Curveballs: January 2011 Edition


I think I had hoped the curveballs would end with 2010. :-)  Not so.  Surprise!

Instead, the first three weeks of 2011 have felt like the very beginning of a huge roller coaster:  you’re strapped in, going up, and suddenly realize what’s ahead.  And there’s NOTHING you can do about it – you can’t stop, get off, or slow down.  Whee.  The adrenaline on the other side will be awesome, but getting there presents a unique set of challenges (screaming comes at no extra charge). :-)  Yup.  That’s what life feels like right now.

In a previous life, I think the stuff that’s happened in the past three weeks would probably have qualified as a years’ worth of news-worthy events.  Does it feel that way because I’m getting older?  Or is more stuff actually happening faster?  Hmmm.  Anyway…

A big news item would be the pastoral changes at Tenth. Just a few Sundays into the year – and all of them have been interesting!  January 2 the candidate for Senior Minister was announced, January 9 he preached and we voted unanimously to call him (yeeha!!!), and January 16 our “celebrity” pastor, Paul Tripp, announced that he will be resigning from the pastoral staff in March to focus on his writing and speaking ministry (though he will still remain a member of the church).  These two announcements are both good (I’m super excited about Dr. Liam Goligher, our new senior minister), but they are contributing to a sense of unsettled-ness at the moment.  Dr. Goligher will be officially joining the staff in May, so there are a few months yet of preparation for his coming.

I visited my first supporting church a home-fellowship that meets in the Washington Crossing area of Pennsylvania/New Jersey – on January 8.  What a blessing it was to worship with this small group of spirit-filled believers!  I was especially grateful for the profound and deeply personal prayers that were offered on my behalf, and I’m looking forward to watching God continue His work among these brothers and sisters!

Over the past few weeks, I realized that I’ve been saying things such as, “When I start raising support…” or “I plan to raise support by…” and so on.  I was extremely convicted while visiting the home-fellowship that I had been leaving God out of the equation almost entirely, rather than trusting Him to provide everything I will need (including funds) in order to actually serve overseas.  I’ve begun to see His hand of provision – from some of the unlikeliest sources!  It seems as soon as I stepped back and handed the process of raising support back to God (it is, after all, His work – I’m just privileged to have a part in it!), He began to show me just how big He is.  I can’t wait to see what He has in store!

How do you respond when God drops something totally unexpected in your lap? Along with my visit to the home-fellowship, there was one other “event” so far this year that has made me realize the folly of handing my plans to God for His stamp of approval (vs. awaiting marching orders or however you want to put it).  I had assumed I would continue in my current job at the hospital right up until the time I went to pre-field training in the summer.  The job I have right now offers  a flexible schedule, and one where I only work 48 hours every two weeks (though frequently those hours are nights).  Because I knew I would have 2-3 days off a week, I had planned to use my “extra” “free” time to raise support. (There it is again.  I would raise support…)  Ha.  So God decided to give me something to FILL that “free” time, because I’m getting the idea that HE wants to be the one to actually provide for this venture. :-)  (And if I had “free” time, I would most certainly want to take credit for raising support – one more check-box checked off.)  In a non-interview on January 5, I was offered a choose-your-own-adventure job with the faith-based bilingual FQHC 10 minutes from where I live.  They are getting ready to launch a prenatal care program and asked if I would consider joining the team (I speak Spanish and have 4+ years experience in OB – plus I worked with this same office to run the Philly SMI last summer).  After prayer, scripture, fasting, tears, and much counsel, I accepted the position.  Yes, I’m probably certifiably crazy.  But we all knew that already… During January and February, I will continue at the hospital and add 1-2 days a week at the health center, then beginning in March I will spend the majority of my working hours in Philly with just a few each month out at the hospital.

I wasn’t expecting God to call me to another job (with hopefully such a short amount of time left in the states, it didn’t make much sense to me!), but the thing people have said over and over is that there’s no way for me to foresee how God might use this experience now at the health center when I get overseas.  Frankly, that scares me a little.  What else do I need to learn, and why do I really have to learn it?!  Hence the roller coaster…

There’s a sense in which the Lord is again showing me how to be unresting and unhasting (Oswald Chambers, January 6) as I seek Him today.  Right now, I’m called to serve Him here – in North Philadelphia.  I love watching what Jesus is up to – in my neighborhood, in discipleship in the medical community, and in the greater fellowship of brothers and sisters in this city.  I almost wish I could stay…

The courageous souls who braved 20-degree weather yesterday to take health screenings - physical and spiritual - to our community. Awesomeness!


One Response to “Curveballs: January 2011 Edition”

  1. 1 Prayer and Updates « musings along the way

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