Expect The Unexpected

Yesterday I wrote about how you know when it’s time to move on to the next thing. Today I want to share some thoughts on what happens once you make the decision and start the process. Here we go:

1. Expect the Unexpected.

When this all started, when God started stirring our hearts towards California, we thought about Santa Cruz. Then we thought about San Francisco, and San Jose, and Fullerton, and downtown Los Angeles. So of course we ended up in Oakland.

Partnerships I thought we had in the bag dissolved, but others emerged along the way. People offered me jobs that I thought I would never be qualified to do.

We zigged and zagged, rode the emotional roller coaster up and down, and in the end are exactly where we need to be. I’d love to say I was able to anticipate all of this, but that would be a lie. I saw none of this coming. And I love that, especially in retrospect. It wasn’t easy, but it’s turned out to be beautiful.

2. Prepare to be Disappointed.

This is very connected to point number one, because if you have specific expectations heading into a transition you will be disappointed by the unexpected twists and turns.

Transitions are hard and they do weird things to people (especially yourself).
Some of those weird things can be really disappointing and hurtful.

This doesn’t mean you stop being friends with people, and this doesn’t give you an excuse to throw a grenade at the bridge once you get to the other side, but you must ready yourself for the reality that some people are going to let you down.

They are not perfect and neither are you, so grace is needed for them and for yourself.

Disappointment is not necessarily bad.
Sometimes it’s just a way of making a correction.
Sometimes it means mourning the loss of a dream or a change in your expectations.
But, you can’t avoid it. So let it be a way to grow in grace.

3. Prepare to be Amazed.

When you head into a time of transition you head into the unknown, and it is in the unknown that God tends to reveal to us all sorts of new and incredible truths.

And if experiencing the grace and generosity and provision and peace of God in new ways is not amazing then you need to reevaluate some things about your life.

Stepping into the unknown is the essence of faith and if we don’t practice that regularly we will lose the awe and wonder we should have about this incredible God.

And, you don’t have to move across the country to do that.

Where are you transitioning? Where do you need to adjust your expectations? How will you pay attention to the God who promises to show us something new and amazing when we lean into these transitional moments?

Faith and Doubt

There is a sort of faith

That is too small to comprehend

How high and wide and deep and long are the mysteries

Of a love that surpasses our ability to know.

And there is a sort of doubt

That is too confident

To admit that there is more to the world

Than what we can see and touch and prove and measure.

Beyond faith

And doubt

There is wisdom.

(inspired by our community group’s convo on james 1)


Sarah posted the other day about trust and I liked what she had to say a lot. Ironic because I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself.

We live with a great deal of uncertainty: when will the baby come…will amy have to work after the baby gets here…how will we balance work and ministry and parenting…will our funding come through (which will help us answer some of these questions)…and there’s several other questions there as well.

I pray a lot when I run, and the prayer I keep coming back to is essentially a paraphrase of Mark 9:24: “I trust, help me with my un-trust.”

One of the thing that strikes me from this passage is that they guy who is asking for help with his unbelief is a dad. The scene in question revolves around his child.

I can relate to that. I know belief and trust and closely related, but it has been incredibly helpful for me to meditate on this father’s cry for help as a plea for the ability to trust. I believe it, but do I really trust it?

And so my prayer these days is help me with my un-trust!

Some Quick Thoughts on Fundraising (Dedicated to Phil Tatum)

We have a big challenge in front of us this summer…raise a new budget: one that more accurately reflects the stage of life we are entering (parenthood).

So, here’s what I love and don’t love about this process.

Some things I dislike about fundraising:

  1. Being told no
  2. Feeling like a mooch
  3. Living in uncertainty
  4. Potentially seeing people as money signs, not people

Some things I love about fundraising:

  1. Being told no (builds and reveals character)
  2. Experiencing God’s economy (people want to give to something important)
  3. Living by faith (we’ve always had enough)
  4. Seeing people as partners (there are people all over the country, and even the world, who are helping college students in Boston on their journey back to God…how awesome is that).

Quote of the Week

Spanish philosopher and writer, Miguel de Unamuno:

“Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in their mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God himself.”

A Quote About Stories

From The Story Factor by Annette Simmons:

“Story makes sense of chaos and gives people a plot. A story can help people make sense of their frustration. People don’t need more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith…It is faith that moves mountains, not facts. Facts do not give birth to faith. Faith needs a story to sustain it–a meaningful story that inspires belief and renews hope.”