This afternoon we returned home from Forest Home. We were there all week with our High Schoolers at Lakeview which proved to be both exhausting (as usual) and incredible (also as usual). What a powerful an amazing week. The theme of the week dealt with the idea of story--facing up to, identifying, accepting, and owning our story with all its brokenness and pain and seeing it as part of God's story.

Often times we allow our stories to be defined by brokenness. Our pain and our sin begin to embed themselves into our whole identity, our sense of self, our hopes for the future, and our life in the present. Indeed they can consume us, hold us back, and prevent us from living the great story for which we were created. The truth about our story is that it is defined by love--particularly the love of God for us through Jesus Christ. But to accept this truth, to truly see our story as a part of God's story and to then live it out, we must own our story. We can't sweep it all under the rug, rather, we must face it and allow God to meet us even there. We must let go of those things to which we have been clinging, those things that have defined us, and we must embrace the memory of God's love for us. We must take up the cross, not tip-toe around it, in order to find resurrection on the other side. To be told, even in our brokenness, that we are loved by God can be unsettling but it is the source of our liberation. And in the end, God uses all our broken pieces to tell the story of his great love and restoration.

This week was heavy, it was real, it was emotional. It got quite difficult at times for many of our kids. But God met us there. He met us in our brokenness and we can never be the same. What an amazing week.