Community Fellows Reflections: Sarah
Hoping and praying that this letter finds you well. I am well into my fourth month of the Kingdom Causes Bellflower: Fellows program and it has continued to be quite a whirlwind. To jog your memory, I am still living in a low-income area and reaching out to neighbors to create a type of community that we do not find as much these days. We are striving to be a light for Jesus and share our faith with those around us. I am learning more and more how many of our neighbors have been hurt by the Christians and turned off to going to church. I am just hoping that we are able to shine light and project the great things about the Lord in some small way, and I know the best way to do that is by just praying that I become less and less. Please join me in praying that my words and interactions are not from my own futile and foolish brain, but rather that the Lord would just step in and guide my every conversation
It has been a pretty crazy few months for me in several different areas. The hospital is, as usual, very busy and exhausting, one of my best friends got engaged so we are planning lots of fun things for her, several friends and coworkers have either become pregnant or given birth, and I am getting to know some of my neighbors a little better. I have been juggling a lot and learning even more in the last couple months. I've been learning how to do laundry at the laundromat, how important bug spray is, how to live in a one bedroom apartment and sleep during the day, how to be kind to a neighbor who doesn't even know how to say positive words, how to say "no" to things when I have too much on my plate (although I am still really bad at turning down activities). The most interesting thing that I'm learning about this program is that it's not just something that I am doing; but rather, it is a part of who I am. When I signed on for this, in the back of my head, I this is viewed the whole program as an "after work is over I will do this and that and get to know my neighbors la la la" kind of deal. No. That is not the case. The reality of it is that this is my life 100% of the time. It's not just something I can do when I have free time. It is enmeshed in everything that I do. It's not just a hobby or an after school program. It is every time Lindsay and I go to our favorite restaurant and the owner now knows us by name. It is mourning with our friend over the loss of a loved one. It is the struggle of trying to park my big car in my tiny space when my neighbor does not leave me enough room. It is when the manager of the laundromat brings his customers a bottle of water because it's really hot outside. It is real life. It is hard and dirty and gritty, much like most relationships. It is loving Jesus and, because He loves us, being able to love those around us. I don't think love is meant to be easy. It definitely was not easy for Jesus to suffer a barbaric death and it wasn't easy for a 16 year-old virgin to tell her parents and fiancé that she was somehow miraculously pregnant. Now, I'm not trying to compare myself to those two, my point is simply that God calls us to do things that are hard for us so that we can reach for Him in the middle of trying to understand why life is so challenging.
This verse has been my jam over the last few months as I struggle with balancing the challenges of living in a low-income area and working on a floor with very high acuity patients and many stressful nights.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." Peter 5:6-7
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for the town of Bellflower.