Saturday, October 24, 2015

Extending Grace in Unusual Ways

I am so excited to introduce you to another blog friend; my friend Colleen Mitchell. Colleen is another gift in my life. Colleen and I have Voxed about many of things in our lives. Colleen and her family remind me of what it means to be a servant of Christ. She has a gift with words that always touch my soul. I hope her words today bless you too.

I have spent a lot of time, okay, I have procrastinated a bit, trying to decide what I wanted to share here since Tara invited me to be part of her 31 Days series. As a missionary in Costa Rica, I feel very privileged to always live aware of God’s grace and how it carries us through our days. God’s presence is so tangible to me in so many ways that sometimes it can be hard to articulate it.

In the past few days though, I have been blessed over and over by one of my favorite sounds—the beeping that indicates that a Voxer message is coming through on my phone. (If you don’t know about Voxer, you MUST check it out in the app store and let me know when you have downloaded it.) Hearing that sound brings me joy because I know that it likely means there is a word of encouragement, a prayer, or a just a good talk waiting for me on the other end.

You see, I like to joke that in addition to my missionary life, I have a side ministry—I exercise the ministry of Voxer. In all truth, one of my greatest struggles in our missionary life is loneliness for real community. When that loneliness is really plaguing my heart, it can result in me having a difficult time being fully present to our ministry in Costa Rica. Not because I don’t love it, but because when you are too focused on your own empty places, it can be hard to pour into others.

I long begged God for the grace of real community—friends who would surround me in my faraway home and remind me that I am not alone. I never imagined an app would be the answer. It may be an unusual way to extend and receive grace, but for me, the friends who have reached for me from faraway places and poured into my life through voice and text messages, pictures and prayers are pure grace. They give me the strength and focus I need to keep doing God’s work on a daily basis.

On the flip side, Voxer allows me to be an encourager and cheerleader for women I love and want to support even though I may never get to be part of their real lives in person. There is deep grace in being about to care about what matters to someone you care about. I am renewed by being able to see outside my own life and encourage someone else in her calling. Extending grace allows me to see the rich grace in action in my own life even more.
Perhaps a walkie-talkie app seems a strange way to extend and receive grace. For me, that is all the more proof that it is, in fact, pure grace, God’s hand transforming something seemingly ordinary into something holy and sacred. I get a little glimpse of what heavenly communion looks like through an app called Voxer and the women who reach for me through it. What more do I need to know that God is active and present to me in tender, loving ways? What more do I need to know that His grace is real and gives us all that we need to continue to love him and serve him well?

What unusual way do you extend and receive grace in your life? How does it remind you that you are seen and loved by God?

Colleen Mitchell is a wife, mother to five sons, missionary and writer living in the high mountains of Costa Rica. She serves alongside her family bringing faith, hope and love to communities around the world, and she works out what it means to live the Gospel as an adventure at http://www.blessedarethefeet.com

12 comments:

  1. Love this! I have the app, but have never used it! I love that you are using it as a ministry portal!!

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    1. Dianne, Glad you loved Colleen's words. The app is so much fun.

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  2. Lovely post - God can use so many things in our lives that we never expected in order to grace us and fill in the gaps!

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    1. Thanks Ruthie! Colleens's words are a gift reminding us that that grace comes in unexpected places.

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  3. I have not extended grace of yet. I need to practice it more. Grace is undeserved love and mercy. I seem to live in isolation a lot it seems. I blog and write. I need to do so more reality living. Everything seems so virtual these days. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Mary, thanks for stopping by and joining Colleen and I today.

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  4. Thanks for sharing here. I love the way you see grace in this, in the everyday....so much there that we often miss. (I will have to check out Voxer now!)

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    1. Melanie, isn't it so cool? I love how Colleen finds grace in unexpected places. Totally check out Voxer. I love it!!!

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  5. Love this and you Colleen! I have Voxer BTW! I am an old fashioned snail mail kind of girl and love sending encouragement that way. Good to see you here today.

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    1. Love you both! I will have to Vox you. I LOVE Voxer! Snail mail is so much fun! So much better than getting bills in the mail. Thanks for joining Colleen and I here today!

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  6. I've never heard of Voxer, but will have to check it out. One comment on the FB community said they love the month of October because of the write31 challenge and the 31 day Survivors community. I have to agree. I love reading and supporting others and I love the support I receive in return.

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    1. Robyn, yes you should check out Voxer. I saw that comment and echo those words too. Thanks for joining Colleen and I here today.

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