Archive for February, 2011
Happy 50th! No, not years old. Not even dog years! But 50 posts of Elementum. That’s halfway to a hundred! Who knows where I’ll be then! …but seriously, happy 50th.
I had a thought today as I was in a conversation with someone. It came out while I was explaining my life at the moment, and all of a sudden something started to make sense. It is my normal tendency to become overwhelmed (and thus freaked out) at life in general. Throwing me solo into L.A. has made my internal mechanisms go bonkers. No really, it’s been crazy. And when life starts to get overwhelming, I find myself in a state of Red Alert, and unless something changes, I’m gonna be in trouble. Before coming to LA, while at college in Tennessee, whenever this emotional overload began to occur, wherever I was at the moment would become an internal warzone leaving me exhausted and overrun with emotions of various intensities. Generally loss and sadness were the primary combatants, and they are still something that I struggle with today, a deep inner sadness that only seems to be added to, not taken away from. But more on that at some other time. Generally when these emotions have their way–often triggered by an event or thought–I’m rendered helpless and oven emerge exhausted, even if I was just sitting on a chair doing nothing. It could take hours for these emotions to settle down or for me to be distracted and forget about them until another trigger.
In an unfinished allegory I wrote about my inner growth, the main character suffers from an ongoing attack the book calls the Rhythm, an everpresent steady beating of pain and sorrow that has caused the man to walk without ceasing for over a hundred days. The Rhythm is real and it is something I still face every day But there’s slowly been a victorious difference that I’ve noticed between then and now. What is that difference? It is that is that I’ve found out I’m building a home.
“What?!” You might ask. ”Is this how you’re solving your housing problem?” Haha, no. I speak of a spiritual home. You see, whenever I get overwhelmed, I find myself retreating inward, deep inside myself. I’ve started to ask God to come into those places and find me there. And after doing that for a few weeks, I’m realizing a startling thing. That I’m building a rather secure home down there. When the world, with all of its stress and pressure and indecision and suffering, comes barging at my door, I retreat to that place I know I’ll find God. Right there in the deep part of who I am.
And I realized today that one of the main reasons God has not given me a place to call home yet is because he’s building a nice one straight in my heart. So that it won’t really matter where I’ll be living, I’ll always be home. In the continual onslaught of sensory stimulus that this world is hurling at me, it’s good to know that I’ve got a home. And that is where God is hanging out. Chilling. Waiting for me to come running back inside. In there, he calms he down, reminds me of truth, and sends me back out again. When I emerge, instead of being crippled and stuck in a funk for a few hours, I’m empowered and ready to keep on truckin’ on, regardless of the external situation.
So as I face another weekend without a physical home, and thus another faith lesson, it’s good to know that I’ve got a spot after all. A rather lovely one. Right there in my heart.
It’s the best place to call home.
I wish I could have somehow bent time, so that I could reach into the past and comfort myself as I sat in the car Wednesday morning waiting for the shuttle that would take me to work. If somehow I could go back to that moment from just hours ahead, tap myself on the shoulder, and whisper that everything would be all right, how much better that moment would have been. But alas, I was not able to break the laws of time, and so I sat alone in my car, sleep deprived and sad and overwhelmed, and was struggling just to merely exist in a state of normalcy. But inside I was boiling.
“There are lots of people praying for me right now.” I told anyone who was listening in my car, which was still stuffed full of things like it had been for the last month. All of my earthly possessions–from clothes to Legos–crammed still in my car from where they had been placed in Tennessee over five weeks earlier. And still I was without a place. ”Look, God, I’m not quite sure what you’re doing, but this really, really, really sucks, and it sucks bad.” I raged. I had been getting less than seven hours of sleep every day, each of it being spent on couches where it was impossible to get a restful night’s sleep. “As much as I’m a fan of these couch stories, I really want my own bed!” I continued. Even more so, there were so many places I had seen but never found the place where I felt it was where I needed to be. There was always something holding me back. Even when I saw the beautiful house on Monday afternoon and was told I could live there, it wasn’t final yet and even then I got no read on what God thought. At that point I didn’t care. Just anything would do. I really wanted a bed. ”Just a plain, simple thing, God. I’m here living in this life where all I really have is You, and i’m living out each step in faithful obedience to your calling, even saying no to a 2 million dollar house just because I felt you saying no. So please, can I at least get that?”
