Okay, so after a pretty dark season in our lives, I'm happy to report that we're both experiencing kind of an 'awakening' of sorts. Just not so down, not so stressed, not so overwhelmed and more content. This is a HUGE blessing.
There were many steps involved, but I would say one of the main contributing factors has been finding a great church that we're excited to be part of. River Church is a new church in Charleston that really matches up with the God of the Bible. It's Christ-focused, as well as outward-focused. Our second week there, we heard this sermon about reaching our spheres of influences. Matt and I both walked away from church that morning very convicted about our current situation. We loved God but had fallen into selfish and self-centered laziness. Just became too focused on our own comfort and well-being. We both knew things needed to change.
Since then, we have been growing again in our relationship with Christ. He's good, y'all. Even though we both 'knew better' than to end up where we were, God hasn't held that over our heads. He welcomed us back. He's showered His love on us. And He has again challenged us to share His love with others.
Matt said that Sunday morning that being involved with such a great church made him want to do CARES again. I agreed. I had the same feeling actually, the same morning. We've taken a few weeks to mull it over and become brave enough to try it again. We've prayed to make sure this is something from God and not just ourselves. We feel led to pursue it, though we don't have a guarantee it will work out.CARES is a ministry with Apartment Life. We actually were part of it in Texas. We became a CARES team in May of 2008 and moved to a different part of DFW to implant ourselves into an apartment community. The purpose of a CARES team is to plan events and do visits with and for the neighbors in that community. It helps them to get to know each other and form friendships to not feel so isolated in that type of living situation. Through the events and visits, we can build relationships with lots of people and love on them and share our lives-- and our relationships with Christ!
After 3 months in Bedford, TX, we had just started getting to know people and forming good friendships when we heard about the Thailand opportunity and decided to move there. So, it was cut short. Now we'd like to continue with the CARES ministry here and be able to start something new here together.
We applied last year when we first moved back but backed out right before the personal interview process because we didn't really know our work situations or church situation at the time. Now that we are pretty settled into jobs and getting plugged into a great church, it is a much better time. So we've applied and will probably have a face-to-face interview next week. We are ready to start being more outward-focused. I'm excited.