Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thank you

Just wanted to thank you to all the friends and family who have emailed me in light of recent events. It is comforting to know that in the midst of a hard time, that people care enough about you not to run away as so many do when there is little to say except that you are there for that person.

I continue to be more at peace with what has occurred. I have had some very key conversations and emails with people that have been so helpful in the "recovery" process that is happening.

I have a book by Philip Yancy title "Disappointment with God." I have read it a couple of times. It is really written for those disappointed with God over physical illness, but I think that really the feelings of being disappointed with Him can apply to so many other areas of life other than not being healed of something. I am thinking about re-reading it as it has been a long time since my last reading and I am sure I could glean some greater healing through the reading of it.

I do earnestly desire that the ultimate outcome of this internal struggle is that this leads me closer to the Lord in intimacy rather than further away. I can literally feel how this whole incident could so easily lead me to become numb and lukewarm. I mean, I think I am mature enough in my faith to not remain angry, but I don't want it to fade into a numbness.

Sometimes I feel like Job....who am I to question God? But, what I do know is that my situation is nothing like Job's, and what could come from this is that I gain authority and understanding about what hurting is all about and how to continue to love the Lord in spite of pain and suffering. That would be the best outcome of all.

I am also recognizing some of my own feelings of insignificance. When people say to me "no one could do what you do in Tacoma." My first thought is not to believe it. I literally think "what I do is not that important. Anyone could do what I do." And then I realize how 'important' I feel in London (which seems strange considering how small Tacoma is compared to London) having to do with my 'standing' in the eyes of the church. In Tacoma I feel like one of many and at ChristChurch I feel important. Jesus' Ministry teachings are newer to London, and having been a part of the teachings here in Tacoma for so long, I am somewhat of an 'expert' in London. And, that is not good. I need to see my apart from what I do, which is always a big battle for me.

At any rate, there is healing. There is more to come, but I am having revelation. Much of what I am struggling with has probably been buried under the surface for a while, and has just taken this to shake it up. Keep praying for me in this time. I covet your prayers.


PS "retirement" from my old job is fabulous. I have been catching up on sleep and working on Preschool stuff too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

An Update: The sky is NOT falling

It might appear from my last post that the sky is falling, oh chicken little. Alas, that is not the case. I have not contracted some terminal illness, financial disaster has not overtaken me, and nor has there been any family crisis that might keep me here. I will try to explain as best I can, but please know that if this post seems to be missing some details, it is because I am not feeling like there are aspects of this that I can write about yet with even a shred of purity of heart.

"Reader's Digest" version: church leadership feels that the time is not right for me to be leaving long-term for London with where things are at regarding the preschool.

Now, knowing that this was a possibility all along, you might be wondering why I reacted so strongly to this directive. The answer is simple: I believed I was hearing the exact opposite, felt that this had been confirmed through numerous others and circumstances. To me, being released from the obligation to the preschool really just felt like a matter of "when" not "if." That is how confident I was that I was being led by the Lord to go. It simply never crossed my mind that the answer would be anything other than: "go." Or, if it had, it was only a fleeting thought.

So, this felt like a bombshell to me. I was, as I wrote in the last post, devastated. Even if I wanted to rebel against the desires of my church, no one at ChristChurch would have me under those circumstances. *I* wouldn't want to *go* to a church that would have me under those circumstances. You know?

A lot of things have come up: it all "looks" like anger and rage, but at the heart of it is my hurt and disappointment at the Lord that I am not going. Because, since He is sovereign, if He *really* wanted me in London now, I'd be going. And so, I am angry at the Lord. A lot of old lies about His character and His plans for me and my future are surfacing, and they cause anger. Have I mentioned how angry I am? So angry that I don't even want to pray and confess. I know it's there, I know it's wrong and I flat out don't care. It feels good to be angry.

There is the blackness of my heart: I know the sin that is there, and I would rather hold on to it than confess it. Like a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum, I feel I have the right to get my own way and be mad when I don't. I guess it is fitting, then, that that is the age of the kids I will be working with.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

From the Highest of Heights to the Depths of the Sea

I went from the high of reaching goal to the depths of dispair all in the same day....I will try to post more later, especially as I am feeling very raw and exposed right now. And, I don't think I am fully able to understand circumstances and my own heart enough to write clearly.

I am not going to London long-term right now. I am heart-broken, angry, disappointed, frustrated, and full of mis-trust right now. I will try to update more at a later day. Right now, I just need to go and cry.


Officially at Weight Watcher's Goal Weight. Total Lost: 43 lbs.

I might lose 5-8 more, just cuz I can. However, what an accomplishment! It took me almost exactly oneyear to do it, but it is done! In fact, on Sept. 1st it will be one year to the day that I began! Woo hoo!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Email I've Been Waiting For...