The heavens, as usual, were silent, I thought. But perhaps if I had listened harder, I might have detected an undertone of change. Something was moving. And it was about to catch up with me at lunch.
I’m already at 3 Square Cafe, the email read. Want to just meet me here at 12:30? –Ger
I picked up my iPhone and fired of a quick email. ”Sounds great. I’ll see you then.” I wrote back. I went back to work but my mind was racing with eager anticipation of the meeting for lunch. A few days earlier, I had emailed the pastor of an amazing church my sister attends called Southlands. Alan, the pastor, was from South Africa, and I really connected him when I visited my sister for the weekends. But driving all the way out there to invest in a church community would be difficult each Sunday morning. When I heard that Southlands was connected to a churchplant in Santa Monica, where I reside, I was blown away. I had been asking God for a churchplant since before I came to California–which was a very dangerous prayer to pray. The second I heard that Southlands–whose opinion I now highly regard–was in partnership with a churchplant, I knew that there was some possibilities that just might open up. I emailed Alan and asked him about these rumors. Was there really a churchplant in SM? He replied with an excited yes, and got me in contact with Ger, a man from the UK (excellent accent!), who was heading up this church in Santa Monica called Vintage. Before I could even blink, an email was fired off to Ger, and after introducing myself, I sat back and waited.
When considering divine appointments, it’s not surprising to know that some things flow together too easily to just be coincidence. The fact that Ger, after reading my email, immediately wanted to have lunch with me and was willing to drive to the area where I work so we could talk, meant that something was happening. As time neared for me to be released for break, my worries and troubles of hours ago in the parking lot started to fade away, replaced by excitement. Something told me that this lunch was going to be important. That something was right.
“Joel! Good to meet you, I’m Ger.” Said the man, a taller guy with darker hair and warm eyes, and the kind of accent that makes me wish I was English. He invited me to his table out in the sun right there in beautiful Venice, and we began to talk. He asked me about my story, and I told him very candidly where I was from, what I was doing, what I believed, and why I had sought him and his church out. Having gone through two Vineyard churchplants myself, I was very aware of the requirements and struggles of churchplanting. He reminded me that asking God for a churchplant was potentially a very dangerous prayer. I nodded in agreement, knowing full well the kind of time, energy, and effort a small churchplant takes to get going, having experienced it firsthand not once but twice. But I was resolute in this. I wanted to be with a community of people struggling each Sunday to do what God told them in the wild frontier of the unsaved and overchurched culture. People struggling against the odds of their own faith and the burden of setting up and tearing down, of tired attitudes and hopes for God to move without knowing where He’s leading–it all sounds like something out of an adventure novel, and it’s not surprising for you to guess that I’d want to be a part of something like that. Even if it’s setting up chairs, I’d be okay with it. Because this is where my heart was being drawn. Ger did even more to confirm it.
The church, Vintage, was based off of Anglican groundings mixed in with the Holy Spirit and deep, real worship. ”It’s easier to take a scripturally sound church and add the spirit to it than it is to take a spiritual church and ground it in scripture.” Ger told me as we ate. He described his vision for Vintage, and even how he had left a very successful pastorship of a church in Raleigh, NC, because he felt like God was drawing him out there. Even more so how God was bringing leaders right to him. It was then that I was struck with something more powerful than the feelings I’ve felt here in California since: Purpose.
All of a sudden, life opened up beyond just work and finding a place. The idea of being influential in a churchplant, that one of the reasons I was here is to help be a part of this small church, blew my mind as I sat there eating lunch. Again I was reminded that God’s Divine Purpose was being enacted still, that even though I felt like I was floundering around like a guppy on a sidewalk, there was actually a steadily increasing series of events that were all pushing me toward something bigger than I had imagined. And it was pushing still. ”I’m worried about you and your situation.” Ger told me after I admitted that I didn’t know where I would be sleeping that night. ”Let me talk to the people I know. I want to help find you a place to stay tonight. I’ll write you an email if I find anything.” He said. ”I’m not going to hold onto my pride and say ‘no, don’t worry about it.’” I replied. ”Cause at this point, I have nowhere else to turn!” We later said our goodbyes, and I noticed that the hour lunch went by way too fast. The next few hours were giddy joy for me, as I went back to work lighthearted and happy for the first time in a few weeks. Sure enough, that afternoon, Ger told me that he had a place for me to stay. With his good friend David, who was the worship pastor and in charge of the children’s ministry at Vintage. ”He knows what it’s like living out of your car and sleeping on couches. He’ll be glad to take you in.” Ger told me in reference to Dave. That night, I found a parking spot and walked into David’s hospitality, wondering if this was the beginning of something incredible.
