"Restlessness and impatience changes nothing but our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands." -Elizabeth Elliot
Mushrooms don't grow incredibly fast. The only part we get to see in a mushrooms life cycle is fast. One evening the grass is spotless, the next morning there are small white mushrooms dotting the lawn. It is easy to assume it all happened in one night. It is amazing what you can learn from a curious eight year old.
What we see above ground does happen extraordinarily fast. But, we see only the "fruiting body" of the organism. We did not see the weeks and even months of the stem soaking up nutrients, dividing, and pushing upwards. It happened in the dark so that when it did divide and the white cap pushed through the ground all it had to do was expand. All the hard work was done. All the real growth had already happened.
I came into last year thinking it would sail by quickly. That once we stepped away from what we were doing here and were willing to step into the something new everything would just fall into place. I was pretty sure we would be the family they asked to come speak at future Young Life International conferences. Standing up front as a smiling family with the boys not fidgeting or picking their noses. Encouraging others that they too could raise support in six months. I was also certain we would be standing on Basque soil this summer boldly loving others in Christ and learning Spanish as we ate pintxos. There were moments this year when I felt like we might take the longest to raise support in YL international history. We have come a tremendously long way. We have raised support slowly and steadily for an entire year. The names and faces of everyone who has given humbles me. I know many times my faith has not matched the generosity. I know the giving was done in love and support. As the months passed and kids got sick, when asking God how much longer, and having Jeff go through plans a, b, and c when timelines shifted.
We only have 36% more to go. It seems a small percent, but it represents a big number that has us on hold. I know from running that I always falter at the end. Not at the start of the run or even the middle with side cramps and weary legs. It is the end when I just want it to be over with. When I want to show I really can move gracefully with one foot in front of the other, just not in this way anymore. I am ready to finish the run and see the light. The 36% more is telling us a little more has to happen in the unseen. A little more preparation underground. A few more laps around the field.
Jeff is now off Culpeper Young Life staff as of two weeks ago. For the first time in our marriage we are both home every night eating dinners together. He is working full time picking up remodeling jobs and doing estimates as we try to tag team raising support. The health insurance grace period ends in November. More decisions to make as we press forward. Jeff is running the race way more gracefully than I am right now. Carrying the bulk of it all on his broad shoulders. we are trusting God for provision and timing. Asking for endurance, to finish the race set before us.
We are hoping to raise 75% by the end of October. That equals 11% in six weeks. Or three people willing to give $100 a month and twelve more people willing to give $50 a month. Please pray for us as we move forward in faith and try not to dwell on outward things, but trust in the God of the unseen.