Conversation with Margaret
I sit down slowly, my expression thoughtful as I surreptitiously glance back at those brown eyes, still so keen and passionate all these years later. She has always been a little ball of energy, Margaret, I quietly muse. The one with fun, creative ideas and the passion and vision to carry them through. She had always been honest, real, and so deeply in love with Jesus. A natural leader who people wanted to be with and emulate. I have always admired her.
As inquisitive as ever, she asked, “How has your walk with Jesus been? What has your journey with him been like?”
A leader in my early spiritual journey, I now gingerly sit down before her, reflective. I was 19 when I met Margaret, a brand-new Christian and full of fire in my belly. Now, almost 35 years later, what have I learned? Who have I become? These were not easily answered, as my journey has been anything but straightforward and neat.
“Well, I’ve learned so very, very much, and yet somedays it feels as if I’ve learned nothing at all,” I begin reflectively. “Sometimes I feel like God has changed me so dramatically, and at other times I’m amazed at what I can still struggle with. Especially trust, since God has been so faithful to me. But trusting his timing, his path, especially when it seems contrary to what I’d like, is sometimes still so hard. And yet both statements are true. I am so very different, and yet still very much the same.” Margaret nodded knowingly.
“The big things? I’ve learned God doesn’t really need me, not in the sense that I thought. There is literally nothing I do that he couldn’t do better, but despite myself he still chooses to work with me. To co-labor alongside me despite my faults and weaknesses. I am consistently humbled by that.”
“My gifting has always been leadership and teaching. You were one of the first to show me that. Yet the older I get, the more I realize all the work I have felt called by him to do was really more for my growth than for anything else, even though I know he has used those efforts to give blessing and healing to others. But the truth is he could’ve done that through anyone or anything. He simply chose me because I was willing and available. Sometimes I think I have learned far more from those experiences and the lives that I’ve been privileged to be around than anyone else has ever learned from me.”
“I should also add that I am fully aware of the opportunities to be used by God that I’ve missed, the times I wasn’t willing and available. I am humbled by that, too. God still calls me out of my comfort and into the deep waters of faith to co-labor with him despite the times I have refused his call. His grace and constant, steady vision for me melts me to my core; pushes me to do more than I ever thought I could, or in some cases, have the courage to do nothing at all.”