Walking with others through difficulties, hardships, those gut-wrenching-yet-to-be-figured-out times in life is akin to walking on hallowed ground. It’s glimpsing into another’s soul – seeing the underside of the unfinished tapestry of their life – and realizing that God alone can make something beautiful from the broken, scattered pieces. Ronnie Harmon courageously, poignantly invited us to do just that on Sunday as he opened his heart to us and relived a “terrifying, traumatic experience” with us.
As Ronnie told his story, several statements jumped out to me:
• “We had no idea what beautiful thing God was orchestrating for us.” [in reference to God re-locating them to the middle of nowhere in the US state of Texas]
• “God was still shepherding, and we were still obeying.”
• “Y’all just need someone to love on y’all, don’t you?” [Pastor Blake’s comment when first meeting Ronnie & Kari]
• “Do not compare traumas.”
• One thing he was learning was “the importance of the fellowship of men. SO important to have allies in my life, sojourners with me engaging me as we walked through life together.”
• “God asked me to accept that He had orchestrated the Kenyan Road incident for my good and His glory… I struggled, fought, resisted God… but eventually He gave me the grace and I was able to accept that He had orchestrated it for my good and His glory.”
• “God… brought brothers into my path to walk this path of healing with me.”
• “Jesus was there that day… in full power… in full control… He had never left me nor forsaken me.”
Wow. Ronnie’s willingness to open his heart encourages me to consider…
… that even when God turns my plans upside down, HE is still in control, orchestrating things for my good.
… the importance of obedience – in the midst of uncertainty, pain, confusion.
… that we need to be loved and accepted wherever we are in our life’s journey, whatever we’re going through – even if we can’t yet articulate what we’re struggling with or what our needs may be. And with that, the importance of recognizing that we have no idea where others may be in processing their stories – and how crucial it is to extend grace to one another.
… that comparison is a dead-end street, whether we’re comparing traumas, victories, budgets, holiday plans – you name it!
… that fellowship, connecting with others is KEY! We desperately need others to journey through life with, others with whom we can be engaged.
… that whatever God orchestrates in our lives – in your life and in mine – is for our good and God’s glory.
… that sometimes, getting to the point of accepting what God is doing and moving forward involves struggling, fighting, even resisting Him for a time.
… that God brings others into our lives to walk with us, to be a part of His healing process. So… I need to be open to either being the one who asks for help or being there for someone else.
… that we are never abandoned, no matter how bleak our situation may look. Jesus is always with us. He will never leave us or forsake us.
Connecting. It’s what we’ve been talking about for quite some time now. Ronnie helped us to see it from a very personal, very real perspective. May we take to heart what he shared and ask God how He wants us to be a part of His healing community here at CMCC.
Stay safe! Stay healthy! STAY CONNECTED!
on behalf of the Pastoral Care Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)