Yay, Transitions

E, blessings on your move, man!  I hope your last day at work mostly points to the places you've been and undergirds the work the Lord has loved thrusting you into and working out through you.  Ah, Billy!  Soak it up, man.  Get ready for stepping up to higher heights through school. Yesterday, I got a job and we decided on the house to begin married life in and spend the next year living out of.  That news was like a sack of flour on my chest getting lifted off to be redeemed in communion loaves. Thanks for your prayers, guys.  The job starts Tuesday.  I'm going to bear the (flat) title of "Hispanic Community Development Worker".  I"ll be based on a local Junior High School, working with the struggling Hispanic students, especially with linguistic skills and with extra attention on their tougher subjects.  I'll also be calling their parents regularly and hoping to involve them in wider community development projects that would invaluably need their input.  I'm really nervous, since I haven't regularly spoken Spanish in the last 2 and a half years and I haven't worked directly with Junior High kids since a summer camp in 1996.  As far as the Lord is in this, I'll "succeed";  I just gotta look for his hand and serve. The house that Lisa and I found is in a neighboring suburb called West Chicago.  It's predominantly Hispanic nowadays, which will be a great complement to the kind of ministry God may be wanting to involve us in down the road.  Hopefully, Lisa can learn some Spanish as well.  The house is extremely well-priced for Chicago;  it has three bedrooms and a 'football field' fenced-in backyard that my dog will do laps around.  We are wanting to host gatherings for the church and the community and this house will be perfect! It's funny, 'cause Lisa and I both have been pretty anxious in the last couple weeks.  Job on the line, school on the line, housing on the line, wedding planning to do, summer school work to do... these areas that God wants to bless and be blessed by are on the surface seemingly the 'problem areas' in our lives.  For the first time this week, Lisa got genuinely angry at me.  There's a lot of question marks to live out daily and it's hard.  But they are also opportunities.  Lisa and I have had to spend a couple days talking.  But 90% of it was just entering into that grace-space that God's marked out for us together.  She needed to be angry and I needed to see my actions better in her anger.  But it all had to take place in that space.  The temptation is to blame and push out of that space.  'Me vs. you' instead of 'we'.  Lisa and I are learning to communicate better and I am blessed again to see that she is as willing as I am to work through and not around the problem areas. In Scripture, marriage is such a metaphor of the Christian life.  These times of question-mark living require so much dependence, so much relational energy with the Lord, when the temptation is to make the anxiety a 'me vs you' issue with God, rather than a 'we'.  I often want to do the escapist or Zen thing and just say, "No expectations; whatever will be will be".  But God does not want detachment, he doesn't want non-involvement, he doesn't want excuses.  He wants me, Lisa, his Church.  He wants right attachment to Him.  He wants submission to His presence in that grace-space marked out in Christ.  It is not detachment in anxiety's presence, it is full-frontal engagement as much as possible, hard humility, and obedience to the Lord's clarifying will.  I suck at this, I realize every time, but God keeps giving opportunities to redeem.  I get to see my actions toward him better in anxiety.  I get to be weak where He's strong, I get to fully be myself, who and where I am right now, and enter into the freedom of his presence where He gradually, increasingly meets me, me and Lisa, His Church.  And I am always blessed to see his faithfulness present there in that grace-space again, where the 'we' is grown, my privilege and struggle to live out - in my life, me and Lisa, in the Church. Yesterday was a day of rich worship for me and for Lisa and for the friends at church who've been praying through this with me. E, as you get ready to move into the next phase, I look forward to seeing the Lord with you, brother.  


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