Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jumping Tandem 3, (in)RL, Mentoring, and the truth about it all...

OK. I'm jumping right in. I'm lonely. It's true. I'm not afraid of being alone, I've grown quite comfortable with it (I've spent a lot of time there in my life). I prefer community, but somehow, community isn't comfortable with me? Maybe? I don't know. There was a time, just a year ago, when community was rich with girl friends, and prayer partners to be on my knees with and wait on God, and it all seems just like a dream...a beautiful dream. And yet here, in this new place, nothing is clicking. It's back to the life of my 18 years in the desert (that I've blogged about before), and it's NOT a small town, and there are folks from other places all around, and tons of opportunities to serve - but there has yet to be kindred spirit relationships in my life. Sigh. I just wanted to get that out there and out of the way, so you know my life isn't perfect or anything. I struggle. A lot. And especially about this area of my life. I'm teary and gripy all at the same time....it's my internal 2 year old pitching a fit. OK. Done. (well...maybe...)

Our (in)RL group - Fayetteville, AR - at the GO Center

That being said, I had a LOVELY time with all our (in)RL group this morning!! A few came that weren't on my list, a few didn't show that said they would, and all in all it was perfectly what God wanted for us. My biggest fear was that everyone that mentioned coming would show up and I wouldn't have enough SWAG for everyone - but it worked out ok. Everyone got a bag of goodies. Everyone got things to take home. :) I saw phone numbers being swapped, and lots of little discussion groups starting up, and that was very cool, to sit back and take it all in. God was working. yay!

Now the dishes are done, the layer of powdered sugar removed from my kitchen (I did a cupcake bar, with 3 kinds of frosting) and left overs put up (thanks to DH for all his hard work!!). It feels a bit like the day after Christmas. A little empty. That let down and heavy sigh that there's nothing like this on the calendar for next week....or next month. Actually, I don't have anything completely social on my calendar at all. That's the reality of it. That's the underlying cause of that heavy sigh.

sigh.

I've seen some great feedback on the Mentoring session from (in)RL today. I'm so grateful that SarahH and I got to do it together. I miss her sweet smile being here...miss ME being in KY...truth be told. I miss a lot about that place, the prayer partner I could dance in prayer with, sisters in Christ that bonded to my heart and challenged me to grow in the Word, and the laughter that ensued from double date nights. God hasn't replaced those folks, and I don't know if we're missing them along the road, or if it's just the busy-ness of life. I miss them. A lot.

So, having a lot of time on my hands - that I try to fill with doing "stuff" - since sitting alone while your husband is out of town is just TOO depressing if you calendar is empty too - so this "stuff" I'm doing all sort of relates to women, missions, and care of those global workers. There's a common theme. Even in the Social Media stuff I'm doing with DaySpring right now, I see God's hand at work at encouraging folks that write in from around the globe and comment about how Roy's blog, Meet Me In The Meadow, has touched them. I see God at work in me, through me, but I still pray for a face to face, God-in-skin girlfriend relationships.  I know, be patient.

Last weekend, as Lisa-Jo was taking center stage at the Jumping Tandem Retreat, God was weaving His God-sized dream through me. The seed was planted last winter with the idea of  "w*Him" and what that might look like as a movement of care. Then planting the seeds of a little handbook, and now the culmination of that trip down the road (details to be announced when it's His time to do that. For now, I'm to be obedient to the call of putting that little book together. Something I've never done before. Finish a little book. yay. (I've always loved to write, but never wanted a book...ok - not REALLY a book...more like a HANDBOOK..but this is still new to me.)

So God used Lisa-Jo to take these bits and pieces of a dream, and weave it into a real plan, something I could really do. Complete a few tasks, dream a little dream, let God breathe life into them, and see what He wants to do with it. It might end with that - just a little book and a blog that looks a little different in focus. It might be a whole new ministry with a larger group - or multiple groups - meeting together to be encouraging others abroad. I don't know. HE does.

And along with these dreams, I've got an underlying prayer to "let go of the good, to grab hold of the better" and I have no idea what that looks like. Honestly. I want a rich marriage - first and far most - and want good relationships where I'm building into our kids marriages and families. I want to have a great relationship, and active prayer life, as I lift up my kids and grandkids to God, and see Him at work in their ministries, their lives. I'm not willing to give up on those things.

I live with passion for the nations, for unreached people groups, and work loosely with a great sending agency, Team Expansion - that facilitates the sending of people to reach the nations for Jesus - to church plant - to disciple nationals so that they are equipped to build the church in their neighborhood - whatever that neighborhood looks like. I LOVE praying with people who are seeking God to move them into serving in missions, whether they go with Team Expansion or not. I love equipping with prayer, those that are called to GO. I don't think that's what's supposed to be removed from my life - but I could be wrong.

I'm involved with mentoring a lot of girls right now - maybe a dozen of them - most of them excited for missions, and seeking supporting words to propel them to a field. I believe in mentoring, and it's built some wonderful, beautiful relationships for me in the past - but these girls, this time - they are mostly college age, and their lives are full of activities and friendships. I am more of a "consultant" than a mentor - we are friends in that they gladly pray with and for me too, but our lives don't intersect at all (besides going to the same church). We are in completely different ages and stages - and I love it - but it's sort of "out of sight, out of mind" (for them)....and especially now with finals looming and mission trips around the corner, it's a little quiet around here. And that's ok. So that's going to slow down (and eventually disappear) whether I plan to or not. It has already. So that's one "good thing" slipping from my hands, to make room for the "better thing" to hold on to.

I started working at DaySpring almost 2 months ago, pt/temp in Social Media - and it's such a good fit! I love the people there, although there's no real friendships growing there (yet). I LOVE their missional hearts, and they've been amazing supporters for my Missionary Care ministry for several years now, so getting to work there for this season feels right - a sort of "pay it forward" thing (although I'm getting paid to work there, through a temp agency, I know that it's helping them out while a key member of their team is on maternity leave.).  The work isn't really HARD, but it's got elements of prayer, ministry, marketing, photography, writing in bits and pieces, and juggling - to be sure. I see that this can be beneficial for all of us, for God's greater glory. So that's not something to let go of for now. It's a GOOD THING to hold on to...but not too tight...it feels balanced and like it's a *dream come true* to a dream I never knew I had! (Thank You God!)

Well, I could go on and on I think, but I'm putting myself to sleep - I'm so weary right now....or am I just COMFORTABLE? Maybe that's it, even more. I desire these deep, kindred spirit friendships, but am I missing them right before my eyes? Am I really looking for who HE places in my path, or just assuming that "this person" or "that one" will (or will not) walk near me in life? Am I TOO relational? Can you BE TOO relational?? Wasn't Jesus really relational??  Oh goodness, I don't know what I'm saying, but these things I know are true:

  • There is a God. He has a Son, Jesus. He was born of a virgin, Mary. Was persecuted, died on a cross, buried in a tomb, and rose again; then was ascended to heaven where He lives at His Father's right hand. He exists as Father, Son and Spirit.
  • He loves me (and you, and every sinner out there, no matter what sin it is that has gripped hold of their heart), and He is delighted to forgive me when I confess and repent of my sins.
  • He will walk with me, no matter where He leads, or where I drag Him. 
  • I want Him to be glorified in my life.
  • I desire to walk in obedience to His will, and His Word. 
  • I'm willing to be changed by how He shapes me, or whatever means He uses to transform me.
  • We will live together someday...oh happy day!
PS - PLEASE read my next post on God's redemption of this day and my gripy, emotional feelings...LOVE how He takes the worst of us, sifts us, infuses HIM into us, and makes us HIS....