Monday, August 15, 2016

At summer's end...

Quiet blog. Quite full life. So... life has definitely been anything but quiet since God called me into this full-time ministry role with Compassion at the start of this year, taking care of Ministry Relations in the Greater Toronto Area for this amazing organization.

The song You Make Me Brave has been my anthem... because since starting this role, I've had to wake up each day and ask God to help me with being brave.
I have heard You calling my name
I have heard the song of love that You sing
So I will let You draw me out beyond the shore
Into Your grace
Your grace
You make me brave
You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves

And He has done just that. He makes me brave!

I can say that stepping into this ministry role is, by far, the hardest "job" I have ever said YES to.

Yes, the word "job" is in quotation marks. Because this truly doesn’t feel like a job. Truly, it doesn’t. 

I feel so blessed to be working at Compassion… never in a million years would I have imagined that this would be the path God would lead our family on. Each day, I give thanks to Him for putting me in this role. It is such a privilege!

Yet, it is not easy. It is downright hard. Everyday.

It comes with difficult losses and hard sacrifices and dictates changes to our family's life and our well-oiled routines...

but it also comes with lots and lots of amazing wins and astounding joys!

I wouldn’t trade it for anything... because I know that we are working for a greater purpose --- to see children and families released from all forms of poverty in Jesus’ name.

It has definitely required a lot of being brave. This is the truth.

So each day I draw on that fount of grace and choose braveness as my anthem. 

Each day I choose to do the hard thing and choose to stay hungry for fruitfulness.

Each day I pray and ask for God's favour and stand amazed that broken me is useful to Him.

Each day I put my hand to the plow, embrace new patterns of living and have since found this prayer to be intensely and fiercely true...
May we put our hand to the plow and work as those who have a higher calling. In the days that come, Lord, reveal to us new patterns of living where our spiritual lives and work lives become an integrated whole. May all that we do be worship to You.
We acknowledge that out of the ashes of our lives You are bringing shalom. We believe You are calling us to be a part of Your shalom work in our own cities and across the globe. We ask You to lead us and guide us. We are called to be Your hands and feet. As representatives of Christ we believe we should carry Your message of love and grace into the dark places You came to restore, the places where disease and illness plague people. Lord, do not allow us to seek safe havens, to hide the news of Your gospel; instead, call us out so that Your Good News will be evident to all.
- Chris Seay, A Place at the Table.

The more I grow in this role, the more I realize my need to fully be dependent on God and His all-encompassing grace.

It is what sustains. It is what rejuvenates. It is what restores.

I have also come to realize that, more than ever, I need God to keep the eyes of my heart open. To see and to be reminded about the bigger picture...

because it can be too easy to get sucked into the daily grind and the numbers and the spreadsheets.

I have come to realize that our family's summer pilgrimages are all the more important now.

These summer pilgrimages have played a vital role in keeping our hearts' eyes open and continually aware... to those things that break the heart of God. It has shown us that "mutual embrace of life as it can be."

It is a truly beautiful, sacred thing.

This is why... next week, at summer's end, we will pack our bags and we will head to Haiti... and we look forward to the mutual embracing of life with our two Haitian Compassion children, Bell Bradley and Linsey...

where the mystery of God intertwining our family's story with theirs will be savoured...

where we will embrace the hard and the broken, as He calls us deeper still... 

where we will see afresh the reality of our own brokenness...

where we will continue to draw on that fount of grace and continue to choose braveness as our anthem...

where we will know anew that He truly is a good, good Father... perfect in all of His ways to us.

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