ending moments are always the hardest, the most difficult.
especially when they are drawn out and still need to be lived through.
Jesus used the familiar and the known to bring us here during a season of huge upheaval and change and so very many unknowns. a job that had been his for almost 20 years now, off and on, was his again and in the middle of trying to find our way that was entrenched deep in His, we had this.
we had coffee.
we had almost instant community.
and one can gripe and complain about corporate america and the "big, bad" coffee chains that charge too much and support what we don't support and how they probably add an addictive chemical or two that keep you coming back (i heard the same rumour...), but for us, in those months where i stood under a moon and hardly knew a soul outside those 4 that shared a roof with me,
it was familiar when i had lost almost everything.
we had always wondered, when we first moved here, if coffee was the reason or a way to get us into this city, because His Hand in moving us here was so very evident.
and honestly? i had read the statistics on crime and had lived gripped in fear for the first few months of living here, quietly housed on the safe part of town. everything in my head told me that moving here was a risk...but we had no other options.
no other options but to trust the One Who was doing the moving.
trusting that when we found a home out in the country, where it was quiet and peaceful with a small bit of land,
that just before we took that last deep breath and agreed to sign,
we both felt it...
that urging to look closer.
closer to the noise and the pressing in of neighbours and people and traffic.
closer to what didn't feel safe.
closer to a desperate need.
i'm learning, however slowly, that comfort isn't a zone that is found in Christ. that when He asks us to take up our cross, to deny ourselves, to lose our lives,
and that sometimes our sacrifices are bathed in tears.
we give up peace for sirens and chaos and some questionable neighbours just down the street.
we give up coffee and the amazing community that we have found in a group of people who we have learned to love deeply...
and we give it up for the wrong side of the tracks and for those that need Him.
we have dipped our toes in ministry in the past, and we have walked through deep pain and brokenness as a result.
and it's funny, one would think that facing the prospect of watching ones husband drive down into that part of town, where drive-by shootings are a reality, where gangs are a reality, where drugs and who-knows-what-else is a reality would be enough to make me want to whisper out no.
it's the fear of trusting other believers in a ministry setting again. because pain in christian community is so very real, so very possible, and we are still healing from it all.
but it's the story, the one that he came home with after that afternoon spent with those children playing wiffle ball and seeing what all the job would entail; it's the one of the little girl, eight years old, found wandering the streets after midnight because she didn't know where her parents were.
it's because of that young boy i can't seem to forget, the one who tried to act so tough, but whose eyes pleaded with me to notice,
it's all the stories i don't yet know,
the children who haven't yet heard His Hope,
a dark place that so desperately needs His Light,
it's all of these and even more that i can't even comprehend that has me saying a yes that seems to drown out my fear.
He used coffee to bring us to where He wanted us,
but it was only the start.
the endings are always the hardest,
especially when the are drawn out and long and still need to be lived through.
but that beginning ahead of us?
it's rich with hope. hope to hear the laughter of children discovering His Love for them and their worth in Him that is drawing me outside a comfort i crave and closer to Him...