25 Apr Broken Vessels
One of the really amazing things about being a part of a thriving local church is that I get to know and be known by people who are incredible examples of what it means to follow Jesus.
When I moved to the Greenville area a year and a half ago, I moved away from all my family and friends to a place where I knew only one person. I remember being so worried that I would never make any friends and that I would be very unhappy (Yes, I’m generally a pessimist). The Lord has been so kind to me to orchestrate a life for me here that has turned out to be quite the opposite. I have the profound privilege of being in close proximity to some women who have lived a few years more than I have, each with a unique collection of wisdom that always proves helpful and necessary. Each of these women also has their own unique ways of living out their God-given capacities to invite, nurture, and partner—to be the Ezer they were created to be.
When second service rolls around on days I serve on the worship team at Powdersville, I always find myself looking down to the right, way up front, in search of one of these examples. She has the most genuine smile and the kindest eyes of anyone I’ve ever seen. When I look at her and she smiles at me, I gather strength. Sometimes being on stage can make you feel very vulnerable and exposed. But when I see her, I know I’m safe, I know I’m loved, I know I’m supported, and in all of that I am reminded of the reason I’m there in the first place: to worship, and in some small way, help usher my brothers and sisters closer to the Father.
“I have the profound privilege of being in close proximity to some women who have lived a few years more than I have, each with a unique collection of wisdom that always proves helpful and necessary.”
Today as I stood on stage, I watched as she made a beeline for a new couple during the meet and greet. She welcomed them into our church with open arms and a big smile. I am convinced that she’s the best person at being inviting that I’ve ever known. When I’ve had friends come in from out of town, I make sure that they sit with her because I know they’ll feel welcomed and loved. I’m always sure to introduce her to folks who don’t know a lot of people on our campus because I know that she’ll help them feel the same way she makes me feel—welcome.
Her family has a unique set of struggles that come with a child with special needs. I have never seen anyone support their child in the way she does, coming alongside her at a time when she’s unraveling, with a calm and assuring voice. She faces each of her daughter’s “challenges” as she calls them head-on and is always rallying for her highest good.
“We all do. But what it does mean is this: she is a broken vessel who is available to be used by the Lord because she trusts Him, even when she doesn’t understand.”
All of these wonderful things are what she teaches me by just being who she is—by being who God created her to be. I am incredibly thankful for the example she has provided me. This doesn’t mean she is perfect or that she never struggles. There are undoubtedly times where she grows weary and frustrated and angry. We all do. But what it does mean is this: she is a broken vessel who is available to be used by the Lord because she trusts Him, even when she doesn’t understand. What I am learning from her is that our circumstances in life don’t have to dictate our actions. We can be inviting to others in spite of what is going on in our own lives because we find rest and refuge in the God who has invited us. We can nurture others, even when we are weak and weary, because God nurtures us and is our source of strength. When we rest in who God is, we are more free to be who He made us to be.
Hannah loves going for a drive, being by the water, and learning about anything at all. Getting a new stamp in her passport is her favorite feeling and she loves to sit on the porch on warm summer nights. She loves to make people laugh and cook them some supper. Hannah attends our Powdersville campus.