Jayci has been spending the last month or so learning how to walk (a milestone which I was super-excited about, and now I'm just bone-tired from chasing her everywhere, because why would you want to be strapped into a carseat/highchair/stroller when you can WALK!?) Anyhow, I've been watching her go from her first unsteady, shaky steps, to toddling all over the place. Granted, she still falls on her behind sometimes (a lot of times actually), but she is fearless and OH SO EXCITED about her progress. In many ways, her wobbly steps mirror our family's own spiritual steps.
People ask Adam and I all the time how we ended up in inner-city ministry. How did we get into full-time ministry is some of the worst parts of Atlanta? It seems like such a big leap. A scary jump to go from corporate America, or even from teaching, to serving as a full-time job. And it IS a scary jump; one that Adam and I never actually had to make. For us, our movement into ministry was more like a series of small steps. Of little obediences. We said "yes" to being a part of Camp Grace. And that was the first step. And then I said "yes" to serving after camp by volunteering downtown a few times a week.
And soon my passion for the kids grew, my time spent with them multiplied, and before I knew it I had left a full-time, well-paid job in corporate America so I could spend more time in the trenches, serving and loving the poor who live in our own city. I keep waiting for the shiny newness of working downtown in ministry to wear off, like the high from a retreat or mission trip. But it hasn’t. I look forward to every visit downtown with my kiddos, knowing that in them I encounter the Lord, who became the poor and hurting as He died on the cross. Never before has my faith felt as vibrant and real as it does when I am serving these kids.
I’ve never been to seminary or had any missionary training. I am insecure, I am flawed, and I have no idea what I’m doing half the time. And more often than not, I fall flat on my behind. But never before have I felt as sure of myself, sure that I am following Christ, as I do when I’m serving these kids.
And it's all because I was willing to let get of what I was holding onto (my house, my money, my job, my security etc) and take those first wobbly, baby steps towards serving downtown.