The words get stuck, and I hate that. I don't like coming here with trepidation over what to say. But we are in a tough spot, and I don't know what to write. Scratching out the truth doesn't feel good or look pretty. We knew planting a church like the one God laid on our hearts would be hard - especially here - especially in North America. Our eyes were wide open, but still, when the hard comes, and the questions are hurled, and the whisperings swirl it stings. When the bank account is dry and the house doesn't sell and the job doesn't come it feels ugly.
This hard is real and raw and no longer theoretical. It is here thundering over and around us. But that is the thing about trying to live like the Kingdom people Jesus calls us out to be in this Genesis 3 imperfect world. Our hearts, souls, and bodies are crying out for the pre-fall of Genesis 1, but for now we are stuck right here in fallen, imperfect ruins of what should have been. When your home isn't here, and your citizenship isn't on this earth, you will always feel like a foreigner stumbling along in a strange world. I feel foreign in my own skin - it doesn't fit anymore.
It's hard to fit this fallen body into this space, when I crave the perfect that is on the other side. But that is exactly as it should be - hard. I am not sure when I started believing the lie that if I was truly following Jesus then my life would be easy. I suppose I was duped by the father of lies. And I certainly did gulp it down, slippery and slimy and swallowed it whole, and now it is choking me as I try to spit back up the lies and exchange them for the hard, burning truth that in this life we. will. have. trouble. It's a promise that if we are serious about this following Jesus thing then we have also signed up for trouble to follow us as well.
And trouble is nipping at our heels. Heated, baited breath, fierce.
I am a mess. I feel lost. I feel alone. I wake up and cannot get over it. And it drives me back into His arms. He pursues, pulls and drags me to the security that He alone can give. I resist and push, but my brokeneness and anguish only illuminate the perfectness that He is. I am blinded by it, seared by His grip and pursuit and hold on me. And in this broken, confused, messy trouble, I am right where I belong.
And I squeeze my eyes shut, and I drown in His mercy sinking into His grace. It's not pretty or graceful. I am gasping for air and flailing my arms, sputtering up lies, and feeling the blood rush hard into my ears beating out fears. But I hold on tight and ride the tidal waves of trouble.
I hold on tightly because there is nothing else to hold onto, and the truth is I am the one being held. And for now that is enough to keep moving forward right through the thick trouble.