“Today, look for the unfamiliar. Find where God needs you”
I remember sitting on a dark brown wooden bench, looking at the other members of my team circled in our main meeting area in Yetebon, Ethiopia. We had been there almost a week and so far nothing had gone as planned. But every moment remained beautiful and rich, especially once we learned to let go of the expectations and plans we had for our time at Project Mercy. I remember this day well. Our plans to go into the classroom to teach fell through again and our leader, Solomon, sat in the circle that evening and reminded us in his quiet, contemplative way to look for the unfamiliar ways we were to serve, love, and enter into relationship with those who crossed our path the next day. Never mind our thwarted plans, God had spaces for us to fill, we simply needed to seek them out to serve and love those God placed alongside of us.
These words have stayed with me during the past several months since returning from Ethiopia, often bubbling to the surface of my thoughts. These simple words ignited something within me, quietly challenging me to seek out new ways to serve, love, and enter into relationships wherever I find myself today.
And as I find myself with a fresh perspective in a familiar place, these words come to mind. I have transitioned into a new rhythm, adapting to yet another new, unfamiliar routine that comes with my final year at Taylor, student teaching, and living in a house with a group of dear, beautiful friends. When I have a moment to really dwell in the newness of where I am right now, following the moments of panic from the unknown, I find hope in the promises of a good Lord who loves us and cares for us, a God who is glorified while we live the lives He calls us to.
Right now I am choosing to really take in this transition, experiencing the moments of pain and fear that are thankfully accompanied by the moments of excitement and truth and the giddiness of a new adventure. While I think about this new space and rhythm, I am reminded of Isaiah 43:19:
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
I want to perceive this new thing; this new year and routine and opportunities. To recognize the beauty of new rhythms and new hopes, new dreams and aspirations and relationships and travels. I want to learn and grow and be aware of where I am at right now, seeking the unfamiliar ways to serve and love those around me.
In the coming months, this space we have been sharing for a short while is going to be changing a bit. See, I have this passion for simplicity and intentionality, especially as they relate to faith, daily living, and relationships. I find myself in a small brick house with four other women committed to living with intentionality to do the Lord’s good work this year. This house provides us the opportunity to learn how to live simply and practice and dwell in the richness of hospitality, creating a safe space for those who walk through our door. This, right here, is the space where I will be chronicling and reflecting on this process, sharing stories of our life together and how we are choosing to live well right now. I hope you visit this space this year, either online or in person, learning alongside of us and experiencing the life that dwells within the community we are called to live in together.