Converstions for those who want to explore living loved and what it is to be part of the church Jesus is building in the world. We'll begin at 10:00 am to 5:00 pm with a break for lunch...
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1560-1 Newbury Rd #313
Newbury Park, CA 91320
Phone: (805) 498-7774
Fax: (805) 499-5975
Sara and I saw a movie recently about two national figures who had acted honorably even though most people didn't think so. They were the victims of false assumptions and accusations by people who didn't know what was true or didn't care. Instead of being celebrated as the heroes they were, they were vilified by the media and others. Neither had the platform to clear up the misconceptions.
At the end of the movie they are sitting together on a plane and one turns to the other and said that he didn't do what others thought he had done. The other looked into his eyes and said, "I know. But the only thing that matters is that you know."
It is so easy to take our identity from what others think of us, and what may be said about us in social media. As one who has had a lot of negative things said about him based on assumptions and sometimes outright lies, I was touched by this movie. My heart was warmed as I was reminded that what others think doesn't matter. We are not who people think we are and it only matters what we know to be true.
But I would add something greater still. Not only do we know, but God knows as well and doesn't that make an even bigger difference? Of all the ugly things said and written about me the ones that hurt the most are the lies told by those I thought were close friends—people I have loved and served at personal cost. Nothing amazes me more than that another human being would chose a lie over a friendship, but it happens. Even there, when someone lies and others around them don't know the truth, it is more than enough that God knows.
Perhaps nothing is a better indication of what I'm living for. If I'm frustrated by the lies and misunderstandings of others, then I'm probably staking my identity on what others think of me. Instead of being real, I will try to provide an image that wins their approval. But when I'm living to God and not the notoriety of the crowd or the accolades of media, then it matters not at all that others misunderstand or don't even know. Knowing that he knows is all that matters. When I've done what he has asked then I can be at peace even in the misplaced judgments of others.
And, that is an awesome freedom, one of those I appreciate most from this part in the journey. I couldn't do most of what I do in the world today if I were more afraid of how I might look than what is real and honest. I wasn't always that way but knowing his love his increasingly becomes the only opinion I value. Live to an audience of One and the distortions of this age will not trouble you because at the end of it all, only what's true will matter.
Since I was traveling and meeting new people yesterday, I heard very late about the events in Paris as my Facebook feed overflowed with grief and anger for the victims. What an incredible tragedy to see innocent people slaughtered in the name of an ideology that is ruthless and has no regard for human life! We can all imagine being in similar settings and feeling the horror of being attacked at times we’d least expect it and losing loved ones in the prime of their lives.
Media coverage will of course go wall-to-wall, creating a continuous wave of grief and fear that is made worse by how powerless we feel to do anything about it. For most of us Paris is a long ways away, and we have no way to affect the turbulent events in the Middle East in any way that matters.
Interestingly I had an exchange last week about how God wants us to respond to our enemies by loving them and what it means in situations like this. And my answer was, I don’t have a clue. When I think of the big-ticket items in our world, I’m at a loss as to how love would work in such extremity. But maybe that isn’t the point. We can’t see what it means here because we’re not really involved with any of it.
We can grieve for the people in Paris. We can pray for God’s intervention in these desperate circumstances and for the wisdom of global leaders to deal with all the chaos in our world. But it will help to realize that our media overwhelms us with storylines that invite our emotional responses to situations we cannot influence. And that can be crippling. We grieve for people we don’t know fear circumstances we can’t control. I don’t know how to comfort the people in Paris, or to end Islamic fundamentalist aggression in the world. But I do know how to love the people around me today. I know people going through painful circumstances and grief of their own and can comfort them. I know those who treat me with distain and betrayal and what it means to love them is very clear. We can’t really love “the world” in any meaningful way. It’s too abstract and generalized at a macro level to make any difference, but is richly powerful in the immediate circumstances of our own life.
Is that why Jesus asked us to, “love one another,” not to love the crowds or the whole world? Love is applied in the singular, not the plural. If you want to be the change in the world, get your eyes off of circumstances you don’t control and on to those people and circumstances right around you where your loving can make a difference. If you grieve for the people in Paris and feel powerless to help, think of someone you know going through deep grief or challenge and find a way to encourage them today. Instead of leaving in fear or frustration of ISIS, find someone who has done you wrong and ask Jesus if there is a way to love him or her today that will begin to reverse the cycle of evil that only adds pain to pain.
