Episode 10: Unlabeling: Embracing Identity Beyond the Titles

As we journey through life, we often find ourselves adorned with various labels. These labels can come from our professions, our roles in society, or even from the perceptions of those around us. They can empower us, define us, and sometimes, limit us. But what happens when we step away from these labels? What do we find at the core of our being?

Twenty weeks ago, I stepped down from a stage I had known for a quarter of a century. I left behind titles like Pastor, Preacher, Minister, and Reverend. Yet, despite shedding these labels, I found that they still clung to me, not just as titles, but as integral parts of my identity. It was a realization that while roles might change, the essence of who we are remains.

In this week’s episode of “Gina’s Table,” we delve into the heart of identity. We explore the labels that divide and the truth that unites. Jesus came to reconcile us, not to fragment us into isolated entities. When we let labels dictate our interactions, we miss out on the richness of community, the warmth of friendships, and the tranquility of peace.

This podcast began as a platform for conversation, for sharing the messy, beautiful reality of faith and life. It’s a space where we can question, laugh, and grow together. And as we conclude this chapter on labels, I share a personal story—a story of perceived failure, of wounds and healing, of rediscovery.

Failure is a label many of us know too well. It’s a shadow that can follow us, a weight that can feel impossible to shed. But it’s also a label that doesn’t have to define us. Our worth isn’t measured by our successes or failures, but by our inherent value as Children of God.

As I sat alone at the table these past weeks, I’ve wrestled with the labels I’ve carried. Some were self-imposed, others were thrust upon me. But in the quiet moments, in the presence of God, I’ve begun to see myself not through the lens of these labels, but through the eyes of grace.

So, as we wrap up this topic—for now—I invite you to join me at the table. Let’s set aside the labels that confine us and embrace the one true label that matters: we are made in the image of God, loved, valued, and called to be His children.

As you listen to this episode, I encourage you to reflect on the labels you’ve been carrying. Which ones serve you, and which ones are you ready to let go?

Remember, at Gina’s Table, there’s always a seat for you, just as you are.

Episode One: Gina’s Table- Notes from the Table!

Welcome to the inaugural blog post for “Gina’s Table,” a podcast that’s all about fostering community, embracing our authentic selves, and addressing the pressing issues of our time. In this post, we’ll delve into the themes of the first episode and explore the vision behind Gina’s Table.

I, Gina Colburn, the voice and spirit behind the podcast, I’m not just the host, but a fellow traveler on life’s journey. At 47 years young, I bring a wealth of experience from my 25 years in ministry and my rich family life. But it’s my passion for genuine connection that truly sets the stage for the podcast.

Gina’s Table isn’t just a metaphor; it’s a mission. In a world where stages and screens often dominate, I advocate for a return to the table—a place of intimate conversation, shared meals, and deep understanding. I share startling statistics about loneliness and isolation, highlighting the need for real, face-to-face community.

I envision a movement where tables become the heart of neighborhoods, fostering connections and providing a sense of belonging. I challenge listeners to create their tables, extending the warmth and hospitality that I have cultivated for years.
Gina’s Table is about action, not just conversation. With a commitment to partnering with local schools to eliminate lunchroom debt, Gina sets an example of how community tables can also be a force for tangible change.

From pop culture to parenting, from faith to food, Gina’s Table promises to be a space where all topics are on the menu. It’s a place where listeners can expect to engage with a wide array of subjects, always with a focus on inclusivity and understanding.

Perhaps the most powerful message of Gina’s Table is the call to show up as our true selves. I will share my own journey of shedding expectations and labels to embrace my own authentic self—a journey I invite you, the listeners to join.

As I extend a warm welcome to my virtual table, I encourage everyone to come as they are, with all their quirks, dreams, and stories. It’s an invitation to find community, to engage in meaningful dialogue, and to discover a place where everyone belongs.

Gina’s Table is more than a podcast; it’s a starting point for a larger conversation about community, identity, and shared humanity. As I say, “Let’s come to the tables… as we are. As you are.” So, pull up a chair, pour yourself some iced tea, and join the conversation at Gina’s Table.

