Thursday, August 12, 2004

making myself into a story

my church has a bulletin feature titled "every mosaic has a story", which features a picture of a church member and a paragraph about who they are and what brought them to mosaic. inevitably, my time has come. so i set about to summarize my journey as briefly as possible (i'll let the editor do the rest of the cutting - one can only cut so much out of your own story before it starts to hurt), and the following is what i ended up with. i really get into reading autobiographies, so i'm thinking i may have to start making it a regular practice to add details to this story, and just see where it leads. hmm... i'm finally adding something new to my blog ~ watch out, who knows what kind of crazy thing i'll do next!

I am not what I ought to be; I am not what I wish to be; I am not what I hope to be; but, by the grace of God, I am not what I was. ~ John Newton

I am the byproduct of happenstance. My life has been equally more interesting and more mundane than I could possibly present it, but I am keenly aware that who I am is intrinsically tied to where I have been and what I have come through (we can grab a cup of coffee sometime if you would like to know more). My father in his more enlightened stage tells me I am the only one of 15 cousins not baptized into the Catholic Church because he wanted me to choose my own religion, and my mother still marvels at how I ended up the “white sheep” of the family. I have always been open-minded by nature, which in my younger days opened me up to many things that I could have been better off without. Fortunately, it also opened me up to Christianity, and when I was 15 I accepted Christ’s offer to take over control of my life (He ended up doing a much better job with it than I would have). I was the only person in my family who attended church, and the Lord placed some great spiritual mentors in my life. Unfortunately, the ease of my early relationship with Christ did not fully prepare me for going at it on my own. College presented me with new challenges to my faith, including a greater awareness of hypocrisy and a deepening sense that the values I was encountering in the Church were not what I personally valued. My junior year I received a summer scholarship to do independent research on Christian Economic & Community Development in Boston, MA. While there, I visited a multicultural church that had ties to the CCDA movement, and fell instantly in love. With my eyes open to this new possibility, I found it more and more difficult to participate in the pageantry of the Churches I was a part of. My senior year I avoided Church altogether, which provided time for soul-searching but also robbed me of the essential support I needed from a spiritual community. Returning to Little Rock after graduation, I attempted to get involved in the Church of my youth again. I attended when I felt like it, and even accepted some leadership roles, but it never felt like the place where I was supposed to be. I slowly began to withdraw from Church again. One day my roommate came home and told me about a multicultural church that was getting started. She said that she was going to go check it out for me (she didn’t think it was for her, but she had a feeling it was just what I was looking for). Needless to say, my roommate joined Mosaic, with myself following down the road after visiting for quite some time. I grabbed Mark about a week before Mosaic was officially birthed, and let him know “I’m in”. I am involved in MoKids, MoYAs and Acts 2. I also participated in a mission trip to Guatemala. I recently started serving on a custodial crew (which I highly recommend if you need a good excuse to get in some monthly deep thinking time as you mindlessly push a vacuum ~ it’s great!). It means so much to me to be involved in a Church which values diversity, and service, and honest relationships. Being a part of Mosaic has allowed me to be more honest with myself, more honest with God, and more honest with the people I am in community with. Of course, I now see more clearly that God has been in control of the situation that is my life all along. Psalm 139 reminds me daily of how well He knows me, and how He had plans for me from the very beginning.

But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10a (MSG)

3 comments:

Myles said...

CCDA? that's interesting. i went to their national conference a couple of years back in Dallas. i'm a big fan of them and their mission. in the future, i'd love to see how my calling as a teacher can link up to their mission statement, simply because i think it's necessary.

Anonymous said...

Kim, this is Ramon...I really like your unabridged (at least by Mosaic editors) version of your bio. I'm glad you're part of Mosaic too, and that you went to OBU and value social justice! ;o) Lata...

paisley said...

hi there :)
wonderful quote