We overcome evil in the world not by fussing and fretting, but by loving some one in front of us. Every act of generosity and kindness brings light into the world. Every time you comfort a broken heart, offer kindness to a stranger, or make time for someone who is lonely you pour a bit more of the kingdom in the world.
Wherever our fear gives way to love in the immediacy of our own circumstances, the world changes a little and the power of wickedness is broken. Find someone to love, encourage, or bless today and you will have been part of something significant. You can leave the bigger things in Father’s hands, who is well up to the challenge.
A Thrival Guide for Those Who Find Themselves Outside of Conventional Congregations
According to the latest research people are leaving the local church congregation in droves. Many do so questioning whether God even exists, but many others continue to passionately follow Jesus convinced that the institution they belonged to was at odds with the spiritual passion growing in their heart. They may not have even understood why, but something inside continued to draw them toward a more authentic relationship with Jesus and a freer environment to share his life and love with others.
Many who have given up on the traditional congregation were once leaders, volunteers, and major contributors. They grew weary of the programs and expectations that neither encouraged their journey nor cultivated the kind of community they sought. Leaving is never easy and most do it only when other options are exhausted.
Finding yourself outside the congregational model can be incredibly disorienting for a season. Family and former friends question your faith or make you feel guilty with accusations of bitterness or selfishness. All the markers you used to gauge your spiritual health no longer make sense. Some question their own sanity and even more so as they are increasingly isolated from the only friends they’ve ever had.
If you’ve left your congregation for similar reasons, what do you do now? As I’ve watched people go through this transition the ones who navigate it most freely begin to embrace a different set of realities, which not only allow them to survive outside a local congregation, but actually thrive in learning to follow him, in sharing fellowship with others, and in being part of God’s purpose in the world.
First, take your time. You’ve been invited on an amazing journey that will take years to sort out. Many people rush to join another congregation or start their own house group to fill the void but only end up recreating what they had left. Resist the urge to find another group right away or create one. This is a season to draw closer to God and let him fill the void. There will be time for more connections later when it’s not a response to a driven need, but a freedom to embrace the gift of community that God wants to give you.
Second, don’t force your journey on others. You don’t have to tell people, “I’ve left the church” or judge as less spiritual those who still go. This isn’t about judging others or making outlandish conclusions about the future you can’t begin to sort out yet. Simply follow Jesus however he leads you and be gently honest with those who ask you why you’re not doing the things you used to. Remember, you’re the one whose changed here, they are just doing the things you’ve always done, believing they are obligated to do so. They will be threatened by the change you’re making, and you can help disarm that by letting them have their own journey. Don’t try to change them, or to fix them. You can’t until the Spirit awakens the same hunger in them that he has in you.
Third, lose your need to be validated by others. Religion works by establishing a set of expectations and rewarding those who conform and punishing those who do not. The greatest freedom in this journey is to let Jesus to break that cycle so that you can find your identity in his love for you. Trying to convince others how right you are will only harden them and destroy your friendship with them. Trying to justify yourself will not allow you to love others nor will it lead you to the freedom from the tyranny of other people’s opinions of you. Be gracious to all and let his affirmation of your life and experience be all the validation you need.
Fourth, learn the beauty and rhythms of love. Following ritual and rules that others demand of you is still following law, even if we call them “New Testament principles.” God doesn’t transform us through obligation or meeting the expectations of others. The reason why many of us grew frustrated in religious settings is because they made promises to us they couldn’t fulfill. The harder we tried the emptier we felt. God has been inviting you to live in a new creation where his love transforms us in the deepest part of our soul. Over this season you’ll learn to see through the manipulation of obligation, accountability, guilt, and fear and into a different rhythm that will allow you to live more at rest, aware of others, and free from the pressures of this age. Instead of doing what others think you should do, you’ll be freer to discern his work in you and find yourself embracing the realities of grace, forgiveness, freedom, and generosity. It all begins as you ask him to show you how deeply loved by God you are, then let him show you. This is the trailhead that will lead you to greater freedom and fullness.