“I built your bed while you were on your way here.” David said as I walked into his beautiful apartment that he had moved into literally the day before. ”Made an Ikea run and put it all together.” There it was, a beautiful wide bed all nice and pretty, and an air mattress inflated next to it. I went towards the air mattress, ready to climb in. ”No way, man.” He said, pointing me toward the bed. ”That’s not the way we do things here in the Kingdom.” He grinned. ”You take the bed. You’re my guest. Me casa is su casa.” I was floored. He was giving me his best? his brand new bed to stay in for a few days until I found a place to stay?
All of a sudden, things connected in my brain. God…..was giving me a bed. It wasn’t permanent, but he heard my prayer. He not only provided a purpose and a new adventure and even a possible sense of belonging in a church team, but He literally gave me His best by bringing me to a young worship pastor of a small churchplant who was willing to give me his best. Here I sit for the second night in this comfortable bed while David sleeps in the air mattress, blown away by the goodness of God. I still have no idea where I’m going to live come the end of this weekend, but God is good and He will provide. He gave me a bed, and some Divine Purpose to look forward to.
There’s not much else I need.
We can all say that sometimes it seems like the world is out to get us. I’m a firm believer that my world is resolute at getting me. If this were a game of tag, the world is right at my heels. Only it has a chainsaw. And is probably on a motorcycle.
I shall illustrate the following in a series of single sentences:
First day of the job, people forget to warn me about the street cleaning and I get a $68 ticket.
Despite my outgoing nature, I spend the greater part of three weeks alone at night.
My GPS has a lag on reporting streets sometimes, asking me nonchalantly to “prepare to turn right” when I’m in the left lane during rush hour–and the resulting latency has caused many horn honks and cussing from unforgiving drivers, and near accidents as I scramble to navigate Los Angeles.
The ratio of sending inquiries to housing opportunities to response of said housing opportunities is very low, and often filled with problems.
I have not always known at night where I will sleep, like this night when the wonderful woman whose beachside apartment I was staying at did not answer her phone or texts or doorbell to let me stay inside, so I waited in the parking lot for an hour and a half with no luck.
On the day I was most discouraged after driving around for hours and finding no place to live, I decide to relax at a beachside park, only to return to a $60 ticket because I put money in the wrong meter.
A guy stole my glasses and has not returned them or made any effort to find the owner, resulting in needing to find new glasses, which could run upwards of $200.
I’m stuck in front of a computer for 9+ hours a day, doing a task that requires little creativity and lots of tedious details.
I am over 2,200 miles away from the people I love and care about.
I’m in a foreign city far from any experience I’ve ever had, coming from small town Johnson City to sprawling metropolis with clubs and legalized marijuana and Priuses on every street; I stand out.
I don’t have my english cap, and my hair was cut very short.
I spilled sprite on my laptop because I was wearing my prescription sunglasses inside because I didn’t have my glasses and therefore couldn’t see, so I spent twenty minutes cleaning it up, but it’s still sticky in places.
My heart is overburdened with so many thoughts and feelings that it leaves me dead.
I long to love someone with all my heart, with no takers on my offer.
It’s my brother’s birthday tomorrow and I won’t be there to see him turn 11.
I still sometimes cry when no one is looking.
Did anyone actually read through all of that? Man, it’s good to unload. Sometimes it seems like L.A. is like, “I hate you, Joel Gerlach.” And I’m like, “But I like you! What’s the deal?” The Apostle Paul says that persecution produces character, and character patience, and patience hope. I’m not dying for my faith, but I am going through some serious crap. There are days when I just feel like giving up. Of cutting my losses and escaping off to somewhere. Sometimes I wonder what the heck I’m doing here in the first place. Other times, I’m filled with hope and look forward to the adventure that lies ahead. As I’m sure you all can tell, I experience things at a heightened state. The joys are so much more joyful, and the sorrows so much more sorrowful when I’m living life. Often times, it comes down to the mantra of reminding myself that God is good, that I’m gonna make it just one more day, and things aren’t that bad.
My dad told me that most people in the world would love to trade shoes with me right now. I told him that people SAY that, until they actually start wearing my shoes and find that they’re probably wet and smelly and then they wish they were in back in their own shoes again.
