The ground Sara and I have traversed this year is extraordinarily beautiful, and I mean that in multiple ways. Not only are we learning more about Sara’s trauma and what freedom looks like for her, but we are also seeing things about God’s heart and freedom for lost hearts that are rocking our world. Some of it moves us even further outside the lines of the institutionalized Christianity we grew up in, but the depth of it seems far truer to scripture than the distorted interpretations performance-based Christianity gave us.
We’ve been sharing all that on the God Journey. We’ve talked about holding the agony and ecstasy of God for the pain and redemption of the world, how God’s view of sin may be very different from ours, and how redemption can make a way through the greatest cruelties in life. Following Jesus today is not easy, especially when the religious powers that be question your motives, dismiss what you’re learning about Jesus, or falsely accuse you to marginalize you. Jesus said we are blessed when people “insult you, lie about you, and exclude you because of him,” though we rarely feel blessed in such moments.
I got this email the other day from someone who has been listening—
“I couldn’t believe it when you started this conversation. For the past 15+ years that I have been listening to The God Journey, you have confirmed so many thoughts that I have had that would get me a reprimand from normal ‘church people.’ This week’s conversation with Sarah was more of that.”
A year ago, Sara and I took our Return to Innocence Tour from California to Virginia and back. Since then, we’ve been finding and fixing up a home. We are just getting it to the point where we can enjoy it but sense that breath of the Spirit inviting us on yet another trip, this time into the heartland of the U.S. So, next week, we’ll be leaving on another RV trip to enjoy time together as well as to see who Father might want to put in our path.
Last year, we talked a lot about our trauma story as we helped others with theirs. We will still do that anywhere on our journey where it would be helpful, but I think we’re going to call this our Swimming Upstream Tour. As beautiful as this journey is in learning to live loved, there is also a toll it takes on us, often from well-meaning family and friends who hold a more legalistic view of God. Knowing you’re not alone in that can be incredibly helpful.
We are looking to encourage some weary hearts on this journey and see what God is revealing to his children, especially those who are learning to live loved in a hostile world. The above map with approximate dates will give you an idea of where we are going to go on this trip. We already have some events planned in Wichita, Little Rock, and Austin, but we’re open to other opportunities that might bring people together or connect in other ways that may be helpful to you—grabbing a meal with us by the side of the road, going for an early morning walk, or sitting with us by a campfire to share this magnificent journey of following Jesus against the grain of religious sensibilities. As opportunities are updated, we’ll include that information on our Travel Schedule at Lifestream.org and on my Facebook Author Page.
So, if you are along our route somewhere and would like to hang out somewhere, please email me to see what we might be able to arrange. We can’t promise to do everything we are asked, and our schedule is going to be flexible, given how we are traveling, but we’ll pray alongside you and see what might be on Jesus’s heart. Don’t be bashful; often, the best connections come when people are a bit reticent to ask.