Free Life Chapel: Intentionally Spiritual

 

Is it an oxymoron for a church staff to make an effort to pray together on purpose? Well, we are.

It sounds contradictory to your perception, right? Hate to burst your bubble but praying together is not on our weekly office priority list from Tuesday-Friday… we work, and lots of it.

However, this week at Free Life, we are going intentionally spiritual – as a staff and personally – to remember the why: why we are each here, and why we are here serving this city for the purpose of Christ. We’re starting our work day off as a group, praying with each other and over each other, and discussing the why of what we do here each week.

peace-it-does-not-mean-to-be-in-a-place-where-there-is-no-noise-trouble-or-hard-work

It has been exceptionally necessary for me, as I have recently forgotten, and remembered again, why I am here instead of somewhere else. Somewhere that may seem more enticing, more fun, easier, more perks, and in turn more distracting. I know this season is strategic, as was the one prior to that, and the one prior to that. Foundational. I know that God is, as always, trying to speak to my heart about something. The problem is when my heart becomes so heavy with other things that I cannot hear him. It’s seriously the worst… like trying to run in thick fog.

Yes, exactly, can’t breathe.

When I was in Haiti I would think sometimes that if I could just get a moment in an American church, with English worship songs, then I could certainly more easily connect with Jesus. Now I find myself, not only in America, but on staff at an incredible church – yes, on staff, which is like as much in an American church as you can get – and I find it so distracting at moments that it all just translates as chaos in my head .

However, I have heard the contrary from others before – feeling like if they could just go out into the mission field, do something seemingly more tangible, then certainly their passion for Christ would truly be ignited. To you, dear person who thinks that, let me help you with something – it won’t. You will just be hot and irritated, on top of all the stuff you arrived with. Not a good combination – trust me, I’ve seen it.

All in all, the ‘God life’ is in the heart, not in the life, at all. It has nothing to do with where I am or what I do each day for work. It is all a matter of my heart, and how my heart seeks the heart of the one who saved me.

There are so many times where I have a though of a different path that would be so much easier, and this week I am reminding myself that I didn’t ask for easy. I don’t want easy. I want worth it. And I know in the deepest part of who I am that the lessons I am learning right now, the distractions that are in front of me, the sacrifices that I am making in these years, are more worth it than I could ever pay for.

And for that, I am grateful.

A Rare Glimpse Into My Thought Process.

I haven’t written much in the past month. Not because I couldn’t write and not because I had nothing to say. But because I had no words to serve proper justice to what is under weigh in my heart.

It’s not easy to share in a hard place, always better to share the story in hind sight, after it has all worked out for my good. But you know I’m always told to write down my feelings because one day I will want to tell my kids how I felt and I won’t remember. All I can say today is that my hurt is burdened. I know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and I am confident that there are blessings on the other side of this test of obedience, but the process of pressure that is building my exit has me at a place where I’m just ready to walk away.

There have been many times that I have come to this point and have not walked it through because it hurts me to see those hurting around me. Apparently a pressure cooker needs the pressure in order to cook correctly, but at some point I have got to stop crying.

(Is this normal? No clue.)

I can’t think about it, I can barely talk to the closest people in my life because my current reality is heavy.

I love my life.

I love my normal.

I am so grateful and so blessed.

I love my church. I love that it doesn’t take going to the street to see true and tangible change in lives, and that is what is happening at Free Life Chapel.

This is the moment where relationships are truly tested. Were they becoming because they were convenient or available? Or was there something that connected a relationship worth investing in? I am grateful for the relationships that I know will remain.

No matter what, I feel like I am leaving my place in my home. Giving up my room. The place where I feel valuable and purposeful. When I come back, will it be the same? I almost feel guilty  because I’m bringing this on myself. I don’t have to feel this way.

I could just stay.

And then my heart wouldn’t be aching with the slightest thought of leaving this place that I call home. I wouldn’t be making myself sick over the idea of gambling the most precious relationships to me in the world for the opportunity to serve a small community of people.

I have a good life. I am in a good position. Why is it even necessary to go? I have no clue. Is it just longing for adventure? Is there something that I need to learn about God and faith and trusitng Him that I’m not getting in my element? I don’t know. I have asked myself that same thing and tried to substitute the idea with another and I keep returning to this point.

This same point of “go or don’t go”. I could just stay in my good life where I know the ropes and it’s comfortable. People do it all the time. People have huge dreams and desires in their heart and instead they stay where they’re comfortable and live a happy life, never knowing what else they could have missed out on.

 It’s harder because it has been my choice. It is so much easier for me to react courageously to other’s choices that I have no control over, but it’s never been me who caused my own pain. This is something new.

I am holding on to what I know to be true, and trusting that God has a sufficient plan.

Goodnight,

Hope