My new home
"The bottom line is I've got to be open to go wherever the Lord wants me and it might not always be Hollywood. And frankly, my call to write is an extremely portable calling and can be done from anywhere."
Over the following months, I came extremely close to moving out of Hollywood once in October, but it just wasn't time yet. Come December however, I knew. By January 31st, after finally understanding how badly I needed to start taking care of myself and after months of prayer, I moved an hour south to Huntington Beach.
|Greg & Veronica|
One night, 2 weeks out from moving and after having potential leads from multiple friends fall flat, I decided to email a bunch of churches in the OC asking if anyone had a room in their home they'd be willing to open or rent out. 42 churches later - yes, really - and multiple visits to potential homes, I got an email from a woman at Saddleback church.
She told me her name was Lani, that her circumstances had very recently changed, and that she wanted to meet me. We met that afternoon - now 1 week out from my move date - and hit it off immediately. After about 30 minutes of chatting she told me that if I wanted it, the room was mine.
It was only later that I realized her home was 2 short miles from Greg & Veronica's place, 2 miles from the ocean, and 5 miles from my friend Brandt who's also seen
A week later and here I was, renting a room from a woman I'd just met and not having a clue what taking care of myself was supposed to look like.
Now that I've been here for a month, I've gotten a chance to reflect on the last 7 years of serving and have slowly realized just how hard a run it's really been. The following is a list of what my last 7 years of walking alongside of folks has looked like:
Cancer, Lou Gehrig's Disease, Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Anorexia, Bulimia, Narcissism, Cutting, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Pedophilia, Rape, PTSD, Secondary PTSD, Pornography, Pornographers, Porn Stars, Pimps, Prostitution, Stripping, Pornography Addiction, Compulsive Masturbation Addiction, Sadomasicism, STDs, Prescription Pill Addiction, Heroin Addiction, Alcohol Addiction, Adultery, Homelessness, Burn Out, Suicide Attempts, Mental Hospitals, Death Threats, Witchcraft, Curses, Demons
At 3 months shy of turning 30 and reflecting on the extreme zeal of my 20s, I'm realizing that when it comes right down to it, it's not about anything I've had the simultaneous privilege and difficulty of being involved with in vocational ministry. It's not about Hollywood. It's never been about Hollywood - or any other location the Lord has or will ever plant me - it's about Jesus. Plain and simple.
It's also about running the race well and being able to be in the game for the long haul. And truthfully, if I want to have even a shot in the dark of that happening, I need to allow myself the time, attention, and care that I bend over backwards for everyone else to experience to manifest in my own life - or as Veronica so aptly put it one afternoon after church, "It's your turn to be on the operating table."
So what will living in the OC look like?
Gracie and my healthy breakfast of diced salmon, garlic, onions, stewed tomatoes, and couscous blended with scrambled eggs and a side of blueberries
First and foremost, it will look like pursuing health. In all areas. Mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. I've found a Christian therapist that I'm going to begin seeing twice a month to help me tend to my mental and emotional health. I've also found a Christian naturopath doctor to help me tend to my physical health, and I'll be relying on a whole lot of Jesus and a pretty good dose of Veronica, Wendy (a new friend and pastor's wife in the area) and 2 local church families to help me tend to my spiritual health.
It will also look like a whole lot of writing - you know, the calling I've been talking about stepping into but not making any time for because of the tyranny of the urgent for well over a
|Happening. Intentionally. Finally.|
I'm also not going to chase down ministry opportunities out of a hardcore desire to people-please and prove myself anymore. To be totally transparent, I have felt like I've needed to exponentially produce some kind of super-holy-awesome Jesus thing every single month for the last 7 years with these dang newsletters so all of the amazing people who financially support me think I'm worthwhile and worth my keep. I cannot even begin to explain the kind of stress-induced life I've allowed myself to live because of this. The fact is, it's all Jesus' ministry, not mine, and if the team is on board with it, even when it's not booming, great. If not, it's not my problem. That's for the Lord to sort out. Not me. Lord knows I throw myself into hell for the sake of rescue every single chance I get. At least I used to. I'm going to be much choosier and more prayerful from here on out concerning who and what I involve myself in. I think at this point I have to be.
In as far as the here and now, the on-call-edness of my life and ministry is as demanding and robust as ever. I never really know what issue to expect next or who will show up lugging it around, but that's just the cut and dry way of Kingdom living that I'm learning not to mind. This season for me is one of transition, as I
|Oil pulling with coconut oil is another healthy practice I'm incorporating into my life. Look it up and give it a try!|
All of this to say, I am very excited to be in the season I'm in and though it's pretty big-time out of my comfort zone, it's totally necessary and is going to be amazing. I want to encourage you as well to be kind to yourself and take care of yourself. You get to steward your life, so listen to and trust the Lord, even when like me, you pretty much have no idea how to do any of it right. It doesn't really matter. Jesus is ridiculously kind and gracious and will guide you to places of wholeness, peace, joy, and anything else you deeply need. All you have to do is take one step at a time, one day at a time. And like David wrote so many years ago, you can remain confident of this: that you will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the LIVING.