be completely different.. I was terrified, what if I didn’t fit here? What if I spent the entire year never feeling at home? What if I didn’t become part of this Formando Vidas family? Legit concerns.
The ministry has multiple houses scattered in and outside of the city, and the house I was brought to and left at with the words “Welcome Home!” is a house I share with about six other staff members, and connected to our house is a different ministry home called Casa Chamos where this silly & spectacular Venezuelan man has spent the last 15 years raising 14 children, some of whom are now grown and are living their own lives, and some who are now teenagers and still live next door to me. Every night most of us from this side go over to Casa Chamos to have dinner together and be with one another… the house is painted in bright colors, there’s always loud music blasting and good food cooking and people laughing and Obama (the dog..) playing or cuddling with someone. It’s wonderful, really.
Tonight when one of the teenagers came to open to the door between our houses for me to come in, he was like “Brittany there’s a surprise for you on the fridge!” He was so excited, and I was so sure he’d made jello or something.. but when we got to the fridge it was a picture he’s drawn that he was so excited to show me, a picture of all of us.. everyone sketched wearing underwear except for me in a skirt.. haha.. and when I saw what he had written I started crying.
I already love these people, so. much. I know you’re totally like “duh Brit, you always love everyone.” ahaha but I really love them. And I am becoming part of this family.. actually according to this 15 year old’s drawing I already am. Three weeks ago I was absolutely terrified: I kept picturing myself at the edge of an ocean cliff.. hoping someone would just push me in because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to jump in on my own. Somehow I ended up in the air… rushing towards the scary waters and all of the unknown beneath. The crashing in was uncomfortable, awkward, maybe a little painful even… but I’m in now, I’m all in & the water isn’t so terrifying anymore. Actually… it’s pretty nice. = )
“I don’t wonder anymore what I’ll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city……..I’ll tell these things to God, and He’ll laugh, I think and He’ll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were His favorite. We’ll sit and remember my story together, and then He’ll stand and put His arms around me and say, “well done,” and that He liked my story. And my soul won’t be thirsty anymore.”