Crazy Weekends II: On the Faithfulness of God

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I knew that the weekend was going to be interesting, but I got a much different sort of interesting than I expected.

Much of Friday was spent stressing about getting ready to go--finishing up my work for the week as well as putting together last-minute details like directions and such. I knew that I needed to dramatically lower my stress levels, but riding down in a van with 13 other people besides Pete was not exactly the way to do it.

About fifteen minutes after we left, I realized that I had forgotten my pills, which basically meant that I was *not* going to be at my optimum over the weekend. I dissolved into tears, hoping that somehow things would magically get better.

It was not to be. By the time we arrived at the Moss home in Yorktown, I was having convulsions and I could barely walk. Here I was, group coordinator, coming down to minister to people--and I lost my ability to make any decisions without spiraling into a panic attack that left me terrified and helpless. And to top it off, it was the first time I'd had convulsions without the knowledge that Pete was with me.

I didn't know what to expect. Prior experience had taught that people were going to look at me funny. They were going to try to fix it and if they couldn't, it would be my own fault. I was apologizing like crazy.

Then something happened that I did not expect.

People started praying for me. Joseph's dad, Mark Moss, came into the study where I had collapsed into a chair, and prayed over me. My host parents came in and my host dad carried me to the car. They promised to go through their supplements and see if they had anything that I needed. They also went out for Motrin to lessen the pain and the swelling, even though they didn't have any in their house.

God had already provided me with the roommate that I could be so weak with--but I still felt so bad for her. As I started to go to sleep, I rolled into the pillow, collapsing into tears, deciding that all that was left for me was to bury myself and try to live down my embarrassment in the morning.

Then my host mom came in. She didn't ask me why I was crying. She didn't pressure me. She laid her hands on me and prayed for me. And as she prayed, I remembered another time recently when I had been at my wit's end. I had screamed at Pete, "Where is the church? Where are the people who are supposed to be there? Who love without condition, who give freely of themselves?"

I started crying for a different reason--God really did have His own people who loved, who gave, who served because they were His--not just for themselves or anything they might gain. He reminded me of His faithfulness to His Word. Ash suggested something to me that I didn't quite know what to do with. "Kelly, maybe God wants to show you what it is like to be loved the way you love others."

Novel concept. Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only one who gives unconditionally, who is willing to lay my life down for people and pray for them, even though they don't know me, or I don't know them. I want to open my life and my world to everyone and let them know that it is possible to have a safe place and to be a child with God and His people.

But too many times, the church that claims to love with God's love has conditions attached, and this was the first time in years I have seen His love lived out in a group of individuals. In fact, I think I've never seen anything like what I saw this weekend.

I've never been so broken and found such a safe place in His people.

It's heartbreaking in some respects, and cause for joy in others. God is still faithful. There are still people who praise His name, who seek His face, and who long to love with His love. There are those who are filled with joy at the mention of His name, and who seek to revere Him as God, instead of simply looking for their own ways of doing things.

My heart is so hungry for that kind of fellowship... My heart is breaking to be joyful at God again. This weekend was a reminder for me that it is still possible.

MANY thanks to the team for their hard work on Saturday, for their laughter and for their smiles. Thanks to the hearts that communicated the words of the songs they sang on Sunday, even though they couldn't hear the piano and had voices worth about squat after recording! (We are DEFINITELY not an a cappella group, guys! *grin*) Thanks to God for safe travels, and for conversations and for hospitality.

This will be my last trip with Free Indeed. All of you have made a difference in my life. I hope to hear that God is still doing great things with His team in the years to come! It was His idea after all! If I can put into practice what I learned about His faithfulness, I might not even stress out about leaving the team!

He is good. Even on crazy weekends.


Leeann said...

You know, Kell... for some odd reason it's hard to think of Free Indeed without you, and you without Free Indeed. I know you've not been doing it as long as I've known you, but I think it's such a natural outpouring of what your heart and talent is that I just associate the two so closely. But this means you'll get to pour yourself out in a new way...
I was very glad to hear (several) good reports of the Yorktown visit. I know it wasn't an easy weekend for anyone (even those who tried to stay safely in their Alexandria townhouses... HA!), but God is sufficient, and God is good. Deo volente, see you soon... Saturday if nothing else.

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