I am in the process of being reset – financially, church wise, friend-wise, and especially spiritually. Coming from a broken engagement and a year of isolation and healing has brought me on a long, hard road. I’ve seen clearly the ugly side of myself. I’ve seen I wasn’t following Jesus well. I’ve seen what it is like to live out of community and yearn for it.
It has been a long couple of years, but like all things in my life Jesus has used the bad to point me to Him and grow me through it. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but through those I’ve learned about Jesus’s kindness and love. He has shown me grace upon grace. He opened the door for me to transition out of my desert season and into one with soothing rain. It has been refreshing to my soul like a shower on a hot, dusty day.
Everything smells so fresh and new. It has brought about so much growth in me. I’ve been rediscovering my heart for people and for ministry. Before, I was in an isolated shell and couldn’t wait to be out of it.
I’m now in a community (Riverside Church in Ft. Myers) that has shown me again what it is to love and live like Jesus. People pursued me, and wanted me to grow with them in our relationship with Jesus. Slowly, day by day I’m being rejuvenated and healed by Jesus working through the Porch (young adults).
Slowly, I’m feeling like I’m gaining a sense of direction and purpose again. I don’t feel like I’m at the mercy of whatever current is pulling on me, but rather I’m seeing the River I am a part of. It’s beautiful and simple. It’s biblical. It’s what Jesus wants and has called me to do. It’s the mission statement of my church – to make and send disciples who love and live like Jesus.
Something that we talk about frequently is the Upper story perspective and the Lower story perspective. The Upper is the big overarching story that only God knows fully and understands. The Lower is us and our circumstances. For a long time, I was caught and paralyzed in the lower. Being here has reminded me that though I don’t know or understand everything that God has my best interests in mind. HE knows what’s going on, and He’s brought me all of this even though I’ve bumbled along.
I’m so thankful to be in this cool spot, along with many others who have a passion for this. It is renewing to my soul and bringing the passion back to my bones that has cooled over the years from hurt and loss. I’m part of something larger. This week we celebrated our 100 year anniversary. We remembered our past and the hard work the people before us did to get us here. We also looked at the future with hope and a desire to bring Jesus to our community.
I’m excited to see what He does and where He brings me in the coming years. I’m excited for Him to teach me. I’m excited to pour into others and to learn how to make disciples. There is so much good, and that is all because of Jesus. It is His grace and mercy that I am here and in a place to be writing this. And it’s awesome.