This blog post aims to encapsulate the essence of the first episode of Gina’s Table and to invite readers to become active participants in this burgeoning community. Whether through listening to the podcast, engaging in local initiatives, or simply embracing their true selves, everyone is welcome at Gina’s Table.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I can’t wait to see where the conversation leads us next.

Welcome to Gina’s Table.

With Gratitude…

I recently posted this quote on my social media outlets…

“Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it is the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up.”

This comes from a cheesy chick-flick I have watched more times than I count, Hope Floats. But it seemed so fitting for where I was in this journey.  This past week, we retrieved all of our earthly belongings from our storage garage in PA and headed back to Kansas. 

A few months ago, here are some things I said out loud to people and the Lord…

  • “I will never move back to Kansas to live!”
  • “I will never pastor a church of less than 100 again.”
  • “I am never going to be a pastor again!”

Now, I guess that I should know better in telling the Lord, what I am never going to do. (Next time, I am going to try I will never live by the ocean, and I’ll never have a million dollars! ?) Because I am confident He just sets up there and smiles. 

So, here I am, back where it started… Kansas. Pastoring…again. And, looking at rebuilding a church that I have already put much blood, sweat, and tears in. My nevers are now my realities. 

Honestly, I am pretty excited about it. While I know that the work ahead of me is crazy insane. I am also confident that these are the steps that God has ordained for this time in my life. Kansas is nowhere near my favorite cities (Washington DC, NYC, Boston). Kansas is many miles away from most of my kids and yet this is the place that God has called in this season. 

Through the pain and joy of the past years, I have learned that God is never wrong. (This never statement will never be disproved.) 

With gratitude…

Thank you, Lord, you show up in my life in ways I could not have scripted or imagined. 

Thank you, Family, for walking in hard places with me and to places we did not expect to be.

Thank you Friends (like family), who prayed, provided care, and loved us in the unknowns of the past few months. 

Thank you Trinity Wesleyan in Allentown, for the lessons learned and the lives impacted. You will forever be part of the ongoing God story in my life. 

Thank you BreakPointe for beliving in me enough to join you on the wild ride to rebuild and reimagine all that God has for you, me and His church. 

With gratitude, I cling to Jesus and look forward to the ride ahead.

What shape are you?

Perhaps a follow-up to my last blog is in order. Everything that I am or have experienced in my life has been leading me to this place. I can say I am a fairly optimistic person. For those who know me well, you know that I look for the good each day. It is something I have tried desperately to teach my children.  We have been sitting around our table for many years, discussing our Highs & Lows of each day. Now it looks more like a nightly Snapchat as we are scattered in many different regions of the country.

I am intentional about finding the beauty in each day, regardless of what my emotions or circumstances may be. For quite some time, I have struggled with being a circle peg trying to fit into a square hole. Being a woman pastor in a male-dominated world has often left me feeling this way.

However, that has not been the only way I have wrestled with this idea of just not sure where my place is and where does the circle fit? Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you have areas in your life that have left you asking similar questions. We all long to fit where God had gifted us and created us to be. We have a sense that there is a place and once we find it, we operate in all the joy and fullness that God has called us to. John 10:10 speaks of Jesus coming to give us full life.

It’s also good to remember that circles and squares can fit in the same box, they just can’t enter in the same way. All the holes/doors don’t match everyone. This was a great discovery for me recently. I don’t have to conform to the shape of a square to be a part, I can be a circle and entered into the space through the door that God has designed for me. It will fit me, not the square or triangle or whatever other shape you might be.

This is freeing, because it allows me to fully operate as the circle. I do not have to exhaust myself to be anything other than the circle that God created me to be. This also allows me to find the right box that I fit in.

God is doing a new thing… it’s big, beautiful, and completely outside of the box.  Some of it has been simmering in my soul for a while, and other pieces are new to the puzzle.

God is opening up my eyes to look at truths in the Bible and childhood stories to see how He is preparing me (and has prepared me) as a circle for this next chapter. While the honest and raw of it is somewhat disheartening, I remain hopeful.

We all have a choice to make in this life. We can spend our life exhausted trying to fit into places and things that God never intended us to fit in, or we can walk in the fullness of life he has for us. And when we do, there is no need to apologize or back down.  There will be peace to walk away from the things that distract and take our joy. There will be rejoicing as we find our tribe and community who love that we are the missing circle to their variety of shapes.

