Friday, February 23, 2007

Farewell

I said Tuesday (about our decision not to buy the property we've been considering) that personally, I feel disappointed, relieved, encouraged and discouraged.

I am disappointed because there were elements of that property that I had come to love. The stained glass windows, the little chapel in the convent, the children's library in the school, and especially this gym.

In our imaginations, the kids and I could see the new Kenosha County chapter of our Christian theater group holding classes and rehearsals on this stage and in the classrooms down the hall. Their friends from our current county could come up for the shows and bring their sleeping bags; we'd have one carpeted classroom floor for guys and one for girls and it'd be one big sleepover! They could eat pizza in the cafeteria in the basement and play dodgeball all night long in the gym.

The biggest disappointment and discouragement that I feel is the loss of tangibility, especially for our kids. Now, we're back to having really no idea about anything except where we'll be, more and more often, on Sunday mornings.

But it's not actually back to Square One. Back at Square One, we had no idea where we were supposed to go, just a sense God was leading us somewhere. We really weren't interested in moving to Wisconsin except that this property suddenly appeared on our spiritual radar, and it seemed we were to investigate. It's had the effect of opening our hearts to the idea of moving there, and now even to possibly leading the church plant that is springing up there. We now sense that probably that is the next step, and that the community will grow out of taking that step. (A spiritual father actually said that very thing to us back at the beginning of this little journey we've been on in recent months.)

While disappointed, I am also relieved. Although I could have really gotten excited about it as a project (I love projects), it would have been an enormous amount of work to buy and fix up that property, and I don't know whether we ever could really have made it beautiful.

(Click to enlarge the image if you want to see what I mean. All four buildings in the picture are included in the property.)

So perhaps God has a more incremental idea of how He's going to provide for the vision He's given us. Perhaps it will be something we ease into gently, that doesn't require huge radical changes on all fronts.

And that I find most encouraging!

Thanks for your continued prayers as we discern our next steps with the church plant, look at some other properties, and decide when to move.

3 comments:

Jenny in Ca said...

I will be praying for you Hen! It did sound like a neat idea, but I know that God can do so much more than we imagine. Praying that God will make your path so clear to you.

maria said...

It can be hard to old a vision without the "visual" in mind. But not having that "visual" can also allow us to see beyond the constraits of a place. Often, I've noticed, when we have a place in mind, what we 'want' starts to conform to what that place has to offer. Maybe this vision of community needed something concrete (looks like lots of concrete from the picture) to get things going, but needs to expand beyond that now that momentum is building.

(Personally, I hope the expansion involves grass and trees. But even urban rooftops can hold a greenhouse!)

At A Hen's Pace said...

Maria--

Yes, lots of concrete! You understand why friends want something better for us. We had thought of the rooftop gardens though--there were several ideal places on the two smaller buildings.

And yes, this place served a purpose--to really get us thinking seriously.

Jeanne