Tuesday, September 2, 2008

mosaic of grace

[what's brewing: sugar and spice and...]

weak vessels – deep hurts – great weaknesses – sin, mistakes, self-righteousness and pride – ordinary people – love, joy and tears – hopes, dreams and fears – broken obedience - resilience – a core of God’s strength – broken pieces – glued together with love and mercy – vulnerable – love for people and cultures – moldable clay – walking the broken road together with those around us – adventurous – unabashed love – failings filled with grace – reflecting God’s glory – reliant upon grace – courageous – cracks with God’s grace shining through them – complex threads woven into a story of incredible grace

Broken pieces held up to reflect God’s glory.

These are your words, your reflections and depictions of what missionary women are like. Your descriptions created a beautiful picture in my mind of a mosaic or a stained glass window, constructed of many broken pieces, collectively creating a beautiful image that reflects God’s glory. While reading a bit about stained glass windows, I read that the “small pieces of glass are arranged to form patterns or pictures, held together (traditionally) by strips of lead and supported by a rigid frame.” What a great description of the support and shape that the Lord provides for our mosaic of broken pieces. He couldn’t use perfect, whole sheets of glass to create the image he wanted; instead, he works within our brokenness. He glues our broken pieces together with his love and mercy, and brings beauty from ashes.

Your honesty is refreshing to me – honest evaluations of who we are, and honest admissions of the insecurities, fear of exposure, and demands on your time that can keep each one of us from engaging fully with those around us. For me, those are some of the most interesting aspects of missionary life that can work to keep us emotionally isolated. I have been overwhelmed at times with the number of performance-based evaluations that are involuntarily placed on us, and your frequency of reading and/or commenting on this blog should not be another source of self-evaluation or expectation. My only hope is that those who are looking for (or truly needing) connection and discussion with other women will choose to let their voices be heard. Several of you have chosen to share your blog sites with us, and I am looking forward to creating a community of readers where we can engage and encourage each other around the world.


Thank you for your responses – it’s great to know you’re out there. As Kristy said this last week, together we are made of many complex threads, woven into a story of incredible grace. Let’s share that story of grace together.

9 comments:

Phil and Pattie said...

I want to echo a comment I made after your first entry...thank you so much for sharing the journey you are on. It is so similar to many of our journeys. I'm also grateful for all of the women who have shared through their comments as well. You have all been a source of blessing and deep encouragement.
Even though I knew there are others out there like me (experiencing the deep joys, the harsh realities, the loneliness, the adventure, etc.) it is nice to hear from so many who have been sharing that I am really NOT alone. Sometimes I feel guilty for the times when I am lonely here...I have a wonderful husband, super kids and great co-workers... I just miss the friends who were in similar places in life and just hanging out with them over coffee. This blog helps restore a little of that lost fellowship that I crave.
If any of you ever make it to our part of Mexico, I'd love to take you out for coffee! Pattie

Ellie said...

It is a good post, Coffeeirl, but it is also the first week of school, meetings, and everything after the summer, so we are just too busy right now to be writing much.

Give us a few weeks to everything organized, and we will be back to talking again.

Becky Aguirre said...

I like that description of a mosaic/stained glass window...I have become so grateful to God for the struggles, because without them I wouldn't be so dependent on Him! I like that description of myself, a "mosaic of grace". :)

Ellie said...

Today, I feel more like a piece in a kaleidoscope than a mosaic! A mosaic is at least somewhat stable, and I feel like I am constantly in motion, moving here and there. My friends, coworkers constantly shifting... much more like a kaleidoscope! Still beautiful with light shining through, but makes a little bit of a dizzying ride!

At times I miss friends I was close to, and at times I am closer than I want to be with others... sharing my house for the last month with different sets of coworkers moving through.

Dori said...

I appreciate your Sept. post very much and the music that was there, as well. The song by MercyMe was just what I needed to hear at this time in my life. He love me and He is sovereign and in His time, He will work all things out. Thanks. Dori

Cindy said...

Thank you for your post.
I look forward to reading it each week, there is always something that brings me encouragement. We are not alone...

La Jefita said...

Where are you and your husband serving?? My family and I have been in South Africa since 97.

Pam said...

Great thoughts!! I just want to say thanks for your posts and for sharing your thoughts.

latviagirl said...

Thanks for sharing this post about mosaic of grace. I have a web group for missionary women only at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oaks_of_righteousness/

I'd like to ask permission to quote part of this post as I think it would be an encouragement to the ladies serving world wide. Come check us out- it's a great bunch of supportive ladies! Thank you, Kim

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