wind and current

for the people of kaleo church
2004-2017

i washed up on this beach
my ship splintered by the storm and sea
myself bruised and broken

someone carried me into this village
and you watched while i got stitched back together
you didn’t need to know what happened before
just that i needed looking after

you let me sit at your table
you let me sing with you by your fire

and when the thunder and lightning
sent me screaming for cover
you were the shelter i needed

and when i got brave enough to tell my story
you were the ones who listened
and then you showed me your own scars
and told me how you got them

and now we all go sailing toward other islands
in search of other places to make our homes

wherever the wind and the current may lead you
may you land somewhere as kind as you have been to me

brief follow-up.

Thanks for all the love and support that came from that last post. We’re all obviously in a pretty tough season right now and I have no idea where I’m going to end up church-wise. I’m also working through some issues that have risen in my own heart over the past few weeks that I didn’t realize were there, and that’s less than fun. But I trust in the good hand and the good heart of God, and where He is leading I want to go.

It’s a strange thing, too–I feel like, right here at the end of my church existing, I’m starting to relearn what it means to love Jesus and love people. Not that I didn’t learn that while I’ve been here, but the past few years I think I’ve forgotten, for a number of reasons. (See also: Issues.)

We’re all going to be okay. Some of us aren’t right now, though, and I hate that for them. (I hate that for you, if you’re reading this and you’re one of those folks.) So please keep praying for us, if you’re the kind that prays.

the gracious and terrible “no”

This is what happens sometimes: You plead with God for something for years and years, and He keeps letting you ask until finally, painfully, He says “no.” I don’t pretend to understand the mechanics of this, or to have some hidden insight into why God does this (or does anything). I do know this: The “no” is not because He doesn’t love us, and neither is the drawn-out asking.

My church‘s last public service is next Sunday. After nearly thirteen years of existence and prayers for growth and health and for His kingdom to come to Houston through our being there, we’re closing. We voted about it this morning, after about a month of discussions and real, gut-punched grief.

This is the end of my having been a member of a church for nine years, of having worked for said church for three years and some change. This is God’s gracious and terrible “no” after having said “yes” to so many other things.

There’s much that could be said here, and there are stories around that are not mine to tell. What is my story to tell is this: While my church has been a source of love and healing to me, for the past few years it’s also been a cause for anxiety and sadness, and a great deal of me is breathing a sigh of relief. We’re not closing because of sin or disunity or anything like that, which is a small miracle in and of itself. The choice was made by people I trust, and I believe God is using this to send us out into places where we can grow and flourish in the gifts that He’s given us for the benefit of the church in ways we’ve not been able to.

But that being said, this is still a heartbreaking thing, and there are people I love who are very upset about it, and I want to give them room to be upset about it. It’s going to be pretty hard for a while, even after our last service.

So pray for us, if you’re so inclined–pray for healing of hearts, pray that my pastor and his family can find a place they can settle into, pray that we all find new churches where Christ is exalted. And pray that we will continue to love each other well.