16 weeks ago...
Tuesday, October 25 at 12:25 AM

my life was good. nice and cozy. comfortable. i had a great job. i was part of an amazing church. i was doing stuff that i enjoyed every day...working with youth, being in ministry, laughing at my friends. i was surrounded by people who knew me well and loved me. my family was close by. i was living in a place that i knew like the back of my hand. it was sweet.

and then, on that beautiful afternoon 16 weeks ago...God showed up. and He didn't come to say "hi. good job. stay here and live well and enjoy the comforts all around you." He came with an invitation...an invitation to follow Him to a place, a ministry, and a life that was completely unknown. no guarantees. no coziness. no way to know what would happen.

i really had no choice. God had changed my heart almost without my knowing it. He had stirred a passion and a desire within me to come to this strange city and serve the people here in His name. and i couldn't say no. no matter how crazy it might have seemed to leave everything i knew and head out into the unknown...i just couldn't NOT do it.

and so...the last 16 weeks have been the most amazing weeks of my life. they've also been the hardest 16 weeks of my life in a lot of ways. starting over is not easy. developing new friendships and strengthening old ones requires a lot of effort. there have been many lonely times. there have been frustrations and questions. i have wondered how i'm gonna live without a job much longer. i have thought how much easier life would be if i had just stayed where i was. i've felt far from God and i've wanted desperately to hear from Him, without much response at times. basically, i have been completely selfish in a lot of my thoughts and feelings...

but i never questioned whether He was gonna do what He said He would do...what He whispered to my heart all those weeks ago (and to other people's hearts LONG before then). i knew He would accomplish His plans through all of us ordinary, messed up people. i didn't know exactly how or even why He was going to use me...i just knew i was ready to do whatever.

and last night certainly confirmed to me that God uses willing people to accomplish extraordinary, God-sized tasks. none of us have things all figured out. nobody on our team is an expert at what they're doing. we don't have anything to give to God that He can't find somewhere else...we've simply chosen to follow Him. to share His love with the community, and the world, around us. He did not come to this planet, die on a cross, and rise again so that we could live comfortable, easy lives. He came to show us how to live. and His life was one full of faith, and obedience, and also suffering. we should expect nothing less.

and as i stood in the back of the theater last night and just soaked everything in, all the hard times and the doubts and fears somehow seemed a million miles away. God was at work. God IS at work. all i wanna do is be a part of that...easy, difficult, whatever. when you know you're right where He wants you, life is the sweetest it'll ever be.

here's to the next 16 weeks...