Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A time for boasting

2 Corinthians 12:9. "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

So, boast I will. The best way I know how to most effectively get you up to speed on what's going on with us is to use the above verse as a backdrop. It's been almost 2 years since we uprooted our family from Nashville to move to the Seattle area to start a church. That decision has brought up and magnified almost every weakness we have personally and as a family. We arrived weakened by the grief of leaving what we knew as home. We felt very intimidated by the task before us - to sustain ourselves here while starting a church from scratch, something we had never attempted before. In the past few months we have felt the depths of loneliness, financial strain, anxiety, doubt about our calling, the reality of our own sinfulness & inadequacies, frustration, rejection, disappointment, pressure.... Weakness at an intensity we had not experienced before. We have been stretched far beyond what were once many of our comfort zones. There have been many dark moments when we have thought, "If anything comes of us and of this, it will undoubtedly be the Lord's doing."

And there's the point. In the midst of it all, God has been working out His purposes. In the midst of some of my most depressing days, relationships were being established, connections were being made, ministry was happening. In the midst of doubt and feelings of inadequacy, there has been peace. In the midst of intense emotional pain, He has comforted and given strength. Ultimately a foundation was being laid that we would desperately need to build upon. An unwavering dependency on our Savior.

I can gladly boast in these weaknesses, not because they are all in the past - they are very much still present, but because of what I see God doing despite them. It honestly fills me with great joy! Our family has been sustained physically, emotionally, spiritually. We have seen God provide for our family as well as Connect again and again when the outlook seemed impossible. The vision of Connect, which begun in the heart of my husband about 4 years ago, has been transformed into a reality. We launched in September of last year and since January have witnessed steady growth, both in the amount of people attending as well as in individual spiritual depth. People who once had a disdain for anything related to church, are now faithful attenders, growing in their relationships with God.

I could write pages about God's transforming work in people's lives that we've gotten to witness first-hand, as well as the massive amount of details He has orchestrated to provide for us and to bring us where we are now. It's absolutely amazing! And it has absolutely nothing to do with us or the faithful partners in ministry God has blessed us with here. Just as we are more aware of our weaknesses than we have ever been, we are more aware that it has everything to do with God. Funny how that works.

So, we are grateful for this season of blessing and encouragement. It is a time for boasting in the Lord and praying He would keep us ever mindful of how incredibly dependent we are on Him.

Finally, if you are in a place of weakness, no matter the form, be encouraged if you are God's child. He is working to do something mighty in your midst.

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