For the Burundi part of my recent trip I had the privilege of spending time with a wonderful group of ladies, all of whom write blogs and write really well. I will blog about my experiences when I can but I also want to share their beautifully written accounts of certain aspects.
As a group we spent a lot of time listening to each other’s stories. It’s an incredible experience having a group of people lovingly, encouragingly, supportively listen to your story. Not just the short summary, little snippets or neat testimonies but the long version. The round the houses, progression over time version. There is something about being really heard that secures you, validates your journey, feeds your heart and swells your soul. It truely is holy ground.
How often do we ask people open questions, invite people to tell their story and have the patience and kindness to listen for the long answer, not rushing on to the next thing but really settling into the moment and into the thread of their life’s journey? The highs and lows, the emotions and learnings, the times when they wondered where God was and the times when they knew clearly what he was teaching them.
I know I don’t do this enough. But after experiencing what it felt like to be truely heard in Burundi I am determined to create that space for others.
The blog post below is from one of my new friends, Leigh Kramer, who shared that experience in Burundi.
“I hope some day you sit in a room full of kindred spirits and rest in the knowledge of their love. I hope you share your story and have it mirrored back to you with grace and understanding. I hope you have a glimpse of the saints spurring you on. I hope you have people who remind you of who you are when you’ve all but forgotten.” – Leigh Kramer
You can read the full version of her blog about ‘The beauty of sharing your story’ here.