Thursday, September 20, 2012

a pain in my neck

A few weeks ago, Jake got this awful pain in his neck.  I thought it was a crick, he thought it was from working out.  Whatever caused it, it was a doozie! He couldn't sleep very well, was in pain most of the day, and even a massage didn't help.  But, I guess it finally went away because he hasn't mentioned it in a while. Or maybe he passed it on to me... an epidemic!

You see, I woke up with a crick in my neck the other day.  It wasn't terrible, but it got worse throughout the day. By the evening, I had to sit with my body facing right so I could turn my head to the left, aka the only way it didn't hurt.  The next morning I was feeling more myself, but still in some pain. Quick movements still made me want to gasp... GASP (disclaimer- I live with dramatic people, y'all). The crick hasn't let up, but I learned to cope by looking over my left shoulder instead of my right and things like that. I'm making it.

I realized that this is like the sin in my life.  Jake does it first...  No, no, I kid.  It usually shows up unexpectedly. I am confronted with it.  For a while it's like a kick in the face. I rearrange my life because of it's inconvenience.  It's not my ideal and I want it to go away.  And then, gradually, I learn to live with it.  It becomes a little more convenient to just go about my life normally.  To live inhibited. I can pretend like it's not there for a very long time.
But I'm reminded that Someone once said that I was meant for more.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10

Yes.  To live in fullness. Not to cope with my sin and the destruction that it brings. To be able to turn my head to the right and to the left.  To live a new life.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am new!  I do not have to cope with the old me.  I am dead to sin and alive in Christ. I can lay my sin on the altar of His sacrifice. Walk in that newness for which He died. Jesus wants us to be free. He is just that good.

Now if only I could figure out my neck...


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tiny, little packages.

I find it very fitting that we had a baby just weeks before we moved to "birth" a church. I'm sure that when we look back later, we will see so many other parallels.  But presently, a thought has come to my mind.  Actually, it's pretty much in front of my face daily:

there is POWER in small beginnings.

Our journey of starting a family did not begin the way we anticipated. Waiting, excitement, a miscarriage, disappointments, and questions filled the third year of our marriage. God was good to us, so trustworthy and faithful, but this was a small place. Then, as I braced for another month of disappointment, He surprised me.  It wasn't my timing or my plan.

It was bigger.

I had been stripped of reasoning and practicality and realized that I had been in "pleasant places" all along. And this place included anticipation, lack of sleep, tiny clothes and very swollen ankles, all leading up to an especially great Sunday. In the midst, we were preparing to plant this church.  Similarly, we had to wait and we had disappointments and we were in a pleasant place.  And I think Jake's ankles were even a little swollen...

Sometimes it felt like we were going to be preparing to go forever! BUT, now we have birthed a little church.  We have a small gathering of people.  And just like Harper surprises us everyday with something new, this church is constantly growing.  Friendships are forming, intercession is changing this city, and God is showing up in power.  Almost everyday we say how much we love how little our girl is.  She can't do very much or return the love we give yet, but our affection for her grows.  Our church is simple and we don't always know what we're doing, but we wouldn't trade it for the world! We cherish this season of small but powerful.  Because, as we've already seen, God's small is so much bigger than we could imagine!