I've spent the past month or so of blog silence dating a guy named Joel and trying to set up the ministry house I mentioned in an earlier blog entry. That being said, there haven't been too many dull moments, and it seems that life is particularly "exciting" right about now. And I mean exciting in every sense of the word...from thrilling to terrifying.
This morning, I am sitting trying to respond to an email from one potential housemate. I need to email the other potential housemate too. I need to talk to another friend who needs to know what's going on with moving last week if not earlier. A communication with my landlord also may become necessary. Yesterday I spent probably two hours with God at church, trying to get my heart to claw its way back to trust. Not that figurative, abstract kind of trust...but the kind of trust that is real and necessary for me to move forward with this vision...or backward with it, for that matter. This morning, I find my heart right back in an un-trusting place. I actually found myself whining in my head as I tried to figure out who to communicate with first, "I have nothing solid to stand on as I make these decisions! No concrete, solid information!" The realization of the wrongness of what I had just thought was instantaneous...but I had still thought it. I can only imagine God saying: "Ouch." As though the solid place I have to stand is my own knowledge of what will come to pass...sigh.
From a worldly perspective, I suppose there is good reason to be afraid. On March 1st, I only knew that my sister, the good friend of a friend who was in need of somewhere to move, and me would be living together. So, I had to call my landlord and say: "I can't promise you I can stay in the house, go ahead and show it." I was ready to lay this vision down on the alter of sacrifice again.
Then, within the next week, I get word from two potential people who are both very excited about the possibility of living in an intentional, Christian community. The first one lifted my heart so much, even as I could only imagine Jesus saying, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" about not telling the landlord I would stay despite lack of physical evidence it would be okay. By the second, I had done a little more research into finding a new house for us. Needless to say, there are no prospects yet that do not leave this little, potential community homeless in May. I checked out every idea I had last week...and couldn't even find any possibilities with a hint of an open door.
Trust. I don't know if I would be so convicted of my lack of trust these past two weeks if it weren't for my relationship with Joel and what it teaches me about God. My entire relationship with Joel has been founded on mutual trust. That started with one conversation until 2am back at Thanksgiving with his family (before we were dating). Joel looks back on that conversation and says that he just knew I was a person who could be trusted. I don't know if I ever trust quite that instinctively, for whatever reason. But it has felt like God is saying: "Trust him." And so, whenever I find myself constructing familiar walls: walls of not wanting to tell him what I need, walls of not wanting to tell him if I'm scared or am weak, walls of trying to hide the intensity with which I relate to God and experience things spiritually...the reminder comes up that I have chosen to trust Joel. And I am constantly delighted to see what happens when I do.
The unexpected thing is that, the decision I make multiple times a week to trust him, actually is trust itself. Trust is not an expectation that Joel will help me or support me in a given way. Choosing to trust IS trust. It is placing my real self in his hands. For the first time in my life, the statement: "Love always trusts" finally makes sense to me.
So, having watched myself trusting Joel, and watched Joel's responses to my trust...it is easy to see how my attitude towards God with this whole crazy house search is, in fact, wildly insulting to Him. I may not be able to tell these potential housemates that I'm just meeting that I have it all worked out. But I can invite them along, give them the freedom to come follow Jesus with me or be free to follow him elsewhere, and then see how He provides for us. Will He give me this vision I've been hoping for? I don't know. Will he allow us to go forward in this in a way that feels safe? I doubt it. Will it look anything like what I am imagining? Probably not. I hope it is 10,000,000 times better, because His ideas always are. I am in a relationship with the very real God who created me, holds up the whole world, and for whom all things are possible. Not only that, I've *witnessed* Him providing in unexpected, timely ways that show He is taking care of me and my ministry. I have no reason to doubt His faithfulness.
Please pray. I depend on Him completely to even have a roof over my head in May. And it is taking everything I have to go forward in Him verses in my own strength and plan.