Wherever you are today, embrace your shape, your gifting, your calling, and walk boldly in that. And by all means, stop trying to squeeze into something that God didn’t shape you for!

You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word. Ps. 119: 73-74

Being a circle in a square world…

Have you ever been disappointed? Recently I found myself disappointed. I had sent a couple of emails and left a few voice mails and all were unanswered. After a while, my mind and heart started down a path of destructive self-talk and disappointment.

“To be disappointed is to be discouraged or sad because of an unmet expectation regarding someone or something.”

If we aren’t careful, we can begin to attach our worth/value to the disappointment we feel.
As others let me down, I was reminded that I too have let people down. I have been the one that didn’t return the email or the call. Sometimes, I simply forgot but other times I just didn’t because I honestly didn’t know what to say or want to respond.

For the last few months, I have been digging into the foundations of my faith and my life. There has not been one aspect that has not been untouched. As I move toward a healthier more confident child of God, I also move away from toxic, unhealthy situations and behaviors. 

As disappointment started to creep in this week I reminded myself of some lessons I am learning.
A circle peg will never fit into a square hole. No matter how many times you push or twist. At some point, you have to rest in the fact you just do not fit into that ( you fill in the blank).

I am not for everyone, and everyone is not for me. That is a hard truth to digest as an Enneagram 2, for those who don’t know what that is, it is defined as the Helper. Then again, I have to preach truth to myself, I am not the savior of the world… Jesus is. He’s much better at anyway. I might smite the wrong people. ? 

I was reminded of the scripture found in Jeremiah 17:7-10

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. 9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? 10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.”

 I want to be like the tree planted, with deep roots, the tree is not bothered by drought or heat. I want to bear fruit, to the Spirit at work in my life. I want to be firmly planted in my Jesus, with deep roots to rest in His purpose for me and leave everyone else to Him to deal with. (He probably doesn’t need my help with that anyway!)

Let me encourage you today if you are riding the waves of disappointment, look to Jesus, not anyone else (including me). Sooner or later people will let you down. I will leave you with one of my favorite scriptures.

Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”

The Next Step?

Welcome to this space. Maybe this is your first time joining me, or maybe you have popped in once or twice before. Let me take a minute to give you a little bit about me, where I have been and who I am becoming. If you have read my bio linked at the top of the page, you know a little bit already.

As of May 1st, for the first time in 20 years, I am not on staff or leading a ministry. Within a three-month time (Feb-April), my bonus daughter, my dad, and my husband were all hospitalized with significant health issues, and I became very sick with COVID. All of this coincided with my last few weeks at a church I had served for seven years as the Lead Pastor.

By the middle of June, we had left our home, putting all our stuff in storage, leaving two children and one grandbaby in Pennsylvania, one child in New York City, another preparing a move to Michigan and our youngest moving with us. Everything about our lives was suddenly turned upside down.

We moved in with some friends, while determining next steps. Next steps? It’s currently the last day of August. In May, I had dreams of knowing exactly what that “next step” would be by the end of August. Today, I realize that the next step is being faithful every day that I wake up and God gives me breath in my lungs. The Next Steps are still TBD!

While summer begins to simmer down and fall starts to breathe into the horizon, my heart is anxious for this season to close out and the next one to come alive before me. There has been reckoning of emotions, actions, and relationships in this season. There has been the hard private work of dealing with emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical exhaustion. While the summer temperatures soared, it felt a little more like winter in our lives. But just as the promise of fall is right around the corner, the promise of a new season is alive and well in us as well. 

Therapy has been working with a Coach from PastorServe, counseling with my amazing counselor, reading books of all genres, and cooking with fresh, delicious ingredients.  All of those have approached a different aspect of my healing and discovery of who I am and who I am becoming. There has also been the face down, raw, real, and honest conversations with God. While I would love to report to you those have all been rainbows and unicorns, that has not been the case.

I recently made a list of the things that I have been or still grieving… I share this with you because I think the last two years have been a season of grief for everyone. I share from a place of wanting you to know that you are not alone, and perhaps together we can find the help and healing we all are searching for in this season.

