At times, Thomas and I feel the weight of the daunting task of moving to Oxford in a year. The finances needed, the work of personal development, another transition, the goodbyes. And yet meeting each weight is the sweetness of God’s faithfulness. He doesn’t eliminate the pain or the uncertainty, but he does provide comfort and clarity.
One of the ways He has provided clarity is in the beauty of His timing. For us, that started back in March when our internship was coming to a faster close than we had originally anticipated. It just so happened that Danny was getting ready to launch a team in Oxford, England and our internship had been the perfect preparatory experience we needed to join that new team. It just so happened that our internship was culminating in Scotland and from there Thomas and I could easily tag on a vision trip to Oxford. It just so happened that the team we were joining was part of a larger collective, Ethne, that was having their once in 4 years conference that July. It just so happened that we had enough support saved up to cover the cost of traveling to Thailand for that conference. It just so happened that the conference was the encouragement and life giving experience we needed to return to Southern California refreshed and ready to do the work needed to transition to Oxford.
How easy it is to be naturally skeptical of these it just so happened experiences. But I have found that I can’t afford such skepticism. I trade peace for anxiety when I don’t remind myself of the Lord’s faithfulness. As Thomas Merton says, “We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time.” We are so grateful for the ways that the divine has shown through for us during a season that feels daunting and risky.
So why was meeting our collective, Ethne, and attending that conference so important? Thomas and I are already fairly well connected within the CRM organization but moving across the world to join a new team is a deeper level of commitment for us. While at the conference, we had the opportunity to share meals and conversation with couples and individuals who have been serving with Ethne for up to 20 years. These deep wells made themselves available to us and we left that conference with a list of people we can call for any range of needs. We also had our first team meeting with Danny and that provided the much needed role clarity and team synergy that will carry us through a year of long distance teamwork.
And that is where we are now – entering into a pivotal year in Southern California and keeping our eyes and hearts open for many more it just so happened experiences. I have a hunch that the divine is shining through for you too and I hope you can see His sweet faithfulness today.
Rachel & Thomas