God always proves himself faithful and that always reminds us of how dependent we are of his grace, how quickly we lose heart and begin feeling pity on ourselves and therefore begin relying on our own abilities because of our doubt in the Lord. This is such a slippery slope and is only resolved by the redirecting of scripture or the incredibly humbling experience of the Lord's timing coming to pass.
Laura and I have been learning so much in such a short amount of time. This whole learning process has been frustrating, challenging, humbling, painful, satisfying and unifying seemingly all at the same time. We have been learning about ourselves together and individually, our preferences, our needs, our weaknesses, our flaws, our strengths, our gifts, relationships, gratitude and much more.
A continuing theme of conversation and of desire since we have arrived has been the need for community. We have been so blessed to have such great families, incredible friends all around us and for a church that is second to none as far as we are concerned up to this point. Even a place as beautiful as Colorado, with a near perfect climate and more adventures to be had than any red-blooded American man can dream of really isn't that much fun without people to experience and appreciate it with. A beautifully decorated and functional apartment is not as much fun when no one else gets to come in and enjoy it as well. We are now thoroughly convinced that we were made for relationships. We were not made to go along this life alone. Period. People reflect the character of our loving Father, they bring richness and depth to life. They are the salt that illuminate flavors and the colors that make flowers beautiful. We are so grateful for our family and friends and while we long for the next chance to share a cup of coffee and hours of laughs together we are also excited for the ways that God is going to surround us with the people and relationships that we need at this stage in our life. Though we have wavered in this confidence it is much stronger as of today.
We have struggled with finding a church that meets our needs out here. We have been confronted with times that cause us to sift through our preferences with a fine screen to find the things that we truly need for a church to provide. We have found comfortable places with great community but until today our heart have not been encouraged by visiting churches out here. We have been broken over the lack of a church family, the muddy or weak articulation of Scripture and the longing we have for the church that has facilitated so much growth in our lives in the past 3 years.
Before we left Lynchburg the Lord began to grow a desire to serve in the church that was different and much stronger than any desire to serve that we had ever had before. We no longer felt obligated to serve because we were Christians, we were not longing to serve because we felt that it was the right thing to do or because of an overwhelming need of service in the church. I think, for the first time, we actually believed in the church, experienced what it was like to benefit from a body of believers that were truly committed to following Christ and we wanted to be part of that. We did not just believe in our church but we believed in the church. It is a wonderful thing. When we arrived out here we were dying to put our hands to work in the same direction the church was moving but that was not the Lord's plan for right then. Two months of church shopping, hopping, visiting, searching and evaluating and every one was a huge compromise in one way or another. At first some preferences got in the way but they were sifted through and by the end of the two months we were at the point where we truly appreciated the necessities. It felt as though we had been traveling by foot for a long time in the heat, first wanting sweet tea with a steak and potatoes for a meal. As time passed we would be happy with a burger and a soda, and finally we got to the point that we could only dream of a glass of water and some bread. Our preferences began to wane and our desire for health and life prevailed.
God was so gracious in providing a full time job for me and a part time job for Laura very soon after we arrived here. We have now constructed our budget to live off of one income so now when the Lord provides a full time job for Laura we will not be tempted to re-do our budget to live luxuriously off of two incomes but now we will be able to be wise with the extra that God provides for us. In that time before we moved into our apartment Laura worked really hard and was able to milk Craigslist for all it was worth and save us roughly 50% overall on all of our furniture. Neither one of us would have had the time to do this as well if we were both working full time and therefore would have been tempted to spend more than we needed to on getting started. The week after we move into our apartment Laura was approached about a full time job opening at her work and we are now waiting to hear about the final results of her interviews. We have met a couple through Laura's work that we really enjoy spending time with and today we visited a church that looks like it might be home for us.
I have had a hard time with balancing the negative correlation between effort and energy. It seems like everything has demanded my attention and therefore I was always tired. The easy way not most often not the best way to go about a situation. It is easy for me to notice that something is not right with Laura and ignore it and head for bed because I think I am too tired to handle emotions at that point of the day but at that very point, if I turn away from her I establish distance between us. We are convinced that before marriage the enemy works as hard as possible to bring you together before your time and the instant you are married he changes gears and works with all of his might to establish distance between the two of you. There is no room for selfishness in marriage. There is no room for laziness. There is no room for ease. We must remain unified. We must choose to love. We must always look to the best interest of our companion and not to our own. We must establish trust. We must maintain open, raw communication for it is the only kind that is truly effective. We must fight for the time to remain before the King and not give way to the 9-5 and the Monday-Friday monotony. We must come together to pray and present each other to the Lord through the day.
Though we have been slow to learn some of these things I am grateful that we have at least been aware of them and we continue to pray that these lessons stick and become ingrained in our hearts. Praise be to God alone for answered prayers. Thank you to all of you that have prayed for us in this transition. Know that your prayers were not in vain. God looks down on his bride with the passion and desire of a groom on his wedding day and will freely give us all things. He is passionately in love with us and has proven it by extending grace to us by sacrificing Jesus so that we may dwell with Him forever.