Joy Amidst Suffering
"Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4
This verse has been on my mind lately. Very long story short, my wife Darby had a surgery to get a cancerous tumor taken out of her neck. Now we have to do radiation and chemo to make sure the cancer doesn't come back. The world tells us to be victims. The world tells us to complain, to feel broken, to feel angry, annoyed, sad, what have you. While all of those are tempting responses, because there is no denying that this is not something we wanted, that is not the Gospel response. The response of a Christ follower is joy. Joy in the face of trials and suffering. It is hard to get more counter-cultural than that. But that is where Darby and I feel the Lord calling us. Calling us to joy, to thankfulness, to trust, to maturity. Because there really is so much to be thankful for. We live in a city with some of the best hospitals in the world, we have great doctors, she has a type of cancer that can actually be treated, and as weird as it is to say, this is the perfect time to have cancer. There isn't traffic to get to the hospital every day, she can do all her normal work while receiving chemo since most things are online now, it really is pretty ideal. Those are just the small things too, this whole ordeal has drawn Darby and I together, it has drawn us closer to the Lord. We have so much to be thankful for, and it has been such a learning experience for us both as well.
My friend Josh and I on a socially distanced walk and talk
My 1x1 ministry has been super encouraging this last month. I've been able to meet with some of my favorite guys consistently still, while mixing into that new friends and old friends that I don't get to have as much time with normally. One of my favorite interactions lately was with a student who has realized they are at a deciding point with faith. They are realizing that Jesus is calling them to go all in, and having to wrestle with the true cost of that. It was so cool to see this student articulate that to me. So many of our students are going through that but don't even realize, but he was aware of it and able to name it. I'm confident in the decision he is going to make, and so I'm just super excited about what comes next.
For lack of better photos, here is my niece playing at being all of us during quarantine.
Community wide updates
On a larger scale we are finally starting to break out of the holding pattern we have been in this summer. We are getting close enough to school starting that we are now able to make some plans, start selecting leaders and all the like. It has been super refreshing because we've just had to hold out on doing a lot of that because we didn't know what the campuses would end up doing and how that would throw a wrench in our plans.
Overall I am super excited for this next school year. It will come with challenges for sure, but I think it is going to be a really great time for our community to try out some new things.
Pray for Darby's treatment and recovery
Pray for selecting new leaders
Pray for creative ideas for the fall