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Hello, Change

October 3, 2008

Our community is ever in a state of flux. Perpetual, significant change is just a norm. The intensity and the facets of the seasons of transition ebb and flow. Sometimes there are simple, gradual changes. Sometimes there are huge changes like death and birth, people leaving the country, people leaving the NightWatch.

We seem to have passed into another one of those high-intensity transitional times again.

First, we have the circumstances of change:

The NightWatch schedule is changing for the first time in several years. We almost shifted a few sets around, several months ago, but that very quickly popped back to exactly what it had been for the last several years. We’ve had worship leaders change. We’ve had complete teams disolve and new teams start. But this is the first time in a VERY long time that the whole schedule is being rearranged. And I’m actually really excited about this change.

Two of my closest friends are leaving the NightWatch. Two of my closest friends… who I love and enjoy and spend a great deal of time with. In the past, I might have joined in with those who grieve as if our friends are dying or leaving the country, to never return. I know that our relationships will change, but I know that they are not completely leaving my life. I have peace about the change.

Perhaps death is what has sobered me to the impermanence and potential good of people leaving the NightWatch. Nights to days ISN’T permanant and irreversible. And their lives will continue, as will mine, and the movements of our lives will not be completely without intersection. Not like the aching emptiness of a life that ends and will never dance in and out of my own life again… until the day when everything changes and is restored and made new.

Death has also weighed in a lot in the last month or so. The kind of change that is utterly beyond our control and jolts everything out of place. Change that is not temporary, except in a far broader scale. Sometimes, the comfort of the resurrection isn’t comfort enough. Sometimes the groan for His return and His justice on the earth become so consuming that it seems impossible to keep going. But the same Spirit that groans within me and continues that perpetual cry for Jesus’ return is the Spirit that quickens me to life… filling me with joy and strength and courage to keep living… living fully.

In the week where death had already thrown everything into question and I was deeply wrestling through the “HOW LONG?” dialog that also appears in many of the Psalms, more death seemed to be around every corner. A couple lost their baby. The beloved Dr. Null passed away. Grief and loss spattered my already doubtful, grasping, desperate, and questioning existence. But His leadership is perfect and He continued to lead me through those murky waters. My hope waned and shifted, and it took on a completely new form once it has passed through those refining fires, but hope endured (or perhaps died and reemerged from) those flames.

New life is also an element of change in our community right now. Several of my friends are pregnant. While we are still months away from meeting these babies, God is already shaping their whole selves. Talk to the Lord about a baby who is not yet born and you begin to understand how real and alive they are in the Lord’s eyes… how much He already has in His heart for them. It’s so moving, as He shares glimpses into those lives. Not to mention the constant physical changes that are happening in the baby and even the woman’s own body. (Just ask any pregnant woman… she is well acquainted with steady change.)

My personal schedule and staff designation are also changing… praise the Lord. My days of operations staff are ending and I am returning to a full-time staff designation. This means that I get to spend more time in the prayer room. The prayer room kind of shifts into a higher level of priority again. I am SO excited about this change.

Our government is also in the midst of significant transition. Approaching elections and the leadership shift that follows. Shifting economy and nationwide financial panic. Constantly changing international climate.

Even my relationship with Richard has recently seen significant transition. We’re still moving at a slow pace, but there are firsts in a relationship that naturally make things different after they have happened. Things like the first REAL fight (of a certain nature, at least)… where I was actually fully emotionally present in the midst of the conflict and the majority of our night off was consumed by tearful confrontation.

Let us not forget marriage. Tom and Natina are married, now. And I am going to three more weddings this month. Weddings are pretty significant transitions, if you ask me.

Also, beginning next week I will be teaching again. At least SORT OF teaching. I am partially teaching a class on the book of Daniel for a group of NightWatch Media Apprentices. We’ll meet for three hours, once a week, up until Christmas. I will be teaching about half of the material and facilitating discussion as we go through Allen Hood’s Daniel class. It’s exciting, but also drags me a bit out of my comfort zone again.

Too many things are shifting and changing right now to name them all. But you can surely see from the list that I have already given that there is a lot of transition in our community right now.

I am going to dedicate another post to my general feelings on change at this time.

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