I've Called You to be a Hope Carrier
Two years ago we said goodbye to a church family that we dearly loved. Our roots were deep, the history of relationship was rich, and the community loved us well.
Our family of seven followed the voice of God to our next ministry assignment, into the unknown territory of waiting and wondering.
It was actually a modern-day Abraham experience. The kind where you hear God calling you out, but have no idea where you'll land - still you go and you believe in His promise.
It was also the ride of our lives...literally. We drove our packed and worn out mini-van for months, to the end of it's days. We also moved into a motorhome for three months while we trusted God to line up the details like we believed He would!
Can we all pause for a moment and feel the heightened hilarity and near impossibility of our family of seven (which includes four grown-sized men) sleeping, cooking, attempting homeschool, and cramming together into a thirty-two foot R.V. during the rainiest Seattle fall on record?
We were tempted to fear, but we knew Jesus better than that.
We were exhausted with the unknowns, but we gained unbelievable trust!
We were tested in calling out the loud lies of the enemy.
The entire journey brought us closer to finding our new church in Washington.
It was there, where we heard God asking us to step in and bring light where ministry felt dim, use our passions to cheer for families, and share the hope that was wound up in the hearts of the Howells.
It was a pretty hard assignment before we ever arrived, and thankfully we were given an honest heads up about that, which helped soften the sad reality that our window of ministry was coming to a close, our work was finished but God was up to something kind.
He in fact was still guiding us, still has work for all of us to do, and although this season felt like a load of exhausting unfinished work - He will still use our time and obedience for so much good.
God was so far ahead of us already, preparing me to surrender the people I'd grown to treasure here.
When I need faith to see a new chapter unfolding - there He is every time. He's done it again friends, and I'm both humbled and dying over the hope He speaks over me and mine.
You see...multiple times a day I stand at the rivers edge in my backyard and watch the current come from upstream.
Every single time it catches my eye and increases my heart rate. The familiar, natural sound machine never runs out of batteries or comes unplugged. It is full of wildlife and wonder.
I am continually stunned...can you even?
My eyes shifted from upstream to downstream a few weeks ago before I even had a hint that transition was on the horizon.
I wasn't sure why and I remember asking Jesus, "This is different. I'm not drawn to the water leaving. I am SO captivated by it's arriving...are you showing me a new thing?"
I tried not to over - Jesus the whole moment, but there was definitely something there and so I prayed on, and heard Jesus say to me, "Jenny you can't stay here and only watch the water arrive to your back porch every single day. You are only finding joy in one direction."
At that point I was like, "Whoa Jesus - I like that direction. It's beautiful watching it come around the corner, hit the rocks just right, rustle the sweepers, and then roll right past me."
He pressed in even more. "You love the river because it is moving, never stagnant, and brings fresh water continually. The river is how I want you to live your days. The promise of what is coming from upstream, continues as it passes you by, carrying fresh water downstream."
He always has has my number. How crazy that I hadn't thought of that all those hours spent praying by the river's edge.
For the past two weeks I've exhaled fear, lies, and some half-way doubt, while inhaling shouts of belief, courage, and healing in the next.
Have you been there? Of course you have.
Jesus continues,"I want you to remember, I've called you to be a hope carrier."
I love how He speaks to me with such kindness and in relation to His creation.
As we step into a season of waiting, trusting, and anticipating Him planting our family in a new ministry, maybe you too can chose to see that the God of the universe is both upstream and downstream.
He is before your coming and also in your going out.
We are expectant and thankful that He sees the things we cannot, which allows our family to yield to His very best and not get hung up in the questioning of His timing.
Join us in the waiting. We are His and we believe He is charting our path as you read these words.