Grief List…

  • Loss of job
  • Loss of home
  • Loss of family as we have known it
  • Loss of finances
  • Loss of relationships
  • Loss of identity
  • Loss of faith
  • Loss of “normal”

Let’s start with this…some things I chose. I chose to leave my job, and the ripple of effect of that decision led to some of the other losses. Sometimes, we must make hard decisions so that we can get our life, our family, and our souls back. There was no doubt that my decision to resign my position was the right and best decision. (more on this later)

Perhaps the most astonishing loss that you just read is faith…it’s the most astonishing one for me too. And it needs some clarification. First, let me say I still love Jesus. In this season, I had to do some reevaluation of my faith. There have been days (okay maybe weeks!) that I wanted to walk completely away from the church and my faith. There have been times in this journey that I have been so angry at the church, the politics of the church, the politicians that run the church and the people who throw daggers, all under the name of Jesus. We know that anger comes from a place of deep hurt and pain. Once I started dealing with the pain in honest ways and how the destruction of my faith journey was tied closely with that, I realized that Jesus was not the one behind it, but broken, messy people. And the last time I looked in the mirror I saw a broken, messy person looking back at me.

I have said many times, I try to offer grace in abundance because I know just how much I need grace. That is still true today. But in all of our lives there will come a time, when we will have to choose the boundaries we put in our lives to stop abuse, bullying, toxic behaviors, sin and unhealthy environments. While the rise and fall of Gina from top of the charts to forgotten by the denomination/people/church/community she served has many plots and twist…in the middle is Jesus.

On my way to Bible study last week, I was struck with the word pride. A year and half ago, I was preaching to 600 people a week (in person and online), meeting with School Board Presidents, Superintendents and launching a second campus. Lived in a very nice house and had all but one of my children in the same community.

Today, I live in bedroom of someone’s else’s house while all my stuff in a big metal box in PA. My family scattered and I lead a Bible study of four (and two of them are related to me!) To say I have been humbled might be the biggest understatement of the year!

However, this story is still being written. Faith is an ebb and flow of who God is creating and molding me to be. Your faith journey is the same way. God is taking all our circumstances, sin, doubt, questions, and life and molding us into the man or woman we were created to be. I will end with my life verses, that have sustained me and continue to speak to me.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:8-10

One reminder is fresh flowers. God’s beauty is all around. We are God’s Masterpiece!

 

 

 

Untangling the cords…

Recently, I found myself fighting with a tangled vacuum cord. Have you ever wrestled with a tangled cord? Wondering how something could become so tangled? The more I wrestled with it, the worse it seemed to get. I yanked, I pulled, with little change in how tangled it had become. 

 

I became very frustrated and before too long I realized that it wasn’t really the vacuum cord. It was feeling like all of life is a tangled mess that must be wrestled with. Can anyone say 2020? 

Finally, I slowed down, and calmly worked to get the cord untangled so it would be usable again. As I finished vacuuming the carpet and wrapped the cord once again, I wonder how many times we get frustrated with the tangles in our lives, and if we would just slow down, we could untangle it a whole quicker. 

The image of the tangled cord stayed with me most of the day, as it seemed I rushed from one tangled mess to the next. Becoming frustrated and weary of how so many things could become so tangled.  It doesn’t take long for us to realize that our world is pretty tangled. One side or the other has a way to untangled it, so they yank and pull. Meanwhile the knot in the middle grows tighter. 

I spend a lot of time trying to fix tangled messes. It seems like there is never a shortage. In the Psalms David spends a lot of time writing out his petitions to the Lord. Some of those Psalms he wrote during some pretty big, tangled messes, some of those messes he created himself, and others were brought on by others.  

After my battle with the tangled cord, my heart went to the words of David, written in the book of Psalms. 

But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain. Ps. 109: 21-22 

I felt like the Lord was saying, “let me untangle the mess because I am faithful and good. My strength and reputation are far greater and reaches beyond what you can imagine…”

I let the words soak in for a few minutes. I realized sometimes tangled cords/messes aren’t ours to untangle. But it is our job to slow down and listen to the Lord. Often in the hustle and bustle of life we try to push, pull and hurry through the tangles, when really, he is just asking us to let him handle it and rest in him. 