Fifth, watch your trust in him grow. Many are surprised to discover how much of their religious life was driven by fear—of God punishing them, of going astray, of what others will think, or of failure. As you are more in touch with his love and delight in you, even when you’re struggling or doubting, you’ll find that your trust in his goodness will begin to grow. You’ll realize he’s for you, not against you and that your own efforts were never going to produce his life in you. Now you’ll discover the joy of cooperating with his work in you and find yourself more relaxed, more aware of his nudges and insight, and less inclined toward destructive and hurtful actions. When Paul talked about the righteousness that comes from trust, this is what he was talking about. Where we trust him we won’t try to save ourselves or force our way. Now we can know what it is to be content in him whatever life brings to us because he is walking with us through it.
Sixth, cultivate friendships with others. God’s love working in you will free you to love each person God puts in front of you. Take an interest in them, whether they already know God or not, and watch as they begin to pen up with their concerns, struggles, and joys. Look for ways to encourage them as God gives you insight to do so. Get to know people you already know from work, school, or your neighborhood. Contact people in your address book and take them out to lunch. Where the relationship becomes relaxed, authentic and mutual, make time for those friendships to grow so his community can take shape around you.
Seventh, let God expand your view of his church. Most people think of the church as a specific group or meeting at a set time and place and if you’re not there you are not part of his church. They are made to feel guilty and isolated as others withdraw from them. It’s easy to feel as if you’re the only one weary of the religious institution. But you’re not. The latest research shows you are one in about 31 million adults in America who do not belong a local congregation but are still actively looking to follow Christ, which is about the same number of people who do belong. That means one in every seven adults are on a similar journey to yours and there are 7 million who are “almost dones” who still attend but are there in body only. Does that mean the church is failing? Only if we look at our human attempts to manage it. What you’ll discover is that Jesus’ church was never meant to be an institution, but a growing family who are learning to walk with him and who are learning to share his life and love with others. Real community flows from friendships not meetings, which is why Jesus spent time with the people in his life in more informal settings. As we come to see his church as a reality outside of human control, then you can embrace her reality however she takes shape in the relationships and connections around you.
Learning to live in his freedom and joy is the fruit of a process that takes a significant period of time in our lives. Don’t rush the process. Learn to embrace him and relax in the process and you will discover that “something more” that your heart has been seeking. You’ll find yourself in meaningful conversations that will deepen your own faith and encourage others to find more reality in theirs.
It is my hope that those who are done with religious institutions, don’t go off and create their own, but learn to live differently in the world and then be able to see the church Jesus is building taking shape right around them.
- Part 1: The Secret Is Out
- Part 2: The Labels that Divide Us
- Part 3: Why People are leaving
- Part 4: Stupid Things Said In the Name of Jesus
- Part 4: Church Refugrees Could be a Game Changer
- Part 5: I'm looking for 35 Million People
It’s my daughter’s birthday today and I’ve been thinking of her all week and what it means to have a daughter who is turning thirty-(mumble-mumble). What an absolute joy it has been to watch her continue to grow as a wife, mother, and friend to so many and how she gives of herself to help others.
I’ve never understood the dad who isn’t capable of loving his daughter and allows her to grow up in the world without the love she deserves. Your daughter is worthy of love, just as she is. Love isn’t something you earn and she needs it most when she feels like she deserves it least. Treasure her and show her she can trust you so she can rest knowing someone will always be in her corner.
She is living in a very broken world and you won’t be able to protect her from every pain and challenge that comes her way. Be the voice that inspires her to courage in the face of trouble and resilience when recovering from it, realizing the future can always overcome her past. She will make mistakes, same as you, and will need to understand that none of us have to be perfect so show her how to embrace the power of forgiveness, especially of yourselves and the joy of getting up again and pressing on for something better.
She will want to know she isn’t alone in the universe, that Someone has her in his hands who loves her more than anyone else in this world possibly could, including me! And he will help her navigate the twists and turns of life and find great joy in freeing her to be all that he created her to be.
Loving her and being there is enough. You don’t have to force your wisdom or ways on her. Be ready to serve her when she desires it, help her where she wants it, but don’t try to control her life to make yourself happy. Never begrudge her the joy of growing up and finding her way in the world. If she learns integrity, thoughtfulness and considerations of others, she will find a life worth living.
A daughter deeply loved is a gift to the world. She will recognize others around her did not grow up with the same love she did and through kindness and generosity she can share that love with others that they didn’t get from others.
No matter how old she gets, she’s will always be your little girl and when she walks into a room your heart will light up. Her joy is your joy; her pain your pain. No one touches the same place in your heart as she does.
