Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My story: Part I

As I've mentioned way back in May, the church I attend is in the process of going through a "tour" of the whole Bible in a year, calling this process "God's story: Our story." We've been particularly focusing on the aspect of story to convey how God is revealed to us, and how the writers of the Bible chose to use the form of story for so much of its revelation. Yesterday, I promised to start the process of intentionally sharing aspects of my story (acknowledging that I've done some of this process already, though less intentionally). I do not expect to add to this every day, and will no doubt interrupt this series as other events take precedence. But for now, it seems best to start at the beginning...

I was born in Oakland, CA, while my dad, just recently married to my mom, was working in San Fransisco for a major engineering company that his dad had worked for before him. This job was reasonably stable, if by stable one means that it paid well enough to get by, but it required him to move from place to place every year or so. By the time I started Kindergarten, we had moved from the Bay Area to Louisville, KY, which we expected to be a permanent move. Yet he was transferred to Ann Arbor, MI within about a year, and then back to Louisville before Kindergarten ended. Two years later, we were sent to the Bay Area again, only to return nine months later. I spent the latter half of third grade in Saginaw, MI, and all of fourth grade in Homestead, FL, before my dad finally decided that "enough was enough," and he quit that company. We resettled in Louisville, where we had already bought a house all those years previously. By the time I got out of elementary school, I had been enrolled in six different elementary schools. I remember the sheer amazment I felt at being able to stay in the same school for all three years of middle school!

While all this moving around meant that I got to see a lot of different places that I would likely never have seen otherwise, it also meant that I had real difficulty in making friends and attachments, since I would usually have to leave them behind less than a year later. By the time we became more "stable" in Louisville, I was already very much an outcast, and had trouble finding a way to fit in. Although I hated it at the time, I eventually learned better how to be comfortable doing things the way I wanted to do them, not being so concerned about what other people thought, while at the same time learning to open up and trust people to get to know me. This all took a lot of time, of course, involving stories that are best shared in other contexts.

Another effect of so much moving around is that my parents found it difficult to get connected to any particular church. My parents finally decided to make a committment to a church during the time we were in Florida, which was important, but not as important as finally settling in to a church home in Kentucky when we finally returned. The experiences I had there were truly pivotal.

But that's a story for another time....

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