If we want to become usable again, we must become untangled. It usually takes some time and we remain calm. But on the other side of mess, is a story still waiting to be written. 

So, if you are feeling a little like a tangled mess today, go ahead, take a big breath, and let Him untangle the cord…

 

 

 

Numbers: Do They Matter?

Numbers: Do They Matter?

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I have been thinking about numbers a lot lately… Numbers define and measure things.

We weigh ourselves (side note starting 2020, 25 less than 2019) We check our balance in our checking account (mine always seems to be lower than what I think!)

We set goals at work, at church at school and we wait and count the numbers so that we can measure results.

We are judged and evaluated by the numbers… My fear is that the charts we use don’t really tell the story… they don’t really give us good insight into the real or the whole story.

Did you know that only 11% of churches average over 200 people? Only 8% of people who go to church think that it is important to share their faith. (check Barna, CT today, pew studies and census reports)

As a pastor, leading people to a full life in Jesus that in turns leads them to share their faith is no small feat.

We measure ourselves by attendance (I call this butts in seats) budget (response to the mission, and obedience in biblical truths and discipleship) Salvation (those who encounter Jesus and accept him as their savior) Baptisms (those that make a public statement of faith).

And while those numbers tell a story, they don’t tell the whole story. Do those numbers tell us the impact we have on the community? The age-old question, would your community miss you if you weren’t there?

Churches should be thinking about how to repurpose the church to redeem the community. This question asked by Mark DeYmaz in his book “Disruption” has been on my heart and mind a lot. Now I should say that I was thinking this before I read it. For the past 5 years (really longer) I have been thinking about how the church is effective in making a difference in the community. Honestly, the “come and see me inside my 4 walls” just isn’t the model that will carry the church on in the years to come.

What does that mean? What does it look like?  My vision for Trinity is to reach One Percent of the Lehigh Valley with the love of Jesus Christ (around 8500 people)

My word for this year came months ago, and honestly, it is not just 2020’s Word of the Year. It is my new focus. My new mission. My new ministry. Reimagine! Reimagine Church, Reimagine Community Development, Reimagine how people come to know Jesus. To think outside of my experiences, my history and my comfort to see God’s kingdom come here, as it is in heaven.

Did you know that the average church attenders will only come to church once every 4-6 weeks. That means to have a church that averages over 200 (only 11% of churches) you actually have to have 3x in people to reach that average attendance.

When we came to Trinity in 2014, average attendance was 60 people. With a responsibility list of about 175. Since that time our average attendance has grown to 380. But what I found interesting is that we have 621 people that are active on our list (meaning these 621 people come to Trinity “regularly”) then there is another 511 people who are on our list that come to Trinity 3-4 times a year. Which brings the number to 1,172 people who would call Trinity their home church.

Now let’s not forget the online people, because they are important and growing. Then there is another 250 per week (could be some of the people above who aren’t physically there but not all of them) tune in at some point during the week and watch some of the worship service.

Now then, we have over 300 people come to know Jesus and a little less than 100 people baptized in 5 years.

Numbers are tricky things, aren’t they? Some of you are going, “Wow! That’s great.” Others are saying other things… while others would say, Trinity is not multiplying , just adding… nothing to see here… add some campuses, do some other things like that… then maybe you will arrive…

But how about these numbers… in the last 3 years Trinity has impacted the lives of over 700 children in the Allentown School District. We have a group of ladies that we like to refer to as the Zumba ladies who every week invest in the lives of the homeless over the past few years that number is well into the hundreds. Or how about the couple that spends every Friday night in the prison discipling and leading a group of prisoners with the gospel.

Or how about the Zumba program that takes place at our church where over 100 women every week come through our doors, exercise together, then the leader shares a devotional and prays for them. Since it began over 350 ladies have come through our doors.

Or maybe we could talk about the Young Adult group that goes once a month to the Memory Care Facility up the street where they minister to 20 older adults who are not longer at a place they can come through the doors.

You see reaching the One Percent of the Lehigh Valley doesn’t always mean you have thousands of people walking through your doors… but it does mean that you equip believers to go and share Jesus. And Jesus is being shared.

