Growing Pains

We have begun the full swing of life again! Praise the Lord Jeff doesn’t have any night time classes this quarter! But I am going to be messing that up a little bit by auditing a night class. Haha. I have been to class twice, and I am determined to soak up the information from this class. The class is Self Care in Mission and it is taught by an Intercultural Studies professor, who currently serves in downtown LA, and a Psychology professor, who is head of the trauma/burnout research center.

I am excited about how God will use this knowledge in our future and the class is already helping me see the areas I will be weak in regards to culture shock. This class looks at the perspective from self exploration, but also from an organizations perspective. Self care/member care is dear to my heart for many reasons: experiences with family, preparing to be on the field ourselves, and some weird passion developed from my undergrad.

Even if it was close to my heart before, being married has seemed to call for it even more. Marriage is great! But, living 24/7 with someone, whom you have given permission to give you grace filled constructive criticism and encouragement, can often feel like staring at a mirror and having your eyes pealed back to the naked image of yourself and all of your weaknesses, anxieties, strengths, and passions being viewed straight through your soul. Having someone see this image and show it to you is breath taking, exciting, sigh of relief, nervous, scared, vulnerable, and  the feeling of being unconditionally loved all at once.

While physically growing, we all had growing pains; that shot of pain through your leg that was uncomfortable for a bit. Those of you who are tall, may have had more than me, cause I am short, but that’s besides the point.  Now, we have growing pains in our relationships. We have growing pains in our relationship with Lord, with our friends, and family. Recently, we have had moments of growing pains but as Jeff said, “it was good because we grew spiritually because of it.” And I would agree, we are finding hard times move past quicker and with less trouble. We are seeing God be comfort and teach us forgiveness towards each other as we learn what being married means. The first day of my class, my devotional for the day was Jeremiah 17: 7-8. It was so refreshing to me and brought such peace.

” Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

 whose trust is the Lord.

 He is like a tree planted by water,

that sends out its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

for its leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of drought,

for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

Lets take a moment to read it again. Ah, deep breath in, deep breath out!  Then, that night in my class, my professor started with a devotional and used Psalms 1 and this passage in Jeremiah. It was so lovely to begin reflecting on the same passage that I had earlier that day.

“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.”

Psalms 1:3

Lord, I pray you are the stream of water I am rooted in. I pray my trust is you God! I thank you that my marriage is rooted in your stream. That we do not have reason to fear drought or fire. That even though we may go through different seasons, we will produce fruit in the seasons you have planned for us and we shall not wither as long as we grow and drink for your life-giving streams.

Love y’all,

Lauren

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