If any of you have been following my life for any amount of time, you know a few things about me that I’m pretty vocal about:
1. I love Jesus and believe wholeheartedly that the Bible is the written word of God and I base every aspect of my life around it.
2. I love my family. My husband and my boys are my life, and they are my favorite people to be with.
3. I love ice cream. Could eat it all day, every day and it can become an actual problem. I also love to eat ice cream while watching the patriots play football.
4. My husband and I run a teen youth center that we opened in our town 8 years ago, and I love pouring my life into teenagers.
I know that I have a mixture of people that follow me…some are Christians and some are not.
In case you didn’t know this about Christianity, I thought I would share some things about it, and also tell you about a pretty big disappointment I had today.
First of all, it’s important to understand that Christianity is not a religion.
Religion is a list of do’s and don’t’s (is that how you spell that? It looks funny)
And I just don’t have the patience or time for that.
Christianity is a relationship with Jesus, and works just like the other relationships you have in your life…except this one is with the most powerful being there is, and you actually get way more than you give.
It is a relationship just like you might think of what a healthy relationship would look like between a dad and his daughter (or son).
You talk to him, he talks to you.
You do things for him out of love and respect, he does things for you out of love and admiration.
You want to please him, he wants to provide for you…
And that’s what it’s like.
The entire foundation of this relationship for me, is built on trust.
I believe everything He says is true.
I believe that He is in control and He is working.
I believe that He loves and adores me.
I believe that He blesses obedience.
Now let me give you my disappointment, that is literally hot off the press.
Adam and I started a not for profit organization called Epping Lighthouse Ministries
and the teen center (The Porch) was the first thing we started.
We love the teens from our town and we want to do everything we can to support them, show them we love them and show them the love of God.
After 8 years in the same location, our landlords decided not to renew our lease.
We saw it as an opportunity to grow and we started looking immediately for another place to call home.
We thought we had found a location 2 different times, and they both fell through.
We were so disappointed and just not really understanding what was going on.
Then we found another building.
A much better location.
A lot more space than what we had before.
And then, I do what I always do, and start getting excited, planning everything, and dreaming big.
It’s not like I mean to, but I just do.
It’s part of who I am and it just happens without me even trying.
We decided to move forward.
We got our board of directors together, along with a few people from our church and walked through the property.
We stood around the downstairs and prayed over it, believing that God would provide.
Then Adam and I did everything we could on our end to move ahead with it.
We went to the bank, got all our paperwork together, and then found ourselves waiting on other people who were not in any rush to get things done on their end.
I was still confident.
Believing that we would get this.
I made a promo video to be able to send it out to all of our supporters, all of the people in our town and surrounding towns who would want to be a part.
I planned to send it out today, after we put an offer on the building.
But we had to keep waiting for the bank to get us the paperwork.
There was nothing we could do but wait.
So. We got the paperwork last night.
This was it!
I sat down this morning to read my Bible.
I was reading in Numbers, which is kind of an interesting book to be reading on any given day, but the story was the story of Caleb and Joshua and the 10 spies.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, I would recommend you go and read it!
You can read it here.
It was so inspiring. Caleb’s bold words jumped off the page at me.
He stood up in front of a huge group of negative people who had just said the land in front of them was filled with people who were too strong and surrounded by walls that were too great and there was no way they could ever get the land…that God had promised them by the way!
And Caleb boldly stood up and said…Let’s go at ONCE and get the land!! We can certainly conquer it!!
What a perspective!
The way ahead was too hard, and that fired Caleb up!
It made him want to move ahead and get what God could provide!
So I prayed. And the I went to talk to Adam about putting an offer on the building at once!
I was all fired up! Let’s go at once! I know we don’t have enough money! I know that it looks like we can’t get it, but with God’s help we can!
Arghhhhhh..ok. I didn’t do the pirate sound, but you get the point.
And then Adam said. Did you see the listing? It’s under contract.
What are you talking about?? How is that possible?!?!
It was just active, and how is it possible that the day we can actually put an offer down, it’s not available.
Then I cried a little.
Then I asked my parents and a few friends to pray.
And then. Then…that’s the end of the story.
I wish that I could say how it was all just a big misunderstanding, and ACCtually, someone is buying the building to GIFT it to The Porch.
But that’s not the case.
And my whole entire point in writing this is to tell you this.
God is always, always working even when we don’t see it.
God is always, always in control even when it doesn’t feel like it.
And God’s plans are always, always way better than I can dream them up.
And that, my friend is what you may not know about Christianity.
It’s peace. It is peace in the middle of confusing situations, it is a calm when you feel like everything around you is out of control, and it is a joy knowing that your heavenly father has amazing plans for you.
You don’t get that with religion.
You don’t get that with human relationships, or money or fame or possessions.
You get that with a relationship with a real person.
And the reason you will never see me missing church on a Sunday? It’s not because I’m so religious.
It’s because I love Jesus so much, and I want to do everything I can to please Him, and I love being with His other kids at church.
Doesn’t that make sense?
And the reason I’m not quitting right now is not because I’m so religious.
It’s because I totally and completely believe that God has something for us, and he has not forgotten what we are doing.
And yes, I will still cry and yes I will still tell him that I just don’t understand.
But I believe that He is in control.
And if I don’t have that?
What do I have?
Well, burning myself out trying to figure life out on my own, fear, anxiety, depression and discouragement…
and no thank you.
I don’t want all that garbage.
I want the peace, every time.
I want the calm, every time.
I want the joy, every time.
So this post was originally was going to be about our exciting fundraiser for our new building, and ways you could join us!!!
I was going to put the word out and get everyone to want to be a part of the exciting things going on for The Porch.
But instead, I’m writing about being disappointed.
And I’m writing about the fact that I’m refusing to quit.
I’m refusing to believe that God has forgotten us…because that’s the easy way out.
When I choose to believe that God has forgotten, I am choosing defeat.
But not me.
Not this girl.
I am a fighter.
And I am fighting for the teens in this town, and I am not quitting even when it seems like everything is going against me.
And ya know what?
I’m showing you my video.
We aren’t raising money for this building anymore, but we are believing that God can and will provide.
I have to keep saying that.
He can and He will.
Because He said he would.
And He’s God.
And God can’t lie.
So I am closing my eyes, taking a deep breath, holding onto my Bible as tight as I can and believing with everything I am.
And then I’m letting go.
Because I can’t do it on my own anyways, and that’s what trust is, right?
Trust isn’t saying, ok…God you can do what you do…unless I start to feel like I don’t like it.
Then I am not going to trust you anymore.
Trust is saying ok…God you can do what you do.
And I am going to trust you when it feels good and when it doesn’t.
Because any other way always ends up with me hurting anyways.
So will you take a minute to watch this video that I put together?
And just pray that God will provide the perfect spot to do what we want to do, even if it isn’t for this specific building?
God’s going to amazing things still.
I just know it.