Hey blog friends! I just saw that is has been almost three months since I last wrote. It is beautiful here in Virginia..warm and breezy but not yet HOT hot.
I have been living downtown for about three months now and it has been good. I like waking up in this historic city and seeing all the VERY different people walk past my front porch. I live on the bottom half of a converted duplex. The house was built in the early 1900's and has some great original features, such as beautiful(after lots of cleaning and glossing) hardwood floors and high ceilings and huge sliding room separators/doors. The roof of the house has cute daisies tiled into it. I love being able to walk to the parks here, which are just at the end of my street. The architecture (when maintained) in this neighborhood is beautiful and makes me imagine all the different eras of people who have lived and loved in this city, walked these same streets as I do now.
There are definitely some shady characters close by. The next of our street is government subsidized housing. My roommate and I overheard from our front porch two men talking about an incident where one guy had been stupidly flashing his gun around. We haven't personally had any troubles with the neighborhood so far, and we can actually see the police precinct from our front windows,so it hasn't been too bad.
The reason I moved downtown was to be a part of the community my church is in. It takes me less than 3 minutes to get to the school where our Sunday services are held, and I am much closer to many of the congregation. While I have not been as great at hospitality as I had hoped, we have had some good times here and I love waking up "already here" as I was driving downtown so frequently when I lived in the West End of Richmond.
My walk with God hasn't been the best lately, because I just haven't *wanted* to spend time with the Lord, or think about what He wanted in my life. I was in what I feel is a mild depression, just generally grumbly and sad for no real reason other than the fact that I feel "less than" sometimes, because I recently turned thirty and do not have the career I want or the husband I desire or money or..you get the picture. I was not being satisfied in the Lord, who tells me that I have every good thing if I have Him. I am CHOSEN and loved..and yet I struggle with doubts and insecurity..it makes me really frustrated. I have been able to be open with the women in my community and have asked for prayer and I feel as though I am coming out of it. It's important not to isolate even when you feel like it, because you need people to speak truth into your life. The goal is a restored relationship and right view of who God is and who you are because of Him.
It was really brought into perspective for me last Sunday when a friend we have been reaching out to for about a year came to our church for the first time. He is of a different faith, and it would not be easy for him to come to Christ, but we have been praying it all the same. As I sat next to him and heard the words of LIFE being spoken clearly, the joy that welled up in my heart affirmed that THIS was true satisfaction. Seeing others reconciled to God through Christ's sacrifice and and substitutionary atonement. For him to come to Christ would be the ultimate joy..there was no need to feel upset about circumstances or shortcomings in my life because Christ is at work to bring life to the dead. And He lets me be a part of it. This is what life is about. The gospel.
If y'all could be praying for me, I would appreciate it. At the end of July, I am going with seven others from Aletheia Richmond (my church) to Port Au Prince, Haiti! We will be building concrete housing and running a Bible day camp for kids. Pray for God to prepare our hearts and the hearts of those with whom we will come into contact with. Pray for support needs to be met, and for this trip to change lives. I already know it will change mine. I hope all of you are doing well and resting in the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord over all. Love y'all. I will leave you with some recent pictures..
New Zebra Hat!! Been on a safari kick lately!
This park is in the heart of downtown Richmond, atop a hill that overlooks the city
My friends totally made me think they'd forgotten my birthday but they threw me a big Second Twenty-Ninth Birthday Surprise Party at my own house! Tricksters!!
We asked our friend to share his culture so he brought traditional food from his country and we wore the outfits he had brought us back from his last visit home! So much fun!