Sara and I are currently in Arlington, TX, for a couple of days, and then we’ll begin writing the final chapter of our RV trip around the U.S. And what a trip it has been. The team is still together; the joy continues to grow. If you haven’t listened to Wayne’s Happiest Day Ever, you might want to give it a listen. It sums up better than I ever could here what is transpiring on this journey.
We appreciate all those who have been praying for us, following our journey here, spending time with us at various spots, and most of all, for your encouragement and prayers. We have had some magnificent conversations on this journey, including one I recorded with a friend in Oklahoma about A Caring Heart and a Listening Ear, which you’ll be able to listen to this Friday at The God Journey.
The confirmation of Father’s work continues to come from so many places. One lady sent this to me after an evening in her home with a group that gathered for conversation:
In listening to Sara tell her story over a relatively short amount of time, I noticed from the first podcast to the later ones how much you could tell her story started to make sense just by how she was talking. It was as if the pieces coming together caused her sentences to go from slightly disjointed fragments of thoughts to beautifully cohesive sentences. It was like a timeline of healing represented in gramma. “Sara the Brave” is my new forever perception of her. Keep healing, Sara!
Mine too! For her to tell her story so openly and honestly has opened a massive door for others to trust us with their stories and unresolved pain. The Creation has so much brokenness—people wounded by abuse or delusions. This is why Jesus came, not to give people a get-out-of-hell card, but to save them from broken-heartedness, to free them from oppression, and to dispel the lies that drove them into the darkness.
This experience has been a Godsend for us this season and reshaped our hearts for whatever is next. We begin the last leg of our trip this Friday as we depart the Dallas/Fort Worth areas for our apartment in Southern California. We still have some stops on the way home, but our trajectory has changed once again due to the unseasonably cold weather. We’ll be cutting across the bottom of the U.S. with a stop to visit Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico and catch up with some dear friends along the way. Our final stop will be near Phoenix, AZ, November 21-22.
As we make our way home, we will complete this chapter and be ready to begin another. What will that look like? We have no idea at this point. We set out on August 22 from our former home in Newbury Park, CA, without a plan or itinerary. We thought we’d be home by October 18, but as it turns out, we won’t get there until November 24.
This entire experience with Sara has deepened our walk with God and each other. I’m hopeful that will continue as this story continues to unfold. We have both discovered so much about ourselves, his life in us, and how to hold people’s pain in an entirely different way. We have learned to live more in the present than trusting our familiar patterns and rely on Jesus’ direction rather than our plans. (If you’re curious about some of that, Kyle and I have been talking about most of it on the podcasts this fall.)
Will I finish the book I started before all of this, or travel as I had been before? Will we settle back in Newbury Park? What will become of Lifestream or The God Journey? All those questions are still in Father’s hands. We may come back to those things, but it will be with very different hearts. And we are also open to an entirely different way of living to accommodate what Father has for us in this next season of our lives.
We are excited to see how that will turn out and probably won’t know for some time. We know this—we will continue to follow Jesus as best we see him and love the people he puts in our path so that they can come to know Jesus the way we have and experience his freedom for them.
There is no greater joy than the adventure of following him and encouraging others as they seek to do so as well.
Just a couple of quick notes before we get back to life on the road—
First, the need for $168,000.00 in Kenya has been met. A dear friend called me to say he’d pick up whatever we lacked for those children. I’m deeply grateful to all who again contributed to this dire need. Two nights ago, Sara and I watched an NBC news story about the horrible drought and starvation occurring in the northern reaches of Kenya. We are grateful to have been a small part of God’s provision in such an impoverished region and thankful to hear that other resources are coming into the area.
Second, as you think of Christmas gifts for family and friends, keep in mind the possibility of sharing some of the books I’ve been involved in. Live Loved Free Full is a daily devotional with inspiring thoughts to invite people into a relational engagement with God each day. He Loves Me continues to touch new hearts every year with the relationship people have wanted to find with God. In Season offers a farmer’s view of John 15 to help people discover what it means to abide in Jesus organically. And, A Man Like No Other is a powerful portrayal of the life of Jesus in art and prose that invites people to see Jesus outside the distortions of religious interpretation and fall in love with the person he is.
Finally, Sara and I want you to know that the joy and freedom we find in Jesus are available to each of you. He is no respecter of persons. His course may be very different for you, but he is the Way for you too, and he can carve a path through the pain, fear, and struggles you endure. To that end, you have our prayers and support.