I’ve been trying to find my words to describe the season we are in for quite some time now. Two years ago, I shared a bit about the adventure we were beginning, but I haven’t been able to clearly articulate the church plant journey throughout. It has been messy, challenging, surprising, beautiful and just plain hard. I have learned how my heart is quick to anger, that I jump to feeling entitled, and how easy it is to judge everyone else. All things I thought I would never allow myself to be. Turns out, I’m just like everyone else.
My faith has been challenged and stretched. I knew it was going to be hard for me to live in the city, where it is easier to agree with the academics that there is no God: faith is for the unintelligent. And it is hard. I struggle to claim my faith everyday and I question just as I always have. The doubts will not subside. But the Holy Spirit won’t let me go (and just saying that sets off the ‘kooky’ alarms in my brain, but my heart agrees). I am coming to peace with the tumult of my doubt. No surprise there, my life is full of paradoxes and I am growing to find comfort in them.
I have felt tremendous love and closeness to my neighbors – I care about them like they are extended family, and that feels right. I have watched the small group of people that make up our church love well, lavish grace, impart the practical to our city, all to express Jesus’ love and our love for them.
I still experience moments when something about Christians makes headlines and I want to tear away from all associations of ‘the church’ – it would be easier to be a lone ranger, live faith on my own, but then I turn my eyes to our little piece of the Body in front of me and I am encouraged. We are a ragtag bunch and often I still feel frustrated, but we have fun together, we do our best to love well, we try to trust that God will use us and most of the time I see Jesus in it.
We have no idea how to do what we’re doing, but we’re taking guesses based on those who have come before us and doing it anyway, making changes as we fail. We’re all a mess, but I think it’s working. We are loved by God and we are working to love Austin with God.
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