Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Another door opens

 December started with loss of a vision.  The creaking shut of something we really wanted.  In the midst of it I knew there was mercy and grace.  I knew this because anything He gives or takes away is wrapped in these two things. I read through the entire series of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, all eight books.  Yes, I set down Madeline L'Engle and C.S. Lewis to pick up Jeff Kinney.  It was all I could take in.  After all the heaviness of the season I needed something light and funny, and Jeff Kinney knows both.  I didn't answer my phone and failed to realize that my voice mail stopped working the week before.  Two weeks into December I realized I could handle L'Engle and phone calls again.  I also found out there were thirty-seven unheard messages on a voice mail I thought was empty.

We shared our hearts in those weeks with friends and family.  I wrote a blog post trying to explain and bridge the gap from our hanging on, to our letting go.  To share the brokenness and grace that was involved in both.  When others asked about going somewhere else we explained that we weren't ready for a "rebound" country.  We were at a place of not being sure if we wanted to go anywhere further than our doorstep.

So, when we received the first word of an opening with Young Life Scotland we were hesitant.  We spoke about it carefully and quietly, once the boys were already asleep and doors were shut.  More calls and emails later Jeff came home and spoke of Scottish churches, youth, and seminary.  The picture came into focus of working along side churches in Scotland in an effort to reach disillusioned teens.  We also saw the chance for Jeff to complete his Masters in Divinity while serving.  Fears and doubts did not surface and swarm my thoughts.  And our hearts stayed at peace with the new direction.  We have looked back to what started all of this.  The bigger map with pins stretched back into our separate childhood and teenage years.  Stretched out to our first stumbles into God's grace and love.  Those things have still not changed.

Quiet frankly it reminded us of what we walked through fourteen years before.  Jeff and I struggled through a broken engagement together. From that year, we know a lot about false starts and broken hopes.  We remembered the temptation to run fast in the opposite direction.  To move on and away from the pain and chalk it all up to just getting it wrong.  But instead He kept me in town for student teaching and helped us walk back through all the pain and fear as he restored it.  He rebuilt what we could not.  We live in the knowledge that our story does not end with our fears and missteps.  It ends with His grace.

We continued through the end of December praying, talking, and reading about Scotland.  There is already Young Life in parts of Scotland.  Young Life staff and volunteers in several places doing great work with the youth and churches in those areas. There is a vision to develop some critical new areas in Scotland and our experience with YL start-up seems to fit. After this past season, the thought of working along side others and Jeff continuing seminary feels right.

Jeff leaves on January 27th for ten days in Scotland.  He will go to a leadership retreat during that time to meet the other Scotland Young Life staff.  He will meet with pastors, priests and schools.  He will get pray with YL leadership at the site of a potential new YL camp in Scotland.  This month we also will find out what the revised budget would be and move ahead in what seems to be happening very quickly.  We ask for your prayers as we walk ahead.  We do not understand why it has all happened this way.  But we don't have to understand it all for God to knit it all perfectly into His purposes.  As always, feel free to email us with any questions or encouragement.  Becca:  Stbbecca@aol.com  and Jeff:  jeffstables@gmail.com