Enjoy getting to know True Woman’s newest blogger today, and then look for Elisha’s first post tomorrow.
It’s a picturesque summer morning, and I sit on our small, back patio with a steaming mug of dark coffee. Every few minutes the quiet is enhanced by the passing of a subway train or the sound of a Toronto bus pulling away from the stop. To many, these sounds might seem intrusive, a breaking of the quiet. To me, these are the sounds of lives shared.
Having recently returned from a visit with my parents, listening to the sounds of the city waking up brings a striking comparison between life past and life present. As I reflect upon the changes, I’m humbled by how good God has been.
Childhood passed in a beautiful, old farmhouse surrounded by the gently rolling fields of the Ottawa Valley. Now, when I visit and we’re outside breathing fresh, country air and surveying the beauty that surrounds, my dad (himself born and raised in the Bronx) will sometimes smile at me, his city girl, and say, “You really like Toronto better, Elisha?” We both smile because it’s a conversation we’ve had before. With a sweeping gesture to the fields before me—and most of all the people beside me—I voice my gratitude, “Thank you, Pop and Mom. Thank you for all of this. Thank you for the gift of a beautiful home. Mostly, thank you for the gift of your love for me, of your love for Jesus.”
Like many grown children, gratefulness for my parents matured as God ordained my steps to follow a path similar to theirs. This path, the last ten years, has included the good gifts of marriage, then motherhood, then ministry.
Ten years ago—after university while teaching ballet full-time—I began taking theology courses. It was in the first class that I met my love. I noticed Justin immediately when he walked into the room, but it was when he answered a question that my heart melted. As a newly transplanted New Yorker, he spoke with this enchanting accent and, as I listened, his technical description of the Covenant of Creation was the most riveting thing I had ever heard.
Now, nearly nine years of marriage later, his New York accent has faded, but his heart of faith has increased. As I watch Justin lead our family with strength and grace, all I can do is give thanks for this man who, in every way, is a gift beyond what I deserve.
In the past five years we’ve been blessed with two wonderful sons followed by our precious daughter. We live in a neighborhood affectionately known as the West Toronto Junction where Justin has been called to pastor a church.
Being a pastor’s daughter, a pastor’s wife, and a mother are all parts of my whole. But most foundational of all, most undeserved of all, is that I am a daughter of the living God. “Finding our identity in Christ” seems to have become one of those often used phrases, but what a powerful description. The Person I identify with is Christ, the One who took on flesh and identified with humanity—with me! My sin is forever washed clean by the blood of Christ; my identity is eternally found in Him.