Dear Erin,

Cynthia gave us your email address, with the possibility that you’re looking into coming to London for a while and we’re looking for a Newsong-er to come and live with us.
You have also been ecstatically recommended by Jess Miller, who was over the moon when I mentioned your name as someone who could potentially live with us.

I don’t know what Cynthia or others have mentioned.
Basically, I am associate Pastor at Christ Church Fulham and my wife Nells is a doctor, we have two boys, Luke (2.5 years) and Jack (11months)
We moved to Fulham in July and Nells has just started a new job at a local hospital working Monday to Wednesday. This means we need someone to care for the boys on those days and for the occasional evening’s babysitting so that Nells can get involved in ministry at Christ Church. As we started chatting to friends at Christ Church about local childcare options, someone suggested the idea of inviting someone from New Song with a heart for Christ Church and London, to come and live with us and care for the boys.

We’ve been emailing Cynthia about it, but as you probably know, the Lord has made it clear that this isn’t the option for her at the moment.
We’d love to discover whether it is God’s plan for you and if so to work out the details with you.

Our main criteria in finding the right person to help us is;
· Someone who is passionate about Jesus
· Someone who wants to be fully a part of Christ Church and is running in Jesus Ministry.
· Someone who will love our boys and care for them well.
· Someone whom God is calling to London in order to bless them.

Our friends Mark and Jess Hopkins have arranged something similar with Stacy from New Song, I don’t believe she has obtained a work visa and therefore rather than paying her directly they are giving her board and lodging and paying her expenses, flights, and some other arrangements. In correspondance with Cynthia we discussed various financial matters and I believe she had loans from grad school to pay off and that the same applies with you (although smaller payments). – We want to be able to ensure that this is financially viable for you, we do have a nice spare room (and en suite bathroom) for you to use and from praying about this opportunity we believe part of God’s plan is for someone (hopefully you!) to come and very much live with us as a family, but also have your own space for friendships and ministry in Christ Church.

As for timing, Cynthia mentioned that you’re available from the beginning of September and I believe you are already planning to come over for Jess and James’ wedding in Sept. We need someone to come as soon as possible as we only have childcare arranged for the next few weeks.

So do please pray and let us know where you are at and we look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have.

With love

Richard, Nells, Luke and Jack

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Livin' la Vida Loca

My life is crazy. Crazy I tell ya. In the span of a little over a week, things are changing dramatically.

First of all, regarding quitting my job: I am still VERY much at peace with the decision, and continue to be more and more excited at what might be in store for me. People at work are finding out and I am so encouraged by the things that they are telling me: "If I was (your age, didn't have kids, wasn't married, etc.) I would do the same thing." "You only have one life, you should live it to the fullest." "Don't get stuck doing a job you don't like, otherwise you might never leave." Stuff like that. Granted, most of the comments are just about the quitting aspect, and not necessarily about what I am quitting for. But, it is just encouragement to hear people bless me while leaving. I am just so excited for what I'll be doing. Any fear I have is quickly disappearing. I sometimes think that the Lord had me quit without knowing whether I had a job to quit for just as a measure to grow my faith. In the face of my fear, would I quit and trust and rely on Him to come through for me? Would I trust Him to provide for me? To give me immeasureably more than I can imagine? A test of faith, if you will.

For some people, quitting a job for "nothing" might not be that scary. And, compared to some things some of my friends have done, it didn't seem nearly as crazy of a decision. But, as one friend pointed out....she sold her condo and moved because she had something to move FOR. And, another friend pointed out that yes, she moved across country too, but all she had to worry about was a car payment. I have a mortgage and women living with me who depend on me for the very roof over their heads. When put that way, I realized that quitting with no "safety net" really IS a big deal. Yet, I am completely confident that I made the right decision. I had a moment of panic earlier last week when my boss said something about working a few weeks longer and having an extra paycheck and benefits for the month of Sept. But, I have to believe that the timing on this was and is key.

So, here is where it gets even crazier. I was talking to a friend of mine last Sunday and chatting about crazy decisions and she tells me that another mutual friend is moving to LONDON for three months. I about died! So after getting off the phone, I called this friend. She tells me what she will be doing in London for those three months and then says: "I don't think I will be able to go, but I think YOU would be perfect. Can I pass your information on if I decide not to go?" And, of course, me, loving London the way I do (oh, just wait, it gets better), say YES!

So, Friday night comes, and we are at dinner for a birthday for Chatel's husband Garrett and I end up chatting with this friend. She says: "I decided not to go, and I have given them your information." !!!!!!!!!

What I would be doing, and this is still a big question mark because I have not heard from anyone yet, is living with a family from ChristChurch Fulham (the church I went and helped the youth with last August, and have had several members stay with me) and nanny for them three days a week. This couple is the new assistant pastor and his wife and their two boys. She is going back to work part time and they need help with the boys. I would also on the other days help raise up some new prayer teams, teach freedom and restoration with the church. So, for room, board, food, and a salary, I would be living in the city I love, working with the church I love for three months!

