Thursday, August 23, 2012

Losing Heart

This weekend we will celebrate Grace Church's third year anniversary. As one can tell my blogging has taken a much slower pace since church planting began. Life has just been full speed fast. Having a baby while church planting will also to that to you :)

This picture hangs on Chris' office to remind us of our humble beginnings. Just a group of 20 something kids off to conquer and change the world. We were and still are on a Gospel mission. This picture was taken before a baby among us friend was born dead. Before we saw a marriage fall apart and others on the brink. Before the group of churches we were apart of would go through, and still, a time of shaking like never before. We had no idea what was before us. Chris joked today that he is like the President who looks all youthful and fancy free in his inauguration picture and then a couple years into the deal is completely grey with bags under his eyes. HA! There really is no preparing for being a Sr. Pastor or I'll even venture to say Sr. Pastor's wife.

I was tremendously fearful to plant this church and I can say sadly that for the first time, as a ministry couple, I have actually wanted to give up at some points in the past three years. It has tried me like nothing else. Which is really kind of sad to say. I do not know suffering. I am blessed beyond belief with a Godly, caring husband and four healthy children. And yet, in my selfish sinful nature I have questioned our ministry's effectiveness, our calling and wanted to throw in the towel.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14.

Oh what a beautiful Psalm chapter 27 is. It has been near to my heart for the past year. I dwell on it often and refer back to Paul Trip's book A Shelter in A Time of Struggle almost daily.

"Your motivation to continue is only as strong as what you have placed your hope in. Perhaps this is why we so easily lose heart in the face of obstacles, opposition, or difficulty. Perhaps what we have unwittingly done is try to build our reason for continuing on the shifting sand of flawed and impermanent things that were never meant ot be the foundation of our meaning and purpose or our inner sense of well-being. No human being is capable of carrying your hope. This side of heaven we are all weak and flawed in some way. No circumstance can carry your hope. Every situation you are in is in some way touched by the brokenness of the fall and isn't under your control. Amassing physical pleasures and possessions won't give you lasting hope. For all of their momentary enjoyment, they fill the senses but do not satisfy the heart. When you look horizontally for your reason to continue you will inevitably end up losing hope.

There is only one place where stable and reliable hope can be found. There is only one place of rest for your heart and surety for your soul. There is only one reliable place to find your reason to get up in the morning and continue. When your hope is in the Lord, when you are getting your inner sense of well-being and security from him, when he is the reason you continue even when things are hard, then you are building your life on something that is reliable and sure.

It has been an exhausting, exhilarating three years and I wouldn't trade any of it in for anything. I LOVE our church. I love the realness of people. There is no pretending at Grace Church for the Gospel has freed us to be the sinners in need of grace that we are.

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