Do you ever feel like life hits you out of nowhere like a tornado without the tornado warning? All of a sudden, your rosy, cheery existence is interrupted by a whirlwind of upsetting change and chaos that leaves you windblown and chapped as you try to fit together the remains of what you once knew as normal?
That’s how this past month has been for me.
I have just experienced a lot of personal loss that sometimes feels debilitating. My younger sister (who is also my best friend) got engaged and went away to school in Arizona, my uncle passed away, and I said good-bye to the high school ministry at my old church as I now transition to Calvary Chapel Saving Grace.
None of these things are necessarily bad. My sister’s fiancé is wonderful and I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect match for her. She is going to school for nursing and is pursuing her passion. My uncle was mentally disabled his whole life and is now in a better place. The High school ministry will proceed just fine without me and I still get to maintain relationships with the girls and leaders there. Plus, I am gaining a whole new family as I transition to Saving Grace.
So why do I feel like this?
Maybe it’s just because I’m human and change is hard for humans. I am reminded of a verse from one of my favorite Psalms, which says,
“Deep call unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me.”Psalm 42:7
What is the psalmist saying? He is saying “God! Life just keeps hitting me! It’s one wave after another and I’m getting hammered over here!” And then, of course, I imagine the psalmist saying or thinking (because this is what I sometimes say and think) “aren’t You going to do anything about it?“
But what I love about Psalm 42 is that the psalmist doesn’t stay there. In verse 11 he says,
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”
So yes, sometimes life beats you up with one thing on top of another so that you feel like you just can’t take one more wave, but the cure isn’t God reaching down from heaven to stop the waves before they hit you, it’s learning to ride the wave all the way into God’s arms. Spurgeon puts it perfectly,
“I have learned to kiss the wave that throws me against the Rock of Ages.”
I’m still learning that. I’m figuring out (slowly and with many failures) how to step on the bricks that are flying about in this tornado so that I can keep moving toward Him instead of standing there with bricks hitting me in the face or worse yet, turning around and running away back to the “safety” of a tornado shelter.
It’s exciting and terrifying all at once but I can’t bunker down and hide from tornados. I have been called to step out of the tornado shelter, where everything feels comfortable and safe, and brave the unknown. Not alone. Never alone, but with Jesus as my front and rearguard.
All that to say that I love Jesus, I love what I do, and I love serving Him even when life hurts. The good news is that life goes on and there are some pretty exciting things happening at SGWM that God has allowed me to be a part of.
This Sunday will be my first Sunday at Saving Grace as my official church Home and I am SO EXCITED! I will start out serving in the projector ministry and in a few months start serving with the High school and Junior High ministries. We also have 5 new interns starting with us and I get to train them on some of the office responsibilities and what it looks like to send missionaries and be part of that Homefront support network. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for them through this next year.
ALSO, I get to go to South Asia in November! We will be attending and hosting several conferences and encouraging the believers there. My responsibilities will revolve around keeping our financial records straight and accounting for our finances on the field.
- Peace in the midst of the personal chaos
- A smooth transition to Saving Grace
- Wisdom in how to prioritize my time and maintain relationships with people from both Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and Saving Grace
- The trip in November! Safe travels, sweet fellowship, simple financial records
- God’s continued financial provision
Thank you so much for your prayers for me. It is such a comfort to know that as we all navigate through the tornado seasons of our lives, we have each other to look to and lean on for prayer and support. Please continue to lift me up and let me know how I can pray for you! I would love to meet up for coffee or lunch or whatever fits your schedule to pray and share more of what God has done and continues to do in my life and hear more about yours.