J, from the first time I held you to the last time I hugged you and every moment in between being your dad is one of the richest treasures of my life. You are all these things and more, and I couldn’t be more proud of you and the life you live.
Happy birthday, Sweetheart! Every day celebrate the life God gave you. You live it well!
It has been awhile since I've updated people on Kenya. While I don't talk about it much, I have spent about a quarter of my time this year just working out what we can do in Pokot and what God wants us to do. I don't want readers of the blog to feel badgered by their need, but it is something I have lived with every day this year. I don't feel like I have a lot of wisdom here, and Lifestream certainly is not a missions organization, even though 85% of our budget last year went into Kenya. This is a labor of love, because God related us to some people in Kenya who stumbled upon some other people in greater need than they were and had hearts to love and care for them. We are just following the nudges God gives us and the wisdom he has provided through more experienced people to help the brothers and sisters in West Pokot, one of three impoverished counties in the north of Kenya and a prime target for terrorist groups fomenting unrest in the region. By God's grace we've been able to help one of these counties whose nomadic economy melted down in a prolonged drought. We have brought food, water, medicine, education and the Gospel into this region through our friends from further south in Kenya who are sacrificing their own needs to help with those who have even less. (If you want to read the whole story, click here.)
In the last month we have drilled two new wells, bringing water as close as we can to each of the villages. We are not planning on drilling any more. But we have helped to train a team of four coaches who can help the villages work for their own solutions to these ongoing needs by using readily-available, local, low-tech resources to address the most significant need in their village. The hope is that in five years they can address those needs themselves by utilizing 50% of their won sweat equity and 50% outside resource. We've committed one million dollars to this effort over the next 7 years, when our involvement in Kenya will end. So every thing we do has to be with an eye to sustainability after that time. We have already been given a gift of $500,000 toward this goal and are confident Father will provide the remaining through people who want to share with these people. We are using that money to increase their health, education, and micro-financed loans to create enterprises that will generate jobs and resource for these communities.
So we have drilled three new wells, have trained coaches and are providing for them while they work with the villages, and also provide food directly to widows and breast-feeding moms who have no resource at this point. In the pictures below you can see some of this taking place. This is a recent report from the front lines:
We arrived well in Kitale and everything in the ground is well, starting from water, businesses, dispensary and the school. The villagers are happy to be involved in their development through the committees and our coaching team who were so committed to see that the lives of our Brothers and sisters are transformed from one form to another.
The villagers and the committees are happy to start the business, as well as getting water in the nearby place. On loans we have covered around 18 people who are now doing business of different type, that is one group and eight people. Regarding the food donation we purchase it and take it to the food committees to give it to the old aged and breastfeeding mom, everyone were having a smile to receive food, it is our prayers that by helping them with soft loans the issues of food donation will be reducing gradually with time till we will just remain with very week old aged people. So we shall make sure every months we do it, so that we can complete every at least to start something for the living.
The poor are being served, the widows and nursing moms can eat, and water is flowing in the region. I am grateful for all of these things, and that what is going on physically is also reflected in what is going on spiritually. Into these parched souls the gospel of grace is also nourishing their hearts. They have responded with open hearts to the gospel as it is being demonstrated and proclaimed among them. The bulk of this work has been done by the brothers and sisters I met in Kenya a few years ago. While this entire process has exhausted me at times, in others it causes my heart to explode with gratefulness to God that he positioned us to help people in great need.
Obviously there are continuing needs here. If your heart is moved to help us, please see our Sharing With the World page at Lifestream. You can either donate with a credit card there, or you can mail a check to Lifestream Ministries • 1560-1 Newbury Rd #313 • Newbury Park, CA 91320. Or if you prefer, we can take your donation over the phone at (805) 498-7774.
A new well for people who have beenwalking 26 km one way to get water
Rigging up the delivery system for the new water
The children rejoice when the well struck water
Food is being distributed to the elderly and nursing moms who have no resource
Glory World Medien has just released Finding Church in German. They have done many of my other books three and are calling this one, The Community of the New Creation. I'm surprised at the hunger in Germany for so many to think outside the box of religious obligation and discover that Jesus is building a church in the world that is rising with magnificent splendor. She sometimes overlap our human attempts to build "churches", but she transcends it in so many ways as well. Many are discovering that his church is more like wildflowers scattered on a hill side rather than the manicured hedges of a formal garden. I love the conversation this is stirring and the courage people take in re-examining what we've called the "church" to see if there aren't better ways to express the life of his community.
