Stories

Faithful and Available

Sep 18, 2014

Beth Guckenberger

By Kimm Hackworth

It was a Saturday like most other Saturdays in our home – full of projects to finish, laundry to do, kids’ events to attend, mouths to feed.

Will I get everything done today? I think to myself.

Life reduces to tasks if I am not careful. Before I know it, I become slowly entrenched in details, living only to survive, not to fully experience, engage or flourish. I gaze off with eyes fixed on nothing pondering Jesus’ promise of life to the full….

What does that kind of life look like, I wonder.

The cheering crowds reorient me back to my reality. As my daughter crosses the finish line after her two-mile race through the woods, I look down at my watch and realize I had better hurry. The event starts soon, and I don’t want to be late. With the warm, September sun leading the way, I point the car towards the city hoping the landmarks will look familiar as I exit the freeway. Car parked and tickets in hand, I walk the city sidewalk toward Memorial Hall in historic Over the Rhine in downtown Cincinnati. Gazing up at the historic structure ascending the concrete steps, I step back in time as I enter the 100+ year-old landmark.

Quick to find my seat, lights dim as I imagine myself surrounded by men in top hats and women in long corseted skirts enjoying a turn of the century show. What a fitting setting for a timeless story I am about to hear – a story of a powerful God working through the life of a couple who said ‘yes’ to God’s call over 17 years ago. Relevant to any generation, the hope-filled, inspiring stories delivered so poignantly by Beth Guckenberger, wife, mother, missionary and co-executive Director of Back2Back Ministries, yield applause, laughter, tears but more importantly the nodding of heads in agreement to how God works. Hopefulness slowly permeates the room, and I sense I am not the only one needing a reminder about God’s faithfulness and promise to lead each of us on our journeys.

Over the course of a few hours, I am given an intimate glimpse into chapters of a real person’s storyline, from a clothing drive for Nicaraguan refugees to moving across the Mexican border to adopting and fostering orphan and vulnerable children. But, there is more happening than hearing one person’s stories. The takeaway is personal – God has a storyline written for each of us. We just need to be faithful and available. God works through us, leading us to unforeseen places writing a story we could never write for ourselves. The truth of that statement was encapsulated, not in stories of what could happen, but in stories of what has happened and continue to happen through small offerings of faithfulness and availability.

Did I get everything done and make it through the day? – No. I did more than that. I left the event embracing God for where He has me, trusting Him for more. He navigates my journey reminding me life to the full is sometimes found in the daily routine – even the routine can be divine. And as I continue to make myself available, I find Beth’s words to be true – life to the full requires reckless faith.

If you missed this evening of inspirational story sharing, and would enjoy reading Beth’s hope-filled stories of living with reckless faith, 10 copies of “Reckless Faith: Let Go and Be Led” will be distributed to the first 10 people who respond by email to khackworth@back2back.org. Please include your name, mailing address, and a snippet of your own story if you would like. We would love to learn about your journey living in reckless faith.

Kimberly Hackworth serves as the Inspirational Copywriter for Back2Back in the U.S. office. She is passionate about communicating God’s work in the lives of the children we serve.

Beth is an author, speaker and mom. She and her husband, Todd, serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. Beth frequently travels and speaks at conferences drawing on her vast experiences with adoption, foster care, spiritual care, and non-profit leadership, serving and living internationally for over 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, Beth and Todd have raised ten children.

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