We’re back in SAN JUAN!! And oh man, it feels good 🙂
Within 24 hrs of arriving we were saying a hard and sad goodbye to the Buchers and attempting a quick transition back into our life and roles here. So many emotions. So much clinging to Jesus and just being grateful for the people he has brought into our life here. Our team’s willingness to come around us and support us taking our sabbatical is without a doubt one of the greatest gifts we have ever received. I have been so humbled by their servant’s hearts and love they’ve shown. Now here we are once again: humbled, refreshed and holding fast to Jesus…
Of all the moments of life we captured over our last 5 months on Sabbatical, I think this was my favorite:
Aside from the fact that confused Siri is always funny, every time I look at this I think of the way that God hid us away over the last 5 months. No road maps. It was a “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander”- “get out of the boat”- “off the grid” kind of season for us. The photo also represents 3 of the biggest things God taught me while we were away…
SABBATH: I don’t think there is a single commandment God has given us that we break more consistently and shamelessly than honoring the Sabbath. Seems like we’ve all collectively decided that God wasn’t really that serious when he gave us that one. It doesn’t sound that hard, so why don’t we do it?? In my life I always felt like “rest” was a bad word. Rest equaled laziness and worthlessness. I recently read a book though that described Sabbath as an act of rebellion. Rebellion against the cultural norm and against a work-based identity. I liked thinking about it that way. So I’ve decided to rebel. I have decided that when God gives me a houseboat in the middle of a Tennessee lake and surrounds me with rainbows, jumping fish and crying loons, that I will not waste that moment with guilt, stress or fear that I should be somewhere else doing something more important. I choose to be PRESENT. I choose to rebelliously, consistently and gratefully REST. Because, after all, he holds my life in his hands.
ENCOURAGEMENT: I’m so over the idea that I can do this on my own. SO. OVER. IT. We need your prayers. We need your stories. We need your failures. We need your joys. We need your shoulder. We need your hands. We need your time. We need to share ourselves in community. We need to cry together, get annoyed by and learn from each other. We need to be encouraged by the way that we see God moving in your life in amazing ways that you can’t see right now. And then listen when you tell us that he’s changing us in ways we don’t see yet either. We need you to let us practice grace and forgiveness with you. Sometimes we need to be blown away by lavish gifts of love that are completely undeserved but remind us of the way our Father feels about us when we’ve forgotten.
BROKENNESS: I keep waiting for God to fix me. Before we left in January, it was quite obvious that something in me was broken. I thought the sabbatical would be a great time for God to put me back together again. (Make me strong already, God!) Until a couple Sundays ago when the Pastor looked down from the pulpit, straight at me and said “people will always be impressed by seeing your strength, but they will be drawn into relationship and to Jesus through seeing your weakness”.
So I guess that’s it. I’ve stopped waiting to be fixed. Because what I want most of all is to love people and love Jesus well. And if “letting it all hang out” is a better way of doing that then being super impressive, I’m ready to give it a go.
As previously noted, we can’t do any of this without you: our families, our friends, our supporters, our teams. So especially now, in these days of transition, we ask for your prayers. We want God to be lifted high in our lives and our world. Pray for God’s spirit to be living and active in us and around us! Pray for wisdom and grace for one another. Pray for fresh vision and passion for our staff and our teams. His kingdom come!