Bible+Theology, Spiritual Practices, Work

Learning to Truly Love This Book

Love This Book is ending, but what we’ve learned over this past year is not.

Throughout the Love This Book series, many in our Blackhawk family have shared how they’ve been shaped–sometimes in unexpected ways–by reading the Bible consistently. Kelsey Glavee from Blackhawk Downtown is one of those people.

Last Sunday, Kelsey shared her story of how she learned to truly love this book over the past year. Her story demonstrates how the Scriptures shape our identity, providing the grand story arc that supplies both the memory and the hope for the people of God (This is something I talked about in the final sermon for Love This Book). As Christ-followers, we are called to live out this identity as a people shaped by what Jesus taught and how he lived—lives that are other-centered and sacrificial. Kelsey’s story reminds us that God’s Word energizes us in the pursuit of living as part of the Kingdom of God 2.0.

I’m thankful that Kelsey shared with us, and I hope her story (below) encourages our church family to continue reading, reflecting, and responding to the Word of God.

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“When we started the Love This Book series back in January, I was still in grad school and I was excited because I’m a fan of all things structured. A year-long series with daily readings and a journal was a DREAM.

I worked really hard to keep it from being just another thing to check off my to-do list. I wasn’t necessarily reading anything I hadn’t read before, but the habit I was building turned into so much more than a habit. In May 2017, it became absolutely essential as I graduated and began my new job.

I work as a speech-language pathologist, providing in-home therapy for young children. I absolutely love this job and I feel so blessed to have gotten my dream job right out of grad school. I love the kids, I love working with parents and families, and I love the “problem solving in the trenches” aspect of it all.

I wasn’t prepared, however, for the emotional toll that comes with certain aspects of the job. When you walk into a family’s home, you see real life and it’s not always pretty. I see infants, toddlers, and their families daily who are going through things that no one should ever have to go through. I see families whose realities may include any combination of poverty, drugs, incarceration, violence, abuse, death, disability, hunger, and homelessness. Many of these families have been ravaged and broken by these circumstances. Even though my job is to be a speech therapist, I find myself walking through a lot of these things with families, simply because I’m there.

Jesus voluntarily let himself be broken for us, so I try to be his hands and feet for these families by letting myself be broken for and with them. I listen and sit through discomfort and sorrow. I fight the urge to be clinical, so I can be compassionate and empathetic. Two weeks into this job, I was already feeling completely burnt out trying to be a light in such dark situations.  I began to realize just how much Jesus is God and I am not. This is where the impact of the Love This Book series became so apparent in my life.

Through the process of following along with the series, it became instinctual for me to go to the Bible before anything else for the refreshment I so desperately needed–even when in the past I may have tried going elsewhere first. Through this series, I’ve truly learned to love the Bible and to rely on God’s words as my daily source of strength and refreshment. I’ve seen God come through in amazing ways to help me through the most difficult days. I’m encouraged daily as I reflect on the big picture of God’s plan for the world that He laid out for us in the Scriptures. The world was never meant to be broken in any of the ways that I am seeing, but God has not left us in our brokenness. My hope hangs on the reality of what He accomplished on the cross and His promise to one day return and set all things right.”

 


Charles Yu
About the Author: Charles Yu
Charles is the Pastor of Multicultural Ministry & Theology at Blackhawk Church. Before coming on staff, Charles enjoyed a teaching ministry with InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries as a Campus Theologian. In 2011, he received his PhD in Hebrew and Semitics from UW-Madison. Charles and his wife, Serena, have two daughters, Kirstin and Nikki. In his spare time, Charles enjoys reading books on military history and barbecuing in his backyard.