January 15, 2010

It’s January 2010!!! It makes me grin as I recall hearing someone quip, “Shouldn’t we have flying cars by now?”

This past year, as you know, has been one for the books and even though I have said it before, I am so thankful to have had you walking alongside me.  Thank you for your grace – the giving of your support, words, prayers, love and encouragement, without anything in return.  I haven’t had many ‘successes’ to share or exciting stories.  I truly have felt like a beggar struggling to stretch out my hands.  Thank you for being kind and generous in continuing to give to God with your resources and prayers so I would have a place to lay my head, support to recover and the increasing strength to serve as God enables.

The reality of my limited energy and brokenness have created a situation that has caused some dynamic shifts in my thinking.  What is grace? What am I worth? Does God really demand nothing? What is the gospel? Pretty heavy questions if you give yourself the opportunity to ponder them longer than the time needed to flip the ‘right’ answer in their direction.   Of course pondering the foundation of my value and existence in the world is uncomfortable.  Trust me, I would rather just list off the ‘answers’ I used to tell others: have faith; God loves you; of course you are valued for who you are, not what you do….

But maybe God is trying to tell me something, attempting to rewire my thinking, my values and beliefs?  No one likes to feel stupid, and feeling confused about what I previously held with certainty is painful. I, however, sense this rewiring of my reality may be one of those life-altering moments. I still cling to the reality of God’s sure salvation through His Son – I belong to Him.  Beyond that, I don’t have many answers and my emotions are a constant torrent.  God’s voice doesn’t seem to be in the rushing wind or in the calm.  So like Mary, Martha and Job, I wait for the resurrection.

What might this year hold? A lot can change, and a lot can remain. It is obviously difficult to predict the future.  No flying cars, right?  Mostly, I hope the waiting will be over soon  – the waiting for joy, energy and passion to return, – the waiting for clarity and direction. In the meantime I continue to attempt to trust in God. Is it maybe about trusting Him in the absence of passion, victory, joy and success?

Practically speaking, there are some areas in which I would love clarity and wisdom.

 

Next job steps? Please pray for an opportunity that is a wise fit for my gifts and strengths, which gives energy, and combines the appropriate level of demand with room for growth.

Living location? Please pray about the best geographic location for the next months of my recovery.  I sense my discomfort with my situation may persuade me to make an unwise decision.  Pray also for direction as to where God would have me invest in relationships and a church community.

Further training? I am considering undergoing more seminary education.  I have been blessed by the opportunities I have had to study while on staff.  This makes me curious to know if this is something I should pursue more intentionally.  Practically, the overwhelming financial commitment scares me a lot.

The future? Pray for wisdom to know which questions I should be attempting to answer.   Will God renew my vision the UK?  How can I be involved in raising up this generation to reach the world?  Should I consider a new direction? What about a husband and a family? More training? More patience?

My heart is grieved that I am unable to share life-changing stories with you and for the ongoing uncertainty I currently reside in.  I trust that together we will see ourselves out from the fog and into more fruitful days because of God’s hand. May we hear God shout, “Behold I am doing a new thing!”