My Story

The purpose of these writings is to highlight those “places in between”- between the already and not yet, between Creation and the New Jerusalem, between life as we know it to life as God would have us live.  We are all part of this Greater Narrative that began with a Garden.  Our own failures and heart conditions kicked us out.  Rather than leave us to our fate God intervened into the Story through the person of Jesus Christ and allowed us for a way back again.  It is a story that begins in a garden and ends in a city.  Our world remains broken, but we live as those who have been Redeemed, inviting others into the Great Story.  We dare to imagine that what HE has for us is good.  May we all live worthy.  May we all be found faithful.

These writings will contain stories of the mundane life of the here and now.  Some stories will capture your heart, and there will be stories that will challenge your intellect.  Some of these stories are honest, transparent, and real insights into an ordinary woman in the company of an extraordinary God.   The book of Hebrews in the Bible says that we are surrounded by “a great cloud of witnesses”- those who have gone before us, those people we meet along the way and change us.  I would like to introduce to you some of those people.  I’d like to invite you into my story, and have a chance to know yours.  At the end of the day, may God be glorified.

To start, who am I?

I am a daughter, sister, and friend. I am definitely my father’s daughter, and my mother is one of my closest friends.  My brother and I are complete opposites, but have gotten closer as adults.  My sister-in-law (my brother’s wife) is a gifted artist and I am glad she is part of this family.  My niece is the light of my life.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Please don’t judge me based on other “Christians” that you know.  Judge me based on the Jesus that you know.  I often fall short.  Way short.  I live by grace, not by works.  At the end of the day there is nothing I can do to be able to stand in the presence of God except by the grace extended to me by Christ and Christ alone.

I am an educator.  For 10 years was an English teacher at universities across China (south, northeast, far west, and Beijing).  I have now returned to the United States and work at the community college teaching international students.

I am a leader.  I am a follower. On the DISC test I am a high DS.  I am driven, but I also shine in the details.  In the presence of a good leader of real integrity I’d gladly follow.

I am a lifelong learner.  My formal education includes a B.A. in History (non-Western world, minority groups emphasis), B.A. in International Studies (African, Asian, Latin American Studies), and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies (intercultural communication and contextualization).  I was also a full-time language student of Uighur (a Turkic language with Arabic script) for one year.  However, my classroom has become the world.

I am a writer.  I am a speaker. I simply tell my story so that others may know The Story.

I am in my mid-thirties and single. I’m okay with that for now.  Really.  If God has marriage for me then I’d glady take it, but I’m learning what it means to have the gift of singleness, too.

I am one who strives to be REAL with people.

I am deaf.  I have a 75-80% hearing loss in both ears.  I have been wearing aids since I was seven years old.  I never learned sign language, only to read lips.  Most people are none the wiser.  Several people have come alongside me over the years for which I am grateful.  Having often prayed for a miracle, I realize the miracle lies in the fact that God is able to use me despite my handicap, and even because of it.

I am an engager of culture.Some of the earliest years of my life were spent in Indonesia.  I’ve lived on the east coast of America (from the city of New York to the hills of Georgia and several places in between), California, and the Midwest.  I spent a semester in Kenya while in college.  I have lived and loved in China for ten years.  I also lived in Central Asia for one year and have spent extended time in Thailand.  I was in South Africa in 2010.  My job right now takes be back and forth to India, Nepal, and Ethiopia  The world is my home.

I am a student of language. Conversational fluency in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Uighur.  One time I learned Romanian just because.

I am ordinary.  I am set apart.

I am human.  Don’t put me on a pedestal.  I can be selfish and stubborn and disrespectful and proud and judging.  It is only I by the grace of God.

I choose joy.  I choose forgiveness. Never to be taken lightly.  Personal experience with this has taken me to the hard places and back.

I am who I am because of Christ.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

What’s YOUR story?

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2 thoughts on “My Story”

  1. Hey Michelle! What a beautiful story:) What an awesome life you have had… and who knew that you were deaf? Crazy- I was in Espanol with you for years and had no idea! Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Thank you Michelle for sharing your story. You are a great writer! I also just read what you wrote about your grand-ma, it’ s written beautifully! You not only is a good writer to me but a very good one! I specially love your two last points : I choose joy, I choose forgiveness then I am who I am because of Christ, nothing more, nothing less. May the Lord continue to strengthen you. I am very glad I got to meet you last June. Take care!

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