Thanks to the efforts of Glory World, the message is spreading in Germany. I get many emails from there and am blessed by the friendships I've formed in my previous visits there. There are also translations in process for Finding Church into French and Dutch.
I've just finalized my travel schedule to year's end, and if you want to join me somewhere along the way, you can contact the link below and come join us. I'll begin in Chicago, make my way into southern Wisconsin, and then off to northeast Ohio. I actually still have an evening free on Wednesday, November 18, which I will use for some rest, or to connect with those who might want to in either near Cleveland, OH, Columbus, OH, or Pittsburgh, PA. I have feelers out for all of those right now. The others you can connect to through my travel page. After Thanksgiving I'm making one more trip, this one by car to Orange County California to spend time with people there during the first week of December.
The reason I travel these day is to have "conversations that matter with people who care." I don't do a lot of presentations or seminars unless someone insists on it. I travel to help people process their journey along the lines of those things I've written about or shared on The God Journey, to equip others to live loved and learn how to love others in a way that helps the church take shape, and to be a catalyst for bringing people together who are exploring a similr journey so they can meet others along the way.
I haven't scheduled any trips in 2016, though I'm seriously considering a trip to England early in the year. I've got a ton of interest from there. Other than that, I'm dangerously close to declaring invite bankruptcy. I have a huge list here of people that have invited me to various places around the world that I haven't gotten to yet and I'm not even sure who is still interested in my coming, or has a vision for it. When I haven't heard from these people in a while, I assume they are no longer interested. So, if it is on your heart to have me come, you might re-invite me. If I travel far, I look for other interest in the area to make good use of time and cost of travel. So if you've invited me, don't assume it's still on my radar screen. Please let me know where you'd like me to come, when you'd like me to come, and what's on your heart about why I would come. Then we can pray together and see what Father makes clear. I really don't try to control where I go, and I'm sorry if I haven't been to your region recently.
And, please, only invite me if you know of someone willing to host a gathering. If you just want me to let you know when I'm coming to your area I lost track of that a long time ago. But I have an email list that tracks all that for me now. If you’d like to be notified when I’m coming to your area you can sign up for Wayne's Travel Notifications.
What does it take for me to show up somewhere? How much do I charge? What kind of meetings do you need to plan? I only travel when God clearly directs me to go somewhere and when I see a clear purpose in my coming and at least a handful of people who want to explore the journey. It helps if people on the other end have that as well. I do not charge anything, even for my own airfare. I go where God sends me and trust that he will provide whatever I need. If the people inviting me can help with my expenses and my time, that's always a blessing, but it is not necessary. God has so many ways to provide for whatever he wants. If you want me to cover a specific topic while I'm there, I'm happy to consider it. Mostly, though I find open conversations lead us wherever we need to go. I encourage people to open the meetings to others on my mailing list because there are always people nearby who are hoping to meet on others on this journey, but you don't have ot. If you have a specific group that wants to explore some things more privately, I'm happy to pray about that. This is really about serving you and what you see God doing in your area, not trying to control the outcome myself.
I've been traveling extensively for over 25 years now to help encourage the body of Christ and see what connections he wants to produce in the world. I've never had a bad experience and my life has been wonderfully enriched by seeing his hand and meeting his people all ove rthe world. But honestly, I don't do it because I love it. I'd rather spend every night of my life home with Sara. But I know God has a purpose in these things and I'm happy to serve you and him when he makes that clear.
It was one of the most exruciating "worship services" I've ever endured. As part of the conference I attended last week we were subjected to an experience that was put together by a worship design studio, whatever the wacky thing that is. There was singing, talk of God, and even communion. It was supposed to show the conference new and innovative ways of "worship" and I'll admit that everyone around me seemed to be enjouying it. At least they were participating, but so was I. Unfortunately it never allowed any of us sustained engaement with God. We were constantly being interrupted to do little worship activities that seemed more suited for a five-year old. No, it wasn't childlike, it seemed childish, and incredibly tedious.
How far out of the box have I wandered?
