Since things have pretty much been silent for a couple of months, I thought it was time for an update. AND I needed to write… 🙂
So, about that update…
First – we did not get the coffeehouse grant. Which was a bit of a bummer. However, I never thought it was about the money, I wondered through the whole process, if it was God’s way of forcing our hand and casting the vision to our church. I believe, without a doubt, because of the series of events that occurred, that God brought us to that grant. He had a purpose for it, and quite apparently, it wasn’t about the money. But, now, instead of a small group of people on board – we have handfuls of people in different walks of life who are excited about it, and talking about it, and wanting to be involved. And that is exciting! While our $0 budget has expanded very minimally, the vision itself has increased 10 fold. And, the most important part, we are moving forward! We officially have a board started and have begun the process of narrowing down a location. I would ask that you would continue praying for us as this journey has still just begun. I can’t wait to see what God has in store once it all comes to fruition!!
Personally, this season has been difficult. Not because of the grant. But because of life. Justin and I are struggling on multiple levels with adjusting to two kids. Balancing their needs while prioritizing our marriage and jobs and still trying to get this coffee stuff up and running has proved to be beyond exhausting. I have somewhat recently entered a season of postpartum depression and, consequently, Justin has been struggling as well. The irony of so many other people being excited about the coffeehouse while we are simply in survival mode and unable to thrive, or be excited about pretty much anything, is extraordinarily disheartening. But we are pushing forward and fighting back the dark. And, lately, I have had more good days than bad, which is helping. But, again, prayers are more than appreciated. As we keep discussing, the enemy is real and active and he will do whatever he can to isolate us from others in our lives. We are in the midst of a battle and many days, lately, it feels as if the enemy might win. Thank goodness, the war is already won!
Recently, the Lord reminded me of His goodness with the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the driver.”
We will remain strong. We will live to fight another day. And, with God’s strength, we will accomplish the mission He has set us on. I am trusting the driver while we remain in this dark tunnel…but, truth be told, I think I’m beginning to see the light at the other end.
Isaiah 54 has also been a source of constant encouragement. I’ve included that chapter (all 17 verses) in its entirety below, with my emphasis added…the words that keep me going:
1“Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of the married woman,”
says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the site of your tent,
and let your tent curtains be stretched out;
do not hold back;
lengthen your ropes,
and drive your pegs deep.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
and your descendants will dispossess nations
and inhabit the desolate cities.
4 “Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame;
don’t be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced.
For you will forget the shame of your youth,
and you will no longer remember
the disgrace of your widowhood.
5 Indeed, your husband is your Maker—
his name is the Lord of Armies—
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of the whole earth.
6 For the Lord has called you,
like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit,
a wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,”
says your God.
7 “I deserted you for a brief moment,
but I will take you back with abundant compassion.
8 In a surge of anger
I hid my face from you for a moment,
but I will have compassion on you
with everlasting love,”
says the Lord your Redeemer.
9 “For this is like the days[a] of Noah to me:
when I swore that the water of Noah
would never flood the earth again,
so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
or rebuke you.
10 Though the mountains move
and the hills shake,
my love will not be removed from you
and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
says your compassionate Lord.
11 “Poor Jerusalem, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
I will set your stones in black mortar,[b]
and lay your foundations in lapis lazuli.
12 I will make your fortifications[c] out of rubies,
your gates out of sparkling stones,
and all your walls out of precious stones.
13 Then all your children will be taught by the Lord,
their prosperity will be great,
14 and you will be established
on a foundation of righteousness.
You will be far from oppression,
you will certainly not be afraid;
you will be far from terror,
it will certainly not come near you.
15 If anyone attacks you,
it is not from me;
whoever attacks you
will fall before you.
16 Look, I have created the craftsman
who blows on the charcoal fire
and produces a weapon suitable for its task;
and I have created the destroyer to cause havoc.
17 No weapon formed against you will succeed,
and you will refute any accusation[d]
raised against you in court.
This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants,
and their vindication is from me.”
This is the Lord’s declaration.