One of the greatest gifts of writing is getting to tell and honor the stories of other people. And, generally speaking, the people I write about also happen to be my friends, so it’s a win-win to listen to the narrative of their lives and show them off through an article here or there.
We miss Oakland something fierce, but getting to see the faces of Josh and Riana (as pictured above), reminds me that we landed there for a specific reason, purpose and time. I’m grateful for their influence in our lives, and today, I’m especially grateful for how my friendship with Riana made me a better person.
Head over to Christianity Today for the full story, or read the first few paragraphs right here:
Sometimes God makes himself most known in the in-between moments of our lives—in times of uncertainty, tension, or waiting. This has certainly been true for Riana Shaw Robinson, a mother, wife, pastor, and seminary student from the San Francisco Bay Area. And my guess is that you’ve experienced this, too.
Born in Richmond, California, Robinson grew up in the church, but met God for the first time as a pregnant 15-year-old. Although she experienced intense feelings of fear, guilt, shame, and isolation, she felt God telling her to trust him. And it was there, in the depths and darkness of the in-between, that Riana was restored by the love, acceptance, and care of her family and community.
“Each year on my daughter’s birthday,” Robinson told me, “I am overcome with emotion as I remember all of the ways that I have [experienced] and continue to experience God’s grace, mercy, love, and provision.” Not only did the Spirit provide her with unexplainable peace during that uncertain time, he also changed the trajectory of her life by giving her a heart for coming alongside people who feel disconnected and unworthy.
Eager for the rest of Riana’s story? It’s pretty inspiring, to say the least. Head on over there, and give her some encouragement!
Otherwise, might your ears be attune to the narratives of your friend’s lives, as you enter in and listen for threads of inspiration.
Know Riana? Encourage her by sharing today’s article! Otherwise, how does her story inspire you? Also, if you know any women leaders in the church I should interview, shoot me a message!