Wednesday, October 16, 2013

life // a story of fulfilling hope - 3

I suppose I never actually finished the story.  But I couldn't wait and had to keep posting.  Anyway, this is installment three of how I ended up doing what I am doing now.  Parts one and two.

Behind the Bar

Timeframe: June.
The more that I committed to that non-profit, volunteer-run cafe, Surfers Coffee Bar, the more my heart felt at home.  "Home" as in, this place is assuredly flawed and imperfect, but my soul is comfortable here.  I relished in the little moments where I saw Life flowing.  And yet, SCB was feeling the reality of Life Flow: when you say that something "grows," you are also alluding to change and transition.  And some of the SCB crew felt that persuasion to follow the call of God onto other paths.  We know and understand this; people leave, and in sadness and trust, we release them to do what God ordains over their lives.

Inside of me, as people stepped out of this SCB arena, the need was present- and I wanted to step in.  But was it my place?  Was it my place to volunteer to take on a staff position?  There are steps, orders, programs - I should do Internship and Leadership School and make a long-term commitments and find support (!!) et et etc...

And why was this a pressing matter?  Why am I so preoccupied by wanting to be a part of a business that could pay me nothing, much less guarantee a fulfilled heart?  Seeing the cloud over my head, my sister spelled it out for me: it's obvious that God Himself impressed this upon my heart.  This is something I believe in.  If it were any other occupation, I would have passed it on, and looked for something else.  But I held out for it.  And I didn't know what to do with the uncommon urge to serve in SCB.

... except wait. Wait on His words, wait on His confirmations, wait on His promptings.

I've realized how much joy it brings to Abba when He sees us wait.  I think He delights to see us committed to the unknown.  In the waiting, we trust that whatever He is about to bring is good - and in the waiting, He remains good.

You could say that there have been holes in my heart when it comes to belonging.  And Abba has done a remarkable job filling those gaps, way into the hairline cracks.  After over a month of waiting on God to speak, Tom and Charis sat me down that June evening and officially welcomed me as a part of Surfers Coffee Bar.  And not just into SCB - I was invited into the family of Surfing the Nations (the fraternal twin of SCB, if you will).  And they affirmed me, encouraged me, extended the Love of God... and challenged me to extend the Love out again.  To serve with this non-profit wouldn't just be "doing good, being good," their whole motto is meeting needs and changing lives.  If we needed to label it, this is also called being a missionary.  The fact that I'm from this town- that would make me a local missionary.

It wrecked me.  God didn't just make a mild impression on my heart, He went into those hairline cracks and filled them, and kept on filling, until I couldn't contain Him - and I felt an explosion of His presence.  I am broken for the better, and He is rebuilding me.

A little meeting like that, and I felt like I belonged.

When God places His hand upon your heart, and gently nudges you to move forward, He prepares the way.  Doesn't mean that the path is smooth, but the path is straight.  I chose to follow wherever the Light leads.  The Light has been only centimeters ahead of my toes, but it led me here - right back to my city.  The Light led me back home.


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