In August, I walked into Barnes and Noble. I browsed the aisles and picked up 3 books, which I bought and have yet to finish (and if you are interested what’s on my reading list, read until the end), but then I sat down with a cup of coffee and reflected on a prayer that I prayed the night before.
I wrote this in my journal:
Father, I am praying that You would help me to find a sense of adventure, peace, comfort, joy and persistence while living here. God, I am inviting You into the gaps that I can’t label or distinguish, and I am praying that You would have Your way with my life. God, help me to make my house a home. To invest + build community, whatever that looks like. God, I pray that I would trust you, and that You would guard and protect my heart.
Today I am writing in my office, which I never do. My office is for work, and usually my writing comes out when I am curled up in bed or at a coffee shop or flying on an airplane. Rarely, if not never, do I stay at the office or go to the office just to write.
But today I am sitting here, intentionally writing, because recently I made the decision to invest and pour into the untapped community surrounding my church. This type of community is something that I have deeply desired for a long time. It has made me ask the question, “do I stay or do I go?”. Finally, after lowering my expectation that I just wanted to slip in, to not have to lead anything else, I felt my heart soften. The one thing that I wasn’t striving for or leaping at was the very thing I needed to start walking towards.
People are so important to me. As an introvert, I think that I love people more than I have words for sometimes. Yet after speaking to high school students about how they are wired, that they are wired for so much more than to just show up and go through the motions, I re-realized that we all have the same calling: Love God, Love people. The importance of community for me is busting at the seams because my dreams and my heart are growing for a city that has so many young adults and so desperately needs to have a place where people can invite their friends to come as they are, with whatever questions, comments or concerns they have.
I could move, explore outside of this city, and find that place to just slip in. To stay isn’t what I envisioned or what I dreamed of at all, but that’s just proof that God changes hearts. He guides us if we pay attention and listen, even to the faintest whispers.
And today, in this space, I am dreaming of what could be. I am dreaming of real, of tired, of worn down, of weary, of broken, of distant and of vulnerable hearts walking into this place and immediately being embraced. I’m dreaming of a place where people are excited and desiring to delve deeper into their walk with Jesus together, collectively. I’m dreaming of a place for everything in-between, and that we would love you, wherever you’re at and whatever season you’re in.
I’m dreaming of community that is going to come from the ground up. Even if I am going to have to fight for it, even if I am going to shed some tears over it, and even if I am going to come some days with nothing left to give.
Let’s run with it…
We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy always thanking the Father.
To Read List:
The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst
Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman
Let’s All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs
Scary Close by Donald Miller
Savor by Shauna Niequist