Numbers are important and help us  measure results. But numbers can’t be the only thing, or where we find our value. You see I won’t reach the 500 club (and yes this is a thing) I won’t be ask to speak at a large conference (that’s okay too) and no one will want an interview (well except my dad!)

But what I know is that the best is yet to come- what God is stirring in my heart and is laying before me is amazing. The dream that he has planted and is growing in my heart and imagination are beyond anything on my own strength or know how … but I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

I am not satisfied with or okay with 2/3 of the world population not knowing Jesus. And if we don’t catch up to the fast pacing, ever changing culture we are in, the church will continue to be left behind.

Numbers do not define me or the mission. God defines me and the mission. When we start looking at other things, we can be blinded to the very things that are calling us forward.

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With Gratitude…

I recently posted this quote on my social media outlets... "Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it is the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at the beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up." This comes...

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Running right out of comfort…

Often times I can’t believe I am here. A few months ago, I stood behind the very pulpit my grandfather preached for over 25 years to the same church, living out his calling. Although, he didn’t get to see or know that I became a pastor, he would probably be the most shocked and proud.

In 15 days, I will be stepping way out of my comfort zone and going to a place I have being dreaming of going for a few years now, Sierra Leone Africa. I am grateful for the opportunity that has been granted to me and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use this trip to expand my vision and ministry.

And even though my excitement is mixed with some fear (anxiety!) I know that God is ordaining my steps. In the next few weeks I can’t wait to share all that God is doing and showing me for the future of the ministry he is calling me too.

If you think about it, pray for me as I go and all the last minute details will be worked out.

The biggest thing is not simply leaving my comfort zone but preparing my heart for what God is going to do in me and through me. I understand that when I return I won’t be the same. My vision will be changed, the lens in which I look at life will have a new perspective. 

Let’s face it, we all have lens in which we look at life and it is easy to get stuck in believing that our vision is the only one. But the reality is, our vision needs to be checked regularly. And the older I get I realize that my vision is connected to the condition of my heart. 

So here I go… October 31 I will board a plane, fly clear around the world (or at least half way) and for 10 days, I will experience and see things I have never seen or heard. 

In the words of Toto- I bless the rains down in Africa! 

Didn’t Go As Planned Life…

Here I am in the dark of my living room, when I should be in bed, sleeping. My first meeting is at 6:45 in the morning. I should be doing what normal people do at this time of night…sleeping.

But here I am, awake. And my mind is racing with thoughts. I downloaded a new worship album Abiding Worship, by my good friends The Mark Dubbled Family. Its simply on repeat right now on Spodify. You should check it out.

Its been a really rough couple of weeks. Technically speaking I have been on vacation but the reality is often life doesn’t go as planned and real life takes place in the middle of our plans.

My father-in-law, Ben Colburn, finished his fight with cancer. I don’t know that I can adequately put all that down today. Its still fresh and in processing mode right now. What I know is God’s grace is good and holy. Death is not pretty but can be filled with peace when we know where we are going and it is our Heavenly Father we will see when we wake up on the other side.

What I know is that in my #didntgoasplanned life is God is still present, He’s still faithful and still working in me and around me. I can plan but God’s plans are better, even if I don’t always see it right away. We have been prayed for and over. I am eternally grateful for the ones who have walked this with us.

What I am learning in this season, is how to be Gina. Just as God created her to be. Leading well, even when its hard and not popular. Loving my family well in the places that each one is currently in and allowing them to learn who Jesus is in the middle of their #didntgoasplannedlife.

I think I must be a slow learner, because some lessons I have to keep repeating. Which brings me to my knees and humbled before the Lord. My messes, my questions, my doubts.

To sum it up, in the last 2 weeks we have driven 3,663 miles, we have gone to a wedding, a funeral, a family reunion, visited the Emergency Room, cancelled a family vacation for 8 people to Florida and have landed back home. Home… maybe just a building made of stone and wood, but so much more than the physical matter that makes it up. Home the place where we find the comfort of our bed, our favorite blanket, the smell of our favorite candle. The last 2 weeks, memories have been made, goodbyes and see you laters have been spoken and the promise of another meeting in a different time zone, and place… where this life will end and the next one begins with Jesus face to face.