Life has been amazing, frustrating, nerve-racking, and glorious over the past few months. The frustrating: I've been packing on a few pounds as a result of not being able to run since before spring break. Back in March, I noticed a sharp pain in my right knee, so of course, I kept running because I'm smart like that. After a few different diagnoses and remedies that did nothing, I finally opted to see a knee specialist at the orthopedic center. His diagnosis: chondromalacia, a really long word that means, "the back of your kneecap is jacked up." Basically the doctor figured out that my ligaments and tendons are so stretchy (funny since I'm not the most flexible person in the world, but I am "double-jointed," if that even exists), that they're not doing the proper job of holding my kneecap in place when I run. So, as I've run miles and miles over the last 5-6 years, I've been losing cartilage under my kneecap. And if I continue to do so, it will be bone-on-bone. Yay! Physical therapy starts this week and I'm ready for it. My knee has felt horrible lately and it's been two months. Sometimes if I fall asleep curled up I wake up almost in tears because my knee has locked up. Yep, ready for it to be gone. But until then I get to wear a super sexy brace that runs from my thigh to my shin and holds my kneecap where it should be!
Now to the amazing: WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! It's beautiful and so cute and perfect for us for right now.
The basement isn't finished, so that will be a big project for us, but we're excited for everything that this house will bring. Fun nights with friends and family, nights sitting out on the deck watching the stars (we're semi in the country), babies someday, and much more!
Our offer was just accepted today, so we have to get through all the other stuff until it's officially ours, but I've been asking God to let it happen if he wants. We looked at this house on Thursday night, and so the past couple days God has been working on my heart about this. I remember my days when I said I would never buy a house as nice as this, that I wanted to live in a tiny house in Mexico and build homes with Casas. And that would still be amazing, but I ask God, "Why? Why do you choose us to live here?" Because let me tell you, we told God, "If You don't want us here, make it very clear to us. Don't let us get this house if You want us elsewhere."
When I came back from living in Mexico, I judged people for living in nice homes. I truly did (and I was way wrong...this is the danger of long-term missions). I promised I would be back and that's where I would do my ministry. My heart was (and still is) for the poor and for the forgotten about. But God has revealed something to me in my last year of teaching in one of Sedgwick County's more affluent schools (not like Maize, but I mean it's close). All year I've asked God, "God, I've been so willing to go teach in places other teachers don't want to go, and you've given me a coveted spot in an amazing school, why?"And this is the conclusion I've come to: I hated the rich. So God dropped me right in the middle of them in my school. He has shown me that although someone is rich, they may be spiritually impoverished. What if when God talks about the poor of the Bible and helping them, he's not only talking about the financially poor? What if he's talking about the spiritually poor?
I hope this post hasn't sounded...I don't know the word. Haughty? Rude? I-get-to-work-in-Valley-and-you-don't? Because that's not what I mean at all. I just wonder why God blesses me with a new home and there are people who serve him wayyy more than I do, and they live in a shack in Juarez. I have done absolutely nothing to deserve anything He gives me. But I can bet that when we move into this neighborhood, and as I continue to serve at the school I have fallen in love with, I will continue to fall in love with the people who surround me.
I have been diving deeper into the Bible lately with Beth Moore. We've been studying Daniel, prophecy, history, and the end times. Because friends, it's coming. And it doesn't matter what kind of house you lived in or what school you attended or what car you drove, we all will have the Almighty to answer to. As I've learned from Zechariah 3, we will stand before God and Satan, with Satan accusing us of everything we are truly guilty of. It will be the first time he's told the truth. And my Jesus will step in and say, "Enough. She's with me. I paid the price for her." And I hope this is true for you too.
I don't want to be the person standing on the corner with a bullhorn shouting, "REPENT OR GO TO HELL!" I honestly can't stand it when I see that. Really reaching a lot of people, huh? People don't want to be yelled at and argued with. They want to be loved. This is the best way to share Christ. And stop freaking people out with all your Christian weirdness and lingo. We have to be culturally relevant in this modern-day Babylon we live in, but cling to Christ at the same time praying not to be changed by it. We can't run around acting like freaks all the time, telling people they're wrong and dragging Christ's name through the mud.
Just love people!
I hope that Andrew and I can use our new little (temporary) home to reach out to people and to love on people and to share Christ with them. I pray that God keeps my heart humble and exalts himself in this new place. I love this city and the school I work in. These students have burrowed so deep in my heart that when they hurt, I hurt. I'm not exaggerating. It is my prayer that I can have the patience and grace to love the rich, the poor, the sometimes bratty, the ones that hate me. (Want to be hated? Become a teacher. A good teacher.)
God has done the exact opposite of what my selfish heart wanted. He dropped me right in the middle of the people I judged. And I am learning so much from it. Don't get me wrong, serving the financially poor and the suffering is an amazing, God-ordained thing. But if that's what I had continued to do, I believe my head would have gotten so big there would have no longer been room for God himself.
He always knows best.