My endocrinologist was listening to my heartbeat during a recent checkup and noticed my necklace. It had two charms: a silver circle that’s engraved with “Your Story Matters” and a bench.
“What’s the significance of the bench,” he asked as he pulled the stethoscope from his ears.
I told him about how I believe stories matter and I always want to be willing to sit down with someone, share mine, and hear theirs.
Sometimes our stories get to be
intertwined when we least expect it.
My endocrinologist is from Guatemala but is raising his family here in Kentucky. In 2015, we talked about the mission trip I went on to his homeland. He told me about how missionaries like the ones we support are how people’s lives are changed there, especially in the rural villages outside Guatemala City.
I told him at this recent appointment that I was going back to Guatemala for a week this summer. He thanked me and asked about what we would be doing.
Like our trip in 2015, we’ll be spending most of our time in and near Chichicastenango in the mountains. This time we’re taking both Cate and Ben. We’ll help build houses, distribute wheelchairs, visit families in their homes, and distribute clothes, school supplies, and toiletries. We’ll see needs like education sponsorships and building projects that Bethel Ministries will continue to meet long after we’re gone. We’ll pray with them and for them to our God who works over our language barriers.
I haven’t even gone yet, but he thanked me for my willingness.
In the doctor’s office recently, we each shared a small piece of our stories and that brought understanding and gratitude – as if we were on a bench together.
Sit down on the bench.
Linger at the table after dinner.
Meet at the park.
Start conversations in waiting rooms and check-out aisles.
Be willing to share pieces of your story because that’s one way to be a faithful steward of your life.
Hear pieces of someone else’s story because, really, we aren’t that different.
Recognize that God meets us in those conversations and works all things together for His good and our good when we’re following Him.
When that happens, benches become sacred spaces.
The necklace was a gift from my two best friends not long after I initially self-published “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family” as an ebook in 2014. (That ebook has since been expanded to include more of our story and is now available in a paperback book as well.) I wear the necklace regularly, love the conversations it starts, and am grateful for the deep friendships it represents.
I’m sure I’ll talk more about Guatemala here as our trip approaches and once we return, but you can always read more about our trip from 2015 and how it changed our family. Until then, our family and team appreciate your prayers as we prepare to go.
Of course, #PorchStories is one of my favorite places to share stories, so thanks for being here. If you haven’t already I’d love for you join me on my virtual porch, where we can continue sharing stories with each other.