So, all of this happens, and then on Thursday I get an email....our preschool is ON! It is a go. We are moving forward, full steam ahead.

This leaves me in a bit of a quandry. Do I leave for London at the end of September or do I stay and work the preschool? I have not even officially been asked to nanny for this couple, and my flesh says "GO." But, I also want to be a woman of my word and if those involved with the preschool believe I should stay, then I have to believe that this is the right thing to do as well....that I will be blessed by sacraficing my dream. Maybe it will only be a temporary sacrifice, but there is no way for me to know that at this point. Or, maybe they will release me from my committment and I'll get to go. There is no way to know quite yet what will happen.

And so, the crazy life continues. I am proceeding with the preschool as though the London thing is not happening, because that is the right thing to do, yet, it is at the back of my mind and I feel like I check my email hourly waiting to see if I have one from this assistant pastor.

Please be praying that I would do the right thing, no matter how hard that might be for me to do. Saying no to London would be even harder than quitting my job, but if there is one thing I have learned this last week: The Lord honors our faith.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Race is On and It's Erin in the Lead....

Three weddings in one year. I think it must be a record. I will now be a bridesmaid in three weddings this year. One of my small group gals, Katy, got engaged this weekend and asked me to be a bridesmaid. Here's the dress:

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Well! The day has come! I gave my two-week's notice at work on Friday, and lo and behold, the world has not ended. It was easier than I thought and harder than I thought all at the same time. The actual handing in of my letter of resignation and speaking to my boss was pretty easy, over-all (more on this later). However, thinking about leaving the people and the comfortable-ness of a job I have been doing, and doing well, for the last six years was harder than I thought. At the same time, I am at peace that this is the correct decision and had some confirmation on that on Saturday as I drove past a school I have done some work with. As I drove past it, I thought about what if I was scheduled to go do a classroom visit there on Monday, would I be excited about it or do I feel something else. And, quite frankly, I was not excited at the thought of going there at all. It just felt like confirmation....the very thing I that has taken up 80-90 percent of my job (doing classroom visits) just wasn't appealing to me any longer. Why would I want to stay at a job that I am bored with just for the sake of having a cushy, comfortable job? The only reason I would stay would be out of fear. And, I am not a woman of fear, that is not who I am. The spirit of fear does not mark me and is not how I live my life.

One of the gals I work with said to me that when we are afraid, sometimes we do things and THEN the fear leaves. Walking in the opposite spirit is how I would phrase that in "church" terms. That is exactly what this feels like. I am walking out of fear and into faith.

Trusting the Lord in this time will be an even more active thing because I still don't know for sure that the preschool is happening. Yes, you read that right. We have not heard back from the location we want to have the school if we will even be able to use their building or not. They know we want to use it, and are just waiting. I have enough money in savings to go a while without any income, and I am applying for some part time jobs because even if the preschool happens, I will need some additional income. I am honestly not worried at all. My finances are better right now than they ever have been. In actuality, I could probably not have much of in income for many months and still be OK. I would just cancel some bills that are things I could live without (newspaper subscription, etc.).

Anyway, I will be posting more as I know what is happening. All's well here, though.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Prayer Requests

Well, this week is our church's Jesus Ministry Conference. This conference is always amazing and wonderful for everyone involved. I missed much of last year's conference due to strep throat, so I am excited to be able to be involved with this one! Over 600 peopel from 14 different nations are in town, including two gals from London, Charlotte and Caz, who are staying with us. I know Charlotte from my last trip to London (Jess' roommate) and when I heard she was coming, I offered her a place to stay. It is quite fun because she and Caz are sharing Lora's bed, and Lora is upstairs with me and Jackie, which is like having a big slumber party up there. We laughed until late last night up there and had a blast. Prayers for endurance are needed. If you would like more information on our conferences, click on the Newsong Church link to the right and then the Jesus Ministry Conference link from that page. Or, you can email me directly by posting a comment and I would love to tell you all about how this conference changed my life, and the lives of so many people I know, completely. I am not the same person I was five years ago because of this conference.

Prayers also for a health concern. I am chosing not to post the details of it on my blog because this is such a public forum. If you would like more details on what is happening with me in this area, please email me privately, or post a response with your email address and I can write you directly with the details. Prayers are needed and appreciated! I will say this, I weighed in at the doctor's office today and am now over the 40 pound total loss!

Still waiting on preschool stuff to come through. Sometimes the sense of humor that the Lord has cracks me up. It is like when you need something at midnight and here the clock is 11:59:59 and it finally comes through. That is what this feels like. Prayers for greater faith and trust in the Lord in the face of my fear and unbelief are coveted as well.

Blessings to you,