"When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
This week my heart has been overwhelmed. With stress. With sadness. With longing. When you dream for so long that dream seems impossible and far away and you wonder if you will ever see your dream come to pass... but for some reason, I just keep following the dream and living each day the best I can just waiting...
But I'm kind of tired of just waiting. I need to DO something! And I'm here, in a city that DESPERATELY needs to know the Hope of Christ. At Christmas time especially there is an extra feeling of heaviness... of sadness... of loneliness. But there is a light in the darkness and a hope for the waiting and that is the good news of advent! And as I see brokenness all around me, a new dream is forming in my heart... a dream for the town of Woodland.
In this dream, the churches are united. Not just tolerating one another, not just ceasing the competition and bitterness that has ruled them for generations, but loving one another as family and coming together for a common purpose. I continue to meet people who refuse to go to church here because of the politics or they were hurt by one of the churches. This has to stop! I don't know how yet, but I know it starts with prayer and it starts with healing and forgiveness in my own heart for past situations in other congregations. Unity begins with selflessness. Setting aside our ideas of how it should be done and seeking God together. Praying until something happens. Only when we are able to press through this great division in the church will we see revival, hope and healing brought to the lost of this town.
I've had this dream mulling in the back of my head for a while, but it is becoming a heartfelt desire more and more. This past week a friend from our local church family spoke up on facebook about wanting to walk around Woodland and pray for people we come in contact with. Her desire to see God move in power through her struck a chord in me that said "it's time to take action!" I have started walking with her and we hope to go out several times every week with open hearts ready for whomever God places in our path that day.
My heart still aches and longs for Indonesia. But I am here now for a reason. And my purpose is to bring God's light and hope wherever I am not to just sit and wait for the day I can return to Indonesia. God has not abandoned me in this place until I can get my act together. He has placed me here intentionally out of love for the people here. And He is softening my heart towards them.