They started the service with asking us to write a six-word definition of worship. I know they were meaning "worship" as a service, but I see "worship" as a lifestlye, so I wrote, "Our lives lived in loving engagement." It's not what we say or sing to God it's how we live in him and share his love with others around us. At the end of our ninety minute experience, however, I crossed out my original definition, to write what I had just experienced: "Groping for reality in contrived illusions."
And I wrote it with sorrow. There were hungry hearts all over the room, people really wanting to connect with God, and instead of being given that opportunity they were put through a host of excercies and instructions and told this was their connection to God. I thnk many of them believed it and I honestly wanted to cry. Has our engagement wiht God become so abstract that we need activities to keep us amused or an ever-shifting set of exepriences to keep us from getting board. I find wherever God makes himself known and people are genuine and authentic, that is more than enough to keep people's interest.
Yes, there were moments I could lean into God and have some time with him, but it would soon be interrupted with our time to lament, or to focus on our brokenness. It got so I hated to hear the voice in the microphone offering me yet another thing to do.
When it was over I turned to the person next to me who used to be a worship leader before they became a "done." I showed them my new definition of worship and they laught heartily with a knowing nod. And then she leaned over to me and whispered, "Once you take things out of the box, it's impossible to get them back in again."
It was my turn to smile. True as true can be!
I remember groping from reality in so many contrived and artifical settings. Yes there were moments God made himself known, but many more that were repetitive, boring, and seemed to require a high degree of pretense to make it work. It's better to take the things out of the box and find out what is real that invites us inside his reality and which are human engineered exercises to make us only think it is happening.
But beware. Once you take them out, you may not be able to get them back in. But you won't regret it!
Here it is... My story as best I can tell it, at least from this stage of the journey. This summer I was approached by two men who wanted to interview me for a documentary they are working on about people who have left religious institutions. They were planning to come to California but when my travels toook me near them, they asked if I could come early for a video-taped interview.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with Jeff Herr of DefiningRoots.com for a no-holes-barred question answer session where he freely probed my thoughts and passions and how I moved from being a pastor to helping those who felt they no longer fit in the traditional congregation. Jeff had had read my books and listened to my podcast, but we had not met before this trip. The result is an hour and 15 minute interview by a campfire in the growing dusk of late summer in Indiana. Produced by Daniel Madison they are going to use clips for their documentary, but offered the entire interview to me to play for those who frequent Lifestream and TheGodJourney.com.
In this I answer such questions as:
- What began this journey for you?
- Did you feel God spoke to you to become a pastor? Do you now think you misunderstodd him?
- What made you give up on an institutional approach to church life?
- How did you feel trying to be a leader as a young man with so little life experience?
- Why did you leave the first church you were a part of?
- Was the institutional model ever alive?
- What is your definition of the church?
- Is your view of the church only viable for mature Christians?
- What would you say to those who think that without the insittution believers will go off track?
- How can you live church apart from a system and not end up alone? What would you say to those who have a hard time finding fellowship outside a system?
- Why do you think accountability is not the basis of chruch life?
- How do you explain to your family that you don't want "to go to church anymore?"
- What does it mean to live loved?
- What happeend that caused you to leave the church you hleped plant?
- Was this part of your journey birthed in bitterness for what you experienced?
The interview is in two parts:
Learning to Live Loved: Part One
Learning to Live Loved: Part Two
There is no such thing as the right place, the right job, the right calling or ministry. I can be happy or unhappy in all situations. I am sure of it, because I have been. I have felt distraught and joyful in situations of abundance as well as poverty, in situations of popularity and anonymity, in situations of success and failure. The difference was never based on the situation itself, but always on my state of mind and heart. When I knew I was walking with God, I always felt happy and at peace. When I was entangled in my own complaints and emotional needs, I always felt restless and divided.
Henri J. M. Nouwen in Seeking Peace
I really appreciate this quote from Henri Nouwen. Our culture seduces us to an unending and unfulfillable quest to make every circumstance just the way we want it, and to great frustration when we cannot do it. Life is unpredictable and circumstances can bring incredible challenges out of no where and then we feel so unloved by God. You will never get your circumstances exactly how you want them, but you can set your eyes on him no matter what you're going through. Most of my infected with laughter moments have come in the midst of great challenge or risk.
Being at rest in God's love and in our place on the journey has nothing to do with our circumstances, only our engagement with him. Don't seek the outcome you desire, but God's unfolding grace regardless of circumstance and you won't be disappointed.