Learning the Secret of Being Well Fed and of Going Hungry

I think it’s about time for another update.

By now we’ve settled in enough that the exciting newness of the move is wearing off and I’m faced with the reality that we’re in a new city, a new community, 800 miles away from friends and family. I know it takes time to build relationships in a new place and I need to take the initiative in connecting with people, but in the meantime I feel kind of isolated. This past week especially has felt a little rough.

And sometimes I get frustrated with living in Brookside. The houses are large and beautiful. The lawns are spacious and well-kept. The sidewalks and roads are clean and maintained. It’s very nice. But I feel out of place. My heart is still with the poor, the outcast and rejected, with the hurting and the broken. Not that there aren’t broken people in Brookside (I’m sure there are), but my heart yearns for a rougher place, as odd as that may be. I feel segregated here, isolated from the kind of people and neighborhoods that stir my heart. The reality of those other parts of Kansas City sometimes fades when I don’t encounter them on a regular basis. I know God has placed us here for a purpose and we’re blessed to live with Maria and Abel, but I struggle with it sometimes.

I think God is working on the position of my heart in this season, though. I believe He’s calling us to a way of life, not just a specific “ministry” or a set of actions. I should be able to follow that call, regardless of our location or circumstances. Like Paul, I want to be able to say: “I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and In all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need” (Philippians 4:12). While I balk at being in a place where I can’t clearly define my purpose and I don’t feel accomplished, where I feel distant from the life I yearn for, this may be exactly where I need to be so God can address the foundations of my heart.

And in that process, we’re still praying for direction and watching as God unfolds His plan for us. We’re still praying about doing CPX together this fall, but leaning away from it because All Nations is geared more towards people going overseas for long-term missions. While I love missions, our hearts are tugged towards the inner city here more than for other nations. We’ve heard that the Boiler Room is hoping to start a training of some sort and may do a “trial run” of sorts this fall, so we’re curious to see what happens with that (apparently the same month that we contacted the Boiler Room again, after deciding not to join the ROCK, ten – yes, ten – other families contact them about moving to Kansas City for training and equipping. Hmm…). I discovered that I’m working with another intercessor (a sweet older woman who loves to pray). And recently I discovered that one of my other co-workers lives in a missional community in an old church near 47th and Prospect. She’s getting married next week, but when she comes back, I’m hoping to get a chance to talk to her about her community. The little bit I’ve heard intrigues me and resonates with the things on my heart.

So while I struggle to wait patiently and to let God take over control of my heart, I’m curious to see what unfolds and where He leads us.

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot.” – Jeremiah 29:11-14

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  1. oh, i resonate with this! this year i have lived in madison, wi, which is also mostly very tidy, comfortable, and well-off. and i have ACHED for the decrepit neighborhood i called home in MI.
    it seems like God has been using this year to give me rest (like it or not), and to build some foundations in my marriage, while also teaching me(us) how to steward some of what he’s given us. it hasn’t been wasted time.
    and now… now i am pleased to say that He is leading us back to that poor, beloved neighborhood. it’s all in the timing.
    stay in there with Him. He knows what He’s doing.

  2. It’s so reassuring to hear that someone else has felt that, too. Sometimes I think I must be crazy for not appreciating our nice neighborhood. But I think that, like you experienced, this season here will be good for us to rest and build a firm foundation, both in our marriage and in our life with God in general. Thank you for the encouragement!


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