30 Shaping Experiences that showed me God
I try every year around my birthday to write some reflections out because I know I am not who I am without the experiences and people in my life. In previous years I have listed out people who have shaped me, but this year I wanted to take a look back on the many experiences (and a few key people) that have shaped who I am today at 30 years old. Here are just a few of the many incredible experiences that have made me who I am and have taught me some things about God and myself:
Growing up with my parents - John and Betsy Brewer: Lots of experiences here, but overall from them I have learned that God is one who wants us to be in the game of faith - not to just sit on the sidelines! Actions Follow Beliefs, right dad?
2nd grade - Ms. Jennifer Geroski’s class: God uses people to show us His kindness. Thankful early on for this teacher who would braid my hair daily and encouraged my gift of writing!
Homeschool field trip out to South Dakota: God sees and goes after the outcast. He is always calling people back to Himself.
Seventh Day Baptist - Camp Joy: God can be discovered in the exploration of nature and the beauty of new friendships.
Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddles in middle/high school: God created me with gifts of leadership and a heart to develop others.
Upward Soccer - Referee: God is in the boundaries and in the play.
Paw Print: God uses His people in marketplace settings too, not just in the four walls of the church. Thankful for teachers like Shannon Hunsucker!
Revive Prayer Walks: God wants to communicate with and move His people through committed prayer. Thankful for Wade White’s leadership!
Cedarmania: God loves JOY and fun, and is relational - grateful for Emily Schulz and Laura Stokes!
Disciple Now Weekend 2009: God raises up godly mentors like Melanie Skaggs to show us what He is like and pass along wisdom.
Mission Fuge - Nashville: God is faithful, even when we find ourselves exhausted, and He desires to be known in all the hills and valleys.
Summit Ministries: The truth of God can be defended because it has logic and heart behind it. Thankful to Ruthie Rhoads for sending me here!
Mission Trip - Mexico: God protects and provides for His kids in mysterious ways.
Passion Conference: God is passionate about coming after His kids and wants us to live out our faith!
Internship at Good News Homes: God cares about those who are wayward (all of us at one time or another) and wants to draw them back to Himself. Thankful for Stephanie Skeens mentorship!
Cedarville - Women’s Ministry Leader: God created women to be leaders alongside men. Women in leadership can be holy, healthy, and helpful.
Mission Trip - Greece: God is my Ebenezer Rock - thus far has He helped me, so why would I stop trusting Him now!!
Cedarville - Discipleship Group Leader: God uses imperfect people to show other imperfect people back to Him - use your story to point back to Jesus all the time! Love my girls - Bexi, Allie, Chelsea, Natalie, Lindsay, Helen, and Jessica! 5 out of 7 weddings attended :)
Mission Trip - South Africa: Even missionaries and their families need to be loved, encouraged, and reminded to keep fighting the good fight of faith! Right, Sherri Erickson?
NAMB internship in Greenville, SC: God is near to the young and has a heart for raising up the next generation to know Him. Also, food and fun are part of discipleship! Miss you Ryan Brooks - we need to hang out my fellow Nashville dweller!
Lifeway Bookstores - retail staff for 5 months: Even in times of transition, God can make His will to us known and reveal our worth and His goodness in the process. He cares about our work!
Downline Ministries - Summits: God wants to grow us up in Him through life-on-life discipling relationships. So grateful for Kennon Vaughn’s faithfulness to this work of restoring Biblical discipleship alongside the local church!
Dayton Women in the Word: God uses the gifts of His people to bless the Church in many ways, and one of those gifts He’s given me is words! Thankful for the leadership, mentorship, and friendship of Jillian Vincent!
Ellerslie Bravehearted Personal Discipleship: God does not want us to live in sin, but instead wants us to live IN CHRIST as His sons and daughters! Shout out to my sweet friends Chelsey, Kirsten, and Daryl for reminding me of this!
Museum of the Bible: God has given us His Word and it is for our good.
COTC Community Group: God’s care is kind, and He sends His people to walk alongside us in seasons of struggle and blessing. Thankful for friends like Sarah Miller, Kathy Cumberledge, Tricia Whitehead, and Mary Sue Sawyer!
Brentwood Baptist - worked as a temp in Communications: God uses even the waiting seasons for His glory, and sometimes it’s to rekindle a friendship, am I right Sarah Fehl?
GraceWorks: God’s timing is perfect. His sovereignty over my life is surprising at times, but oh so exact!
Spiritual Direction: God cares about my rest and mental health - when I lead from that I am better overall. Thank you Bekah Pogue!
Ryman Auditorium: God is in some spaces in special ways, and for me, the first time I was here was a spiritual experience - come on Mother Church!
This list in NO way exhausts all the people and experiences where I have learned about myself or about God - I learn EVERY day. I learn through the hard, through the awesome, and the ordinary stuff in between. But today, in the middle of this 30th birthday week, I have the grace to look back at it all, and just be thankful for where God has brought me, what He has taught me, and most of all for who He is!