Monday, June 3, 2013

A New Page Turns

The truth is, we've spent the last four days here in Ohio lazing around and not combing our hair. We've been napping in the afternoon and eating salsa after dark. Grilling, shopping, double dating. I splurged and bought the coolest mirror at Marshalls on clearance for $39, because I'm in that vacation frame of mind.

The truth behind the truth is, we're acting like we're on some kind of snazzy family vacation because we can, and it might be a while before we get the chance again. Big change awaits us on the flip-side of this trip.

Do you ever get tired of me saying that big change is coming?
Me, too.

But this is one of the greatest truths I've learned over the past 3 years: God doesn't leave us sitting still for long. I used to clamp my eyes shut through the wild waves of change, just waiting for still waters. Now I live a little seasick, and it feels like a lifeboat.

We've been in our new home for ten months. Just shy of one year. But we're settled in. We love this chapter. It fits, and it didn't take long at all to notice.

But where I used to exhale when the dust started to settle, I now start opening doors, peering around corners, watching the horizon line.

This is the life I was meant to live - at least today, but probably not forever, because if there's one thing I know for sure it's that as soon as things start to seem normal, a shake-down happens. I'm fine with that. It lends a certain air of adventure to life. - Yours Truly,February, 2013

I had no idea back in February what might happen in June. I couldn't have possibly guessed. If I had, I'd have sold us all short. I'd have settled for what I thought was right and missed out on part of the great romance that God already wrote for us, the one He laid out for us in baby-steps, all sly like a fox. He wooed us toward a future that once seemed foreign and now looks just like a foregone conclusion.

So, in hindsight, it all makes perfect sense. (Hindsight is a friend that way.)

Tomorrow, my husband Cory, takes over as the chaplain for our county jail.

It's so ridiculous and so amazing and I'm bowled over by the kindness of our Savior. I'm in awe at the way he so expertly positions us to do the work He has for us. I'm so grateful I was wrong when I thought God's call was a thing worth dreading or that living a life on mission meant probably never being happy.

Cory has knocked every job he's had out of the park. They used to be what the world might call "important", or "special". He earned a nice living, wore suits to work every day. Heck, he met the President - twice.

But I watched a secret part of him come alive when he went to work at The Crossing. From there we met Robert and then Haven and our life would be incomplete without them. From there we began to see our disenfranchised brothers and sisters through a new lens of love. We started sharing ourselves with new kinds of people and felt our ideas about family stretch and bend. His neckties grew lonely in the closet and his paycheck shrank, but our world began to tilt and we liked the view from where we stood - on the crest of a new understanding that maybe we had learned to value the wrong things.

It's dizzying to unlearn life. It's magical, too.

We're T-24 and I still don't know how to process this. I don't know what to expect and I'm trying not to guess.

The responsibility on his shoulders looks mountainous compared to juggling the schedules of important political figures. He's now the pastor for over 600 criminals. What I know for sure is that these people are hurting. They are wounded. Broken. They are alone. They've largely lived in poverty and dysfunction. They've been labeled and condemned. They have been wrong, just like me. They have failed, just like me. They need love. They need Jesus, just like me.

God has lavished His love on Cory by placing him where his heart beats loudest. It stuns me to think that we might have missed all of this if we had chosen to walk past every little step that made this a no-brainer.

At the risk of wearing you out with prayer requests, could you remember Cory tomorrow? And the days after that?

I'm so excited to watch his work begin. I can't wait to live another chapter with the man who reminds me every single day that obedience isn't the hard thing I sometimes make it. 

 "A saint's life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says - 'I cannot stand any more.' God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God's hands." - Oswald Chambers, The Patience of Faith from My Utmost for His Highest