I'm feeling the restlessness of last night's wee hours. Unless sick or seriously sleep deprived I'm never asleep before at least midnight... preferrably 1 or 2am after all artistic or literary inspiration has worn off. Last night I was tired...sleepy tired at 10:30. I read some George Mueller until I woke up with knuckle prints on my face from having fallen asleep on my hands clasped over my book. It was only 11. I turned out the lamp and promptly went to sleep. I received a text message at midnight....further proof that I am usually awake at such hours. I then proceeded to wake to look at the clock at 2 and 3 and 4 and 6:30. My alarm was set for 7. I also never wake up before my alarm.
All day I keep telling myself I shouldn't feel tired. I'm sleeping...usually, eating fairly well, excercising...sort of... this week ;) and had four previous days of rather mellow activity. But... my mind has been running full tilt....like those rides at the carnival where something sets it spinning happily and the next thing you know you are vertical, plastered to the side of a metal cage, held in place by centrifugal force.
I'm expecting a rather large change in circumstance at the end of the summer. It started out with the epic conversation and has continued through all the turns, shadows and nuances of God changing a heart to rest in His plan. The factor that has added the most weight to the decision is seeking to discern whether or not to go with this plan because its location is just far enough away to indicate leaving this church community that I have become so deeply rooted in during the past three long, full, yet brief years. Layered on the constant feeling of trying to peel myself off the spinning cage and get some solid ground under my feet again is the constant introspection and self-application of a biblical counseling class I am finishing and then the enjoyment of working to engage daily needs and activities of family, friends and ministry. But every few moments I just lay my head back and spin, cause I caught another glimpse of the guy with his hand on the control lever. Jesus has been so present in this. I'm not retreating to all the mental scenarios and what-ifs that are my usual tendency in decision making, but I'm talking it out with every friend and family member close by. Ever try to carry on meaningful conversation during a spinning ride? Much wise counsel and a multitude of passages from Scripture and other books have provided timely insight to uphold my heart.
Through continued conversation with my pastor and the leadership here, the plan is beginning to take shape with purpose, feeling less like an indefinite transfer and more like purposeful move to cross-train in another aspect of this ministry.
Lord-willing I will return to my current site in a few months better, stronger, and hopefully wiser to fill a different role. And instead of an uprooting never to return, this plan C times out to fit needs of several people within this ministry as well as fitting big dreams to live with a friend from church and move even closer to that community as well as to my immediate family. I love how polarized A/B choices are usually neither, but simply the avenue God uses to field conversation and analyses to get us to the third way he desired all along. I'm aware to guard my heart against resting in this change God is leading me to only because I now have a more concrete plan, or because I can envision the possibilities and have vision for them, but because He is actually putting peace in my heart for this. Where there is not yet peace, there is grace for peace.
I got an update letter from another ministry in the mail a few moments ago:
The writer quoted this:
"Both the Scriptures and the history of the church teach that if the Holy Spirit is working, the whole man will be involved and there will be much cost to the Christian. The more the Holy Spirit works, the more Christians will be used in battle, and the more they are used, the more there will be personal cost and tiredness. It is quite the opposite of what we first might think. People often cry out for the work of the Holy Spirit and yet forget that when the Holy Spirit works, there is always tremendous cost to the people of God. weariness and tears and battles."
And added these words that Jesus spoke to him and his wife during an incredibly busy and demanding time:
"You didn't blow it; I asked you to do this. I am in this."
Slowly, delightfully, God is granting me excitement for this next venture. Only in moments of weariness do I doubt. This letter had two sides. Identification with and encouragement where I am currently weary. A pang of dread deep in my belly that I can likely, realistically expect this next season to be just as tiring and wearing, tearful and hard. Sigh. I know it to be true. But....
Someday I hope to be wise enough to realize that enlisting as a Believer means more battle than leave.