As Maggie and I continue our journey that calls me to start a new church in the Northwest, we are learning and relearning to trust God. The journey began in a “Holy Spirit” moment in June. Having tested–and continuing to test–the Spirit to be sure it is “of God” and not my own desires, we believe this is a genuine call from God.
As part of this journey, we are letting go of all of our stuff that won’t fit into our two cars (except for professional books which we’ll ship west). We plan to move west in only the two cars. As part of this journey, Maggie leaves her pulpit in Wheeling, West Virginia at the end of December even though I don’t finish seminary until May. As part of this journey, we are choosing to trust God. We are choosing to trust that if this call is indeed “of God” than God will equip us.
Not everyone believes us that this is a call from God. I’ve heard words like “brainwashed” and “got the new church bug” and “really?” from folks when they hear my vision for a church that doesn’t look like what we think of as church. I assure you my rational, logical brain realizes that this is not the easy path, the path of least resistance, or the path that would make my life easiest. At times I just want to put a halt to it and go through traditional channels and pastor an established church. That is not where I am called.
Yes. We feel doubt. At times we think we’re crazy. Give away all our stuff? Quit a job without another one in hand? Move thousands of miles away.
We are choosing to trust that the Divine who loves each and every one of us extravagantly and unconditionally will equip us. We are acknowledging our doubts and fears when the path doesn’t turn exactly the way we think it should turn. We are acknowledging that without the doubts, that without letting go of control, that it wouldn’t really be trusting the Spirit to lead. Faith and trust requires that we let go of our own control and plans. Faith and trust means doubting and angst as we each allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit.
So, is this easy? No and yes all at the same time. There is joy and freedom in allowing the Spirit to lead. There is also fear and doubt when God moves us in a way that we didn’t anticipate or control. It isn’t blind faith for it is faith rooted in a dependable God.