About a month ago, I wrote about seasons shifting. At that point, I still didn’t have a big picture vision for what God was leading us into. I just knew change was coming. Within the last month, I feel like a fog has lifted. I’m sure it was a combination of having-a-baby fog and also recovering-from-ministry-fog. But, there was a day recently when I woke up and felt like I could think clearly and was beginning to hear God’s voice again.
God began bringing people to mind to pray for; He began giving vision for what’s next for our family. Basically, He was connecting the dots of the last several months into a big picture vision: covenant. I had been asking God to give Nate a vision for what’s next because he’s often the big picture guy and I’m the details girl. Sure enough, Nate was the one who started using the words “season of relationships.” Sounds like vision and God to me.
Of course, now looking back over our marriage, for God to be calling us into a season of relationships again only makes sense. Here’s a brief glimpse into our last 14 years:
- Season of Covenant/Relationship: Nate and I lived in Indiana for the first six years of our marriage. It was a highly relational time. We had lots of friends and led a small group that later multiplied.
- Season of Pruning/Rest: Then we had our first baby, Nate was deployed to Afghanistan, we moved to a new city where we knew no one, and then had another baby. This season lasted about two years.
- Season of Kingdom/Work: We got vision for our church plant, moved to the inner city, and worked our tails off for Jesus and His call for discipleship and mission. That was another four years.
- Season of Rest/Pruning: This is the most recent season we’re stepping out of that lasted two years. We had our third baby, moved out of our city neighborhood and into the suburbs, and basically started over even though we are still in the same city.
Are you beginning to see a pattern? Doesn’t it only make sense that God would be talking to us about relationships again? So, we’re stepping into this covenant season with excitement. We’re looking forward to making some long-lasting, covenantal relationships. So, how are we going about it? What does this look like in practical terms? In steps God talking to me about the details!
Firstly, we’re viewing this season through the lens of discipleship, and specifically right now we’re being discipled by our pastor and his wife, Terry & Debbie. We get together with them twice a month for food and conversation. We’ve realized that besides our parents when we were growing up, we have not had proximal discipleship. So, we’d like to keep the relationship with our pastor and his wife going because we value their discipleship, leadership, and friendship.
Through discipleship, we then started looking at our life through the lens of three types of relationships: up (with our Father), in (with other believers), and out (with those who don’t believe). Discipleship includes all of these relationships, and I often see our conversations with Terry & Debbie revolving around each of these areas.
Right now, up is looking like lots of things:
- attending our church service twice a month
- daily scripture reading, journaling, and prayer as a family
- running at least weekly (this one is just for me)
In looks like this:
- participating in our homeschool co-op twice a month
- joining in a book study with other believers twice a month
- organic relational times, like dinner with other families, playdates, etc
And out is looking like this:
- monthly gathering at the Daily Growler where we can invite anyone and hopefully meet new people
- being on the look-out for new relationships as we are going
There you have it! Can you tell the fog has cleared? We’re beginning to take steps out of the desert and into a place of growth and Living Water. I’m so thankful to be heading into this season. Relationships don’t come easily for me, but I have learned over the years that they are invaluable, necessary, and worth working and fighting for.