Two years ago I decided to actually fully trust Jesus with my WHOLE life. Like for real.
I mean, I’ve been a follower of Jesus since I was a wee lass. And that choice was real and life altering and such, but as I grew up, so did our relationship. We had some rocky times in college (who doesn’t) and then just about 10 years ago I moved 3,000 miles from everything I had ever known and I thought “Jesus, I totally trust you. You’ve got this.”
But what I realized a little bit over two years ago is that I didn’t really believe that. Or to put it more precisely, the aforementioned “this” was a small portion of my tiny life. Things happened in my formative years that made me believe that no one, not my family and certainly not God, would ever be able to TRULY protect me or take care of me, so young 6ish Alyssa set out in life to take care of herself. And super independent Alyssa did a fairly kick-ass job, if I do say so myself. By most measures, I was indeed successful.
But then, just about the time I turned 30, Jesus and I decided it was time I learned some lessons in dependency. God revealed to me this HUGE section of my life that I hadn’t handed over. Like pretty much my entire lively hood. I didn’t trust him to provide for me, to take care of me, to feed and clothe and shelter me. You know all the things a decent parent does.
I was single and alone in the world. But, God, the persistent deity that he is, stopped letting me wallow it the dark stone fortress of solitude I had carefully crafted for myself and together we busted down some carefully constructed make-believe walls and walked out into the wide-open spaciousness of grace.
And then, Jesus asked if I really loved him and I said yes and he said, feed my sheep. And I said cool and once again began full time campus ministry this time supporting myself solely on the gifts of other people; on the gifts of God.
I REALLY wanted this story to turn out AWESOME and be able to say that every month I made my budget plus because that’s how rad God is…um yeah, but no. Turns out I FAIL at support raising and in spite of me, every month, I paid my rent and didn’t go hungry but I didn’t make my budget and now I have DEBT for the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE!!! Wait, I’m OK, it’s cool, spacious place, spacious place.
And truly it really is cool because I finally began to feel that peace that Jesus always talked about. Back when I had a savings account and an excellent corporate job, (not that there is anything wrong with that) I didn’t feel it. But oddly now, out at the end of all of my ropes, I feel I can let go and KNOW that God will catch me.
Over the last two years, I was given a life full of space and time to share generously. I’ve been honored to be a part of so many people’s stories; to experience the joys of their existences, to sit with them in the depths of their sorrows and to contribute in the healing of their lives.
It has been incredible. The story has turned out fairly awesome.
And now God has asked me to transition on. I’m not sure where to, but I know that come September One I won’t be doing what I have been doing anymore.
I’m not moving out of downtown Portland, or leaving my church community at The Groves. I will, however, no longer be raising my own support or doing full time ministry. I WILL NOT stop loving this neighborhood, nor the people in it. I’ll just be doing it in a different way.
In my good moments, I’m super excited about this; finally feeling that adventurous expectancy I’m constantly going on about. In my less frequent weak moments I FREAK out and wonder what I’ve done with the past 3 years of my life.
Hey, this trusting thing is still relatively new, I’m working on it.
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! ~Romans 8:15 The Message
So if you’ve read this and feel inclined to help a sister out, here’s some things you can do:
Pray for me. It’s hard out here for a single Jesus lover. At the end of the day it’s just me and God and that’s cool and all but sometimes it’s a struggle.
Leave an encouraging comment. I like words, A LOT, especially affirming ones. Or write me an email or send a card.
Share some money love. Seriously, this debt thing is no joke. Until September 1 you can support me through my position with PayPal online:
Go to: http://thegroveschurch.com/give/
Click the Donate button.
Then write PSU Position in the special instructions section.
Or with check by mail:
The Groves Church
5331 SW Macadam Ave. Ste 258
Portland, OR 97239
Write PSU Position in the memo line.
HUGE THANK YOU to all the friends and family who have supported me in various ways over the last 2 years. I LOVE YOU!