Earlier in this series on discernment, I invited you to consider your foundational experiences of God, and in the second post on that subject, we narrowed our consideration to those experiences when we knew in an intimate way that God was speaking to us or intervening in our lives.
Today, I’d like to broaden our consideration of foundational experiences to those experiences in our lives that made an impact on us in some significant or meaningful way.
What are the experiences that marked you, scarred you, taught you, helped you, harmed you? What are the memories you revisit often, that made a deep impression on your heart? What moments in your life contributed in great measure to the person you have become?
I’d like to suggest that even these experiences can aid us in our process of discernment, too.
In fact, I would like to suggest that every meaningful moment of our lives — the moments that form the stuff of our story — are part of the specific story of redemption, grace, healing, and purpose God is weaving through our specific lives.
It is my deep conviction that the stories we are living are not senseless.
In the places we experienced deep wounding, God wants to touch and heal us. In the places we were misguided, God wants to come and redirect our steps. In the places we experienced great consolation, God wants to teach us about himself and about ourselves.
When we look back over our lives, we may see the litterings of tiny moments or big moments that made an impact in some way. And it is in those moments that God wants to enter in and heal, touch, teach, and guide us.
He wants to make us whole and complete, lacking nothing, and therefore is about the work of redemption in our lives in exactly those places that broke us, splintered us, harmed us, or de-formed us.
This is how our foundational experiences — whether they were specific encounters with God or simply encounters with life — can guide us in our process of discernment.
What is God about in you, because of your story? What are the themes of needed redemption in your life? How might that inform the decision you are seeking to make? Which path will take you deeper into the healing or fullness of that redemption?