patient and smooth wreckage
I should probably start by saying how much I love my small group. I love pretty much everything about it. No, that’s not true. I do love every single thing about it and every person in it. If you’re looking for a way to get connected and you’re in Evanston- I would highly suggest the Judd house group. If it weren’t for this group, I wouldn’t have a community, I probably wouldn’t even be still going to the Vineyard- and I most definitely would not be where I’m at (spiritually) today.
The coolest thing that we do is prayer at the end. One person is picked and for a couple minutes everyone just stops and listens to what God is showing/telling them for that person. It’s the coolest way to bless people. Well, a few months ago, they prayed for me. I’ve had the paper with those words on my mirror since that day. That way every day I can look at it and be reminded of what it is that God is doing, has promised, and is going to do in and through my life.
Great intentions… yet it turned into auto-pilot. I got so used to seeing that piece of paper on my mirror that it had begun to lose some of its impact. So today, I decided to actually read it. Not just read the words, but to read it- to take it in, to ponder, to reflect, to meditate on it. It’s dated 10/13/2010. Almost five months have gone by, and it’s amazing how true this is still. I’m going to talk about a few of the things on here, because I am amazed at how on target God is (why that surprises me, I’m not sure).
The first was a picture: Standing at a narrow stream- the city behind me and across is an empty meadow. Deciding which way to go.
So, at this point, I felt defeated, confused, and broken- I was seriously contemplating moving back to CT or RI. My best friend’s father (who though I had only known him a relatively short time) had just past away and I wanted to be there for her and her sister and mother. I wanted to go there and fix things. I wanted to be the hero. I wanted to be a big fish in a little pond again. Starting over sucked and I didn’t want to keep doing it. Now, I love where I live, who I live with, I love my community. I know that God called me here, and though things are not turning out the way I had assumed they would, I’m so glad that I didn’t cross over to the meadow- because it was empty. There was nothing for me there. Sure, it would be peaceful and pleasant… but why take pleasant-ness over what God has in store?
Next was a word: “I’ve called you to do some crazy, bold, courageous things. It’s okay to be where you are. There are tons of things to do and He’ll show you what to focus on. He’ll show you every step.”
There’s another one that I believe is tied into that one and that was just a simple phrase: “Beautiful patience”
Though you may not see it in my day to day life (like how my bedroom is always trashed), I am a very driven person. I feel the need to complete things that I’ve started- sometimes to the point of obsession (read the Bible in 56 days, plowing through the entire series of LOST, etc). When I moved here to try to live among Koreans and to eventually go out as a missionary, I needed to make that happen immediately. I was going to find a Korean family, have them “adopt” me and teach me the language. I was going to be fluent within a year. So that I’d be ready to go out immediately. My plans clearly did not happen. I don’t know anyone who speaks Korean- as a matter of fact, the extent of my Korean is just hearing Jin and Sun speak on LOST (only 7 episodes to go- hopefully I can refrain from any further references). Do you realize how freeing those words were for me? To know that God will be doing awesome things in my life… but that I don’t have to rush anything… yeah… pretty awesome.
Actually, I’m reading the paper over again here, and I realize that many of the words all convey the same thing- a puppy that is all excited, but needs time to grow and mature and an ostrich egg- a big thing that takes time to hatch. I love how God really gets that I’m thick headed and need to hear something 4 different ways before I let it take root.
The last two that I’m going to share here also seem to be interconnected (is that redundant or even a real word?). There was a picture of a pebble in the stream and the water is running over it. It’s a process that takes time for the rough edges to be smoothed out.
Now, at first I had thought that this would go into the “patience” category, but after the past few weeks that I’ve had- I realize that it really goes along with this other picture: a piece of driftwood that’s from a ship wreck. That I’d be ruined for Jesus to such a state that all that is seen are beautiful pieces.
Not gonna lie, this one… it terrified me, but it still sucked me in. I mean, anyone who follows Jesus wants that to be true of their lives… they just don’t want to have to go through it. Fine, I can’t speak for others, only myself. I wanted it to be true, but I didn’t want to have to go through it. I’m in no way saying that I’m “there” yet. I know I’m not. I’ve got lots of stuff to keep working on, and possibly always will- but I’m in process. I’m willing to do the work. Just a few weeks ago, I confessed something that I had never told a soul- I hadn’t even talked to God about it because I was so guilt ridden. I forgave and then prayed a blessing for people that I thought had irreparably hurt me. I drove to work on my day off because I needed to apologize to someone for being a jerk. These are the areas that God is smoothing out- these are the beautiful pieces that are being shown. It sucks doing it, but man, is it great to look back on.
So, I’m going to try to really focus on living my life as He’s leading me- that means being patient, and getting ready for some water damage.