Fragility & Peace in the Waiting (1/30/17)

Below is the new family verse, from my husband who continues to show more and more leadership, resolve, commitment, and vision for our family. His steadfastness helps me to trust the Lord and to truly deeply believe that contentment is possible in every situation. Of all things I am grateful for, this man is at the top of the list:

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.                                        -Philippians 4:4-13

Today, I am struck by the fragility of the human condition and by our propensity to abuse and manipulate one another. I am struck by how this leaning is somehow fueled by our yearning to be loved and noticed, and when we think we are unloved and unnoticed, we will often "take matters into our own hands" to achieve a taste of it. I am struck by the way we ignore the impact of pornography and sexualized culture on the psyche of our young men and women, like I look in the face of teenagers (children, really) who have no explanation for their behaviors except that pornography wrecked them and ransacked their affections (okay, they didn't use those words). It is not lost on me that I am just as capable of taking advantage of others as the young men I work with. It is not lost on me how selfish I am at my Jesus-less core. it is not lost on me that the biggest thing of all He has saved me from is the ugliness of myself without him. Please just remember that we truly have more in common than we have different, and a large part of that commonness is our equal amount of brokenness and how pain and hurt can transform us into people we are not proud of. Hallelujah for the saving love of Christ Jesus. I see hope in the eyes of these kids. I believe that His love can work through me, that maybe they can grab on to that hope for themselves.

The first day I really struggled with accepting what a client had done-- despite that I can understand to a degree why the client did what they did. I wrestled with maintaining the same belief in the client and hope for the client, now knowing what the client is capable of. In that moment, I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, "I see them the same. My affections toward them are unchanging. Nothing can dampen my love for them and I am calling you to this same kind of steadfast, unchanging, love. What an incredibly heavy calling. I am in fact, incapable of such a task. How I need His eyes for His people, to believe there can be a light & to realize that the darkness within this client, which shakes me, resides too inside of me. Jesus wrecked my nasty heart and he turned my heart of stone to flesh. I have to believe this is possible for them too.

(Side note: the Lord seems to be giving me favor that I honestly feel completely undeserving of. He is working beyond what I understand to accomplish His purposes in me. This both excites me and intimidated me. Here I am, Father.)

Wanting to remember the sweet prayer beginnings of Seth & Kristina's little one. This evening she thanked God for just about every object in her bedroom, and though she was really just procrastinating bedtime, it was adorable. I'm praying she really does learn how he is our closest friend and that she can thank Him and talk to Him any time at all.

Transparency moment: sometimes school literally feels like it's never going to end, even though I have an actual date when it does. Needing Jesus to do a serious 180 to my attitude cause the amount of done I want to be is unreal.

May just be the ups and downs of emotions, but I do feel more at home with the waiting this week. I feel like the place of waiting is something I do not have to despise or be uncomfortable in. Though I am surely tempted by worry and fear, my heart of hearts knows that He has the best in store and is not slow to keeping His promises. My life to this point has been nothing but the Lord keeping to His word and opening all the doors as He saw fit. I remember vowing to myself that I didn't want to be a pastor's wife. I remember feeling so surely that I didn't want to do ministry in the local church. I had my misguided reasons, and how wrong I was. Here I am. With a love and a calling to the local church. Here I am, waiting to mother older children as my first children. I'm not where I thought I would be, and it's exactly where I should be and want to be. I'm at home in this to-be-unfolded life. He has my in His capable hand.

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.Lamentations 3:25-26

We are all missionaries. No Christian is exempt. If you don't see the lost people around you, your eyes are sleeping. Wake up! You have been gifted to serve. You have unique talents and skills that the Lord is waiting to utilize. You don't have to leave the country to live as one who is sent. Do you know all your neighbors? Do you know neighborhoods no one likes to drive through? There, that's where you go. 

Not convinced? 1 Corinthians 12. 


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