Eights years ago, I endured through one of the most difficult seasons of my life. I left my (then) current pastorate in hopes of planting a church called Quest but everything I had envisioned didn’t immediately come to pass. Instead of planting a church, I was working as a custodian scrubbing toilets, vaccuuming and struggling to provide for my (then) one child and pregnant wife. I still remember bitterly sobbing in my room one night and saying a few choice words to God:
I am so angry at you. I feel like I lost control of my life.
(the PG version)
I learned through that experience that (again) I don’t have ultimate control over my life and prayed I would never go through anything like that again…
Well, I guess life has its seasons of unexpected turns. Nearly two weeks ago, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. It was a painful decision but consulted with my wife, and then informed our kids that because of some financial situations (and investment with One Day’s Wages), Dad & Mom had chosen to sublet our furnished home for couple months to some strangers and within 72 hours, we’d have to pack up some stuff and stay with some friends.
And for the past couple weeks, we’ve been “couch surfing” with one of my members of our church staff and living out of 3 suitcases. Seriously, I like to think of myself as adventurous and living on faith, but I could not have envisioned at the age 38 – placing my wife and kids in this situation. And to be honest, had I known, I would never have gone forward with our pledge to give up our year’s salary in starting the vision of One Day’s Wages. I wish that wasn’t the case but that is the truth…
Now that some days have passed, I feel a little more comfortable sharing this – not to elicit pity but in hopes that in some mysterious way, our season of struggle and unexpected turns may encourage at least one reader who is experiencing “things not going as planned.”
What I’m learning – again – is that despite our best laid plans and intentions, things don’t always work out the way we envision – and that’s OK.
A year ago, we envisioned starting One Day’s Wages, selling our rental home for top money to fund the vision & pay off debts, getting lots of support, getting on Oprah, chillin’ with Bono, funding hundreds of organizations doing amazing work…
Umm, not quite… But nevertheless, we feel as convicted (and a little battered and bruised) and reminded in a fresh way that our hope is not in a vision, a donor, a website, or an idea, but ultimately, in the Lord who is the author of all such things…and the Lord who loves my children more than I can every imagine.
I hope folks don’t construe this as a circuitous request for personal financial help. No, but we do covet your prayers. Could you take couple minutes to lift up a prayer for my family and especially for me? There are moments when I feel like I’m drowning in these thoughts that I’m miserably failing my wife and kids. I love them so dearly that it hurts so much to place them in this situation. Needless to say, my male pride and ego has taken some shots.
It’ll all work out in the end – not the way I envisioned – but it’ll work itself out.
God has been gracious and I don’t doubt that He is using us to participate in His Kingdom works. Friends have been gracious to allow us to stay with them. Our church board and community has been gracious to our family. I wasn’t feeling this way two weeks ago when I had to make this decision but we are indeed thankful that we get to birth One Day’s Wages (official launch on October 20) and dream about collaborating with many of you, with thousands of organizations, and people around the world to empower folks to lift themselves out of poverty.
Thanks for your support and prayers.
There are times I wish my faith and thinking was indeed simple like my 6 year old son. In response to Minhee and I sharing about moving out, he responded with just one question:
“Can we take our Wii?”
Here’s the vision of One Day’s Wages