the one with the long game (or, a case for timehop).

i have a love-hate relationship with my timehop app.

i hate being reminded of how bad i was at social media. like painfully terrible. i’ve been on twitter since december of 2008 … that’s a lot of years of me thinking i was cool. and facebook? there were some disturbing photos … i went through some dark years with my hair stylist.

i love being reminded of funny conversations i had with people on this day three years ago, and seeing those moments i captured in a fresh light … sometimes i don’t remember the significance the moment held back then, but the reminders are a good push to reconnect with friends (and give me hope that my bad hair days are behind me). there have also been a number of instances where timehop reminded me of God’s goodness and faithfulness toward me or a friend- and i really love being reminded about that!

every july 30, i’m reminded that my dad’s life was spared when he had a horrific motorcycle accident. the following days remind me to be thankful that he had a great surgeon, incredible care, and a faithful church family. five and a half years later, those evidences of God at work are a comfort- something tangible to hold on to when other areas of my life are floundering. every april 10, i see images and posts from my trip to haiti. for the last couple of years, january 16 has reminded me that i lost a brother from that trip, and i grieve him every year.

but yesterday i came across a string of tweets from 6 years ago- 2010, back when i was a seminarian whose idea of a good time was to go to church planting conferences with her guy friends (wait … that’s still my idea of a good time). apparently early in the morning of february 4, 2010, i crammed into the car with 4 friends and we road-tripped down to raleigh for a regional advance the church event that was held at this place called the summit church. i remember hearing jd greear and david platt for the first time ever that day, and that bliss was too much of a wuss to tell matt boswell that he liked his boots and i had to take that one for the team. i remember the guy at chipotle winking at me and giving me a free refill of that heavenly guacamole.

but those aren’t the things that i spent yesterday pondering. i spent yesterday grateful that God is in it for the long haul- that his work in us is done in perfect time, that he doesn’t waste anything, and that his designs for my life cannot be thwarted. i had no inkling that a year later i would be on a church plant launch team headed back to raleigh. i had no idea that said church would be one of the mechanisms of my undoing, that i would descend into the darkest months i’ve ever known, and that i would end up worshipping as a covenant member at the same church that hosted that event in 2010. and you know what? i ended up going to summit after leaving the other church because it was the only other one in raleigh i could think of, where i knew i’d be safe. if you think that is a coincidence, think again. i don’t need timehop to remind me that this time three years ago, i had resigned my leadership position in that church plant, and ended up at summit as a refugee. but in april of this year, i’ll celebrate three years of belonging at summit- three years of covenant community and working to bring the kingdom of God to earth with the people i call my church family. three years of walking through life’s peaks and valleys with my small group.

i have no clue if i’ll be in this place for the rest of my life. i’d like to be … it took years, but i have fallen in love with raleigh, and i’ve put down roots in the city of oaks and in the summit church. and while i do ask God for that- the staying and continuing to graft in here- i am confident that the work he has begun in me will be completed. sanctification is never a straight line, and my squiggly line might lead somewhere else, but the faith to walk the turns that may come has been and will continue to be forged in the memories of God’s past faithfulness. so i’ll keep opening timehop every morning, and keep adding bricks to the road he’s setting out before me … let’s see where it goes.

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