The power of telling


With news of the recent death of Mary Oliver last week, I am reminded of just how powerful words can be when put in the right order and offered as a prayer. One of her most well-known poems, “Instructions for living a life,” has stuck with me over the years:

Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

As simple as it might seem at first glance, it takes a lot of practice and hard work. At different points in my life, I have followed one or two of these directives well. At other times, I have followed none at all. Rarely have I practiced all three at the same time.

I have found that the hardest of these three for me is the last - to tell about it. If I am honest with myself, it likely reveals some of my own insecurities. I often don’t share what I’ve been thinking or reading about out of fear. I worry others won’t be interested, that I might not articulate my thoughts well enough to be understood accurately, or worst of all, that I may expose my own ignorance.

But, when I look back over the past year of starting Interyear Fellowship, I can’t help but see that despite the many challenges, we have been so incredibly fortunate. When I truly pay attention to all that has been accomplished, I can’t help but be astonished at God’s provision through it all. With God’s guidance and the help of many others, we have been able to purchase a beautiful home to house our Fellows and several other families who have become a part of our own fellowship family. We have developed partnerships with four other organizations, and we have had the opportunity to build relationships with some amazing young adults.

We have been paying attention and have been astonished by the way God has worked through Interyear Fellowship. However, we have not done our best in telling about it. I recognize this reflects my own insecurity and fear of over-communicating, despite my reservations, we are making a strong commitment to this final instruction for living life well.

The work that is happening and the impact on the lives of our Fellows, the organizations they serve, and our overall community is nothing short of astonishing. And you deserve to hear about it.

We would like to invite you into our organization to see and hear more about the work that God is accomplishing through Interyear Fellowship. We’ll share some interviews with each of our Fellows so you can get to know more about them, their service, what we’ve been studying, and what life is like in our fellowship home.

We would love for you to follow along with our blog each week as we share more. I believe that through the power of telling these stories, you just might be astonished, too.

Tim Bomgardner
Executive Director