Anne blogs at Front Porch, Inspired about surrendering everyday living for sacred purposes. She and her husband, Jay, are founders of a ministry called The Bridge, focusing on missional living and advocacy for youth in vulnerable places of life. She holds an MA in Teaching Languages (TESOL and Spanish) and is a lover of words and the Word, culture and communication. Jay and Anne have five kids, a front door that can’t stay closed, and an abundance of messy, holy chaos at their neighborhood center/home in Iowa – of all places.
Many of you have read this blog, Front Porch, Inspired, long enough to see a plethora of happy-faced children and sunshine-y activities here. It’s true. A lot of amazing, life-changing and life-breathing things happen around this house and on this front porch, by God’s grace.
But, maybe you need to know the whole of it. Or maybe you already guessed it:
This can be hard. Ministry can be hard.
We aren’t exempt, and I’m not superwoman.
This front porch isn’t always inspired or inspiring – sometimes it’s downright tiring.
So, I don’t know your situation or your walk with Jesus, but today you may find yourself beside me on this Front Porch, Tired rather than Inspired – hands over our hearts, gasping a bit for some grace and some purpose.
It’s OK. You’ll find it – we’ll find it here.
You see, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to crawl and scratch my way from any place in life that is heavy and difficult. I’ve braved smiles and focused on the pretty flowers rather than the growing hurt and stress. I’ve pushed red flags down deep, where no one could see them, and I could only feel them.
But, relief isn’t found in denial or in a better routine, more exercise, earlier bedtime, or countless other efforts to maintain inspired.
Because, truth is, we can never really pick ourselves up and change our own position. We just can’t control it or will it - we need to be rescued.
And so, today, the good news is this: we have a Rescuer who loves us inspired and loves us tired.
It's Jesus,the One who sits beside us and whispers: “You too? Life can get hard, right? I understand.”
Because, real relief is knowing that He wants to move just as powerfully, just as deeply on this Front Porch, Tired - this place in life that is broken, and weakened, and confused. He’s not waiting for us to hurry up and get our act together, stopwatch in hand. Not waiting for us to get back in the game already. Not wondering when we’ll “be used” by Him again.
Granted, we may not have bright pictures to show for it, or chipper “God stories” to share in passing conversations. After all, Front Porch, Tired just isn’t all that photogenic.
But, there is grace for this moment, for any less-than-inspiring day or week or space of time. More importantly, there is One who desires to know us and love us in the midst of it.
So, if you’re sitting beside me here today on this Front Porch, Tired, be encouraged. God has His plan in this, and inspired is just on the other side of this tired!
Fresh breezes of grace are moving in. Light, and laughter, and color are filling the gray.
Because, His supply is endless. His joy is real. And Jesus, the earth-forming, storm-calming, star-placing, sin-erasing Savior of the world, is leaning in today to speak gently over all us valley-stained souls, "It is OK. Now is when purpose breathes again."
"...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14