Whoa! What is this thing I'm doing? Sitting down to...write?!
Tides have been all kinds of changing, and I suppose I've done well to stay afloat in all the going out and coming in. With the help of some pretty amazing people, we packed up five years of Michylife, stategically squeezed it into a 26 foot moving truck, drove 4 hours through the Heart of it All to the edge of Amish country, and were greeted by a handful of smiling 'stranger'friends who unloaded us into a home we'd only then first laid eyes on. And thus began this journey of 'churchplanting'.
We are as unpacked as we will get for twelve weeks, two of which are now in the books. We survived our first three days of online virtual academy, a hybrid of public school and homeschool. I am truly enjoying teaching Belle, but my heart is torn as Judah and Selah are forced to just mil around a good bit of the day. I try to involve Judah, but I find it requires so much energy to corral his three year old attention span to a task that I am only dragging out the process of our school day. And for Selah's sake, I need to be as concise as possible.
We are working out a rhythm to our days, even as transient as this season is. Rhythm is so important, guiding our moments building hours, the story of our days. Each year the leadership of New Hope (where we are interning) sets aside 21 days at the start of the year for the entire church to fast together as they align themselves with God. Its become part of their "rhythm". Though an emotionally vulnerable time for us on the heels of big change, Aron and I really wanted to experience this time with them.
If you've ever fasted before (no guilt if you haven't, no pride if you have) its a very humbling, stripping experience. To pull away from the tangible things that we often run to for comfort in order to draw near to God, making room for His presence to fill our empty places. I often find myself in a meek, contemplative place, humbled at how little I truly hunger and thirst for God and run after soul filling in so many other places.
Today, people watching this strange new demographic of souls in the middle of the public library, I found myself just longing for comfort. We have just embarked upon a journey that has pushed away from the shore of Stable and Secure, moved to a town almost completely unknown, I haven't had a cup of coffee in a week (that's a big comfort trigger for me, okay?!) and I am yet raw. Yet I find God speaking to me again and again, "Child, you are so quick to bestow this label of "secure" on the systems of man, but is there any more trustworthy than me?" Its the woman in me, the craver of "settle down and make a life". And he knows this, knows how I am dust.
But God showed up in comfort tonight; in a husband who stood beside me to make dinner, complimenting me on my John Mark Pandora playlist. In golden light bowed in horizontal beams illuminating our dinner and warming us through. In the pages of Luke, how Jesus' heart when out to the widow who had lost her son, saying "Don't cry," then raising him to life. And later, to Jarius who had just heard the news his only daughter, only twelve, had died. "Don't be afraid. Just believe, and she will be healed." Only allowing Peter, James, and John to accompany him, along with the child's mother and father, he went in to the room where she lay, dead, and spoke "My child, get up!" Her spirit returned, and Jesus instructed them to get her something to eat.
Those details, they don't escape me; Jesus' tender words to a woman who had lost not only her husband, but now her only son, the way her tears moved him. How Jesus assured Jarius, how he knew the mother and father's grief, allowed them in to see what He was about to do for them. In raising their daughter, he was handing back to them their own lives, their complete devastation only a brief memory. How he knew her physical needs, even just brought from death to life, yet she needed nourishment, and he cared for her. My mind returned us to a room in Children's Hospital when an ultrasound technologist left the room and came back with the head Radiologist who preformed the test for fifth time. How he announced there was nothing there, no mass to be seen, and I wondered, Jesus, how you came near and handed us our hearts back.
Comfort. He brought comfort, even deeper than the familiar or the filling.
This life of faith, I am ever learning, is one of seeking. The treasure of Christ awaits, but the thorns of this life - worry, riches, and pleasures (Jesus' words, not mine) - threaten to choke the faith right out of us. But He...He is our very Great Reward, as he spoke to Abraham. And there is nothing this side of eternity that can compare.