I first wrote this post in July 2010 and it's still one of my most read posts. It's absolutely still one of my biggest prayers for myself - 3 years later. I felt like it really applies today as we're leaving Fort Wayne to move to Charleston to plant Gospel Community Charleston. Pray for us? Thank you.
The Wild Anchor: Diary of a church planter's wife, volume 2.
I was going to write a whole post on how my friend asked me to basically speak to her in code about our upcoming move. Because it's so dependent on fundraising and ticket prices and finishing well here - we found that my baby wipe purchases would be a good indicator. Last week Nick told me, "don't buy baby wipes in bulk - we need to act like the Isrealites and be ready to go when the Lord says go". He was half kidding. This week, we already needed more wipes (because we didn't buy bulk and because Glory steals them and cleans the whole house with them) so we made the executive decision to buy wipes in bulk, because come on - even if we leave before we use them all, it will be good to have some in our luggage.
So, my point is - I could write a whole post about instability and the questions that loom at the very, very, infant stages of a church plant or I could write about the redemptive truth of Christ that is keeping me sane and even excited in the midst of it.
I've been praying that I'd be the anchor. This whole year, I've been asking the Lord to make me like the fruitful forest of Isaiah 32. A place of peace, quietness, righteousness, and trust - forever for my family. I'll tell you what - this afternoon after our hellish Target trip to get more wipes, I felt much more like a psycho forest wildfire. Anyhow, my request - or even, my quest, has been the same with this church planting... that I'd be a place of peace and calm grounding our family together through transition. I've asked the Lord countless times to anchor myself to Him so that I won't waver or freak out or puke or sweat or cry when I think about how much I love stability and logistics and schedules. And not just for this month or two - but for the whole of our lives. I'd like to be so anchored to him, that two years from now when "church planting" becomes real life, I will be ready for whatever comes. Standing strong and steady, holding our family together with prayer and love and homemade cookies - an anchor.
Now here's the flipside.
At church today, we heard a sermon that was so provoking & beautiful for our season, I could've just choked. One of our pastors was preaching on the feeding of the five thousand and how the disciples were failing the test of believing Jesus could do what He said He could. If He could raise the dead, forgive sins, and turn water into wine - couldn't he feed five thousand if need be? Why do we domesticate Him and manage Him and ask Him for only things that we ourselves could do? To partially give Him credit and pat ourselves on the back?
And the Holy Spirit was provoking me. Again, about this issue. You - future/semi-present church planter's wife? Have you domesticated Him and figured Him out with excel spreadsheets and back-up plans and ideas of keeping your home safe from the wild of ministering to His people? Have your squelched your husband's sense of adventure that is gospel-centered for the sake of practicality and have you gone to bed doubting after only a few days of fundraising?
Yes, I have.
As a mother, I've made Him safe. I've tried to figure out discipline and strategies and meal plans and organization. I've fretted over unclean kitchen floors and laundry that goes on for days. I've made my job my idol and I've made the disdain of my job my ultimate need for repentance. Rarely do I let the Lord ravage me with His grace and mercy at 5:30 am. Because there is yoga to do & sippy cups to get ready and a house to manage.
It's a delicate balance, right? To be a wild anchor. To love the call of supporting your husband in ministry (or an office job, or whatever) so much that you're willing to sacrifice your own career or desires to build a home for your family. Sadly, once you start to conquer that selfish monster that promises you could have done it all better - you have a new battle of idolizing your own transformation into Martha Stewart, with your charts and your sweeping and your muffins. But this call is not safe at all. Not for any of us, women. It's not a return to idyllic Americana that I crave or that we're running towards. We want to be shocked by what Jesus has done in our own hearts - in our homes - so much so that it bleeds out into the communities that we're in. We want to pray prayers so LARGE that there is no way we could receive credit.
We want to plant churches in places where there are a million good reasons not to go -
and one good reason to do it anyway. Him.
The crowds He wants to feed.
I want to go and be a wild anchor amongst His people.