It’s true! I don’t envy my life right now. There’s so much nonsense that appears to be occurring, it makes me wonder if I’m some little leaf being tossed in the wind, or if I’m experiencing this crazy nonsense because it’s preparing me for the adventure of my life! Oh, I do so wish for the latter. That would be great. Else, I have one message to say: ”I’M TIRED OF THIS WIND!” Then again, it is L.A. Things are crazy here.
I process things by writing, and Elementum is often times the poor bastard that gets pummled with my wild unkempt thoughts and longings. This happens to be one of those times. I leave you, dear reader, to draw your own conclusions. You’re welcome to draw them in the comments section found by clicking on the large title at each entry. You can just use your facebook account to post said drawn conclusions, and perhaps you will come to an ending much better than I.
Until then, I’m going to curl up on the couch again, shutting my eyes tight, and hoping that tomorrow’s episode of Joel vs. the World will come out more favorably.
I’m sitting on the couch of some people that I’ve only met once before in my life, writing on my laptop before I got to sleep and awake on the same couch in the morning. I didn’t think I’d be here a week ago, but then again, four weeks ago Los Angeles was only a dream. How could we predict that weeks ahead we’d be sitting on couches telling stories? I tell you, no one can. For these couch stories only come when one expects the unexpected to be provided. And here I am as a testament to that.
The last weeks have been a mixture of joyous hope and bitter sorrow, a string of fighting day-to-day to survive in an environment as alien and sometimes hostile as Los Angeles. Nothing in Tennessee prepared me for this life. And yet everything did.
For when you live an adventurous life trusting in God to provide for your needs on the fly, you don’t find yourself surprised when you’re sitting on the couch of a married couple after only meeting them once in a church you visited. That they’d be willing to share their beautiful apartment in the middle of LA with some strange 20-year-old and watch TV shows on Netflix while eating pizza? That after having to leave the place I’d been staying for a while, pack everything again into my car, and head out to the hospitality of other places? it’s crazy and it’s strange and it’s incredible.
And yet I still have no place to call my own. On Monday I drove to the top of a ridge and saw a two million dollar mansion with two older gentlemen who wanted to rent the place to me for $850 a month. I found out today that they want me to be there. Another woman is trying to get me to be a part of her lovely home in quiet Brentwood, LA, for $1050 a month. I’ve got emails and emails from people all responding to my inquiries to a place. But I’ve never felt like that’s the place where I should be. That’s the place worth investing in. Today I found out I could be living in a $2 million house with only a 40 minute commute to work every morning, but instead of going there, I find myself on a couch. In a small apartment. Telling a story. Why?
Because I believe that God provides at the right time. And sure, I could force something to happen because it would be convenient or nice or help me have more money or live in a place I couldn’t afford; all decisions I could make based on what I believe. But there’s something that comes down to trusting. To feeling a place out, and letting God speak to the heart.
And he’s saying Hold On. If you hadn’t waited on my time, you wouldn’t be here with these people, getting to spend the morrow enjoying the company of those you could grow to love. You wouldn’t have any couch stories. So just wait.
You know what? I’m okay with giving up the comfort of my own bed for a little while longer. For curling up on a tiny couch in a small apartment in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world.
Because it sure does give me some cool stories.
Imagine a balloon filled not with hot gas but laughter.
Propelled forward by winds carrying happy sounds lighter than air.
A bright series of balloons floating upwards, upwards, the twinkle of happy voices easing it through the atmosphere.
Sometimes, when my heart is filled with laughter, I seem to float.
My body shivers with excitement, like the dance you do under the covers when you crawl into a nice warm bed, feeling snug and secure.
How powerful are these swings of emotion from deep unsettlement to boundless hope. What a ride it is.
It comes from the lightness that is in meeting new friends. Or seeing something funny and delightful.
Like a man being propelled on his skateboard by a golden retriever.
Or a girl wearing her green raincoat and yellow boots crossing the street in the gray rainy day, splashing in the puddles.
Something that makes you smile inside, and takes root, and begins to lift you up.
Like a hot air balloon run by the bells of laughter.
Lifting higher, higher, into an open sky of possibility.
The body reacts as the cold water makes contact with the skin. Shock, at first, at the cold. So different than before. Before there was warmth, and safety, and dryness. Now, out here in the water, it’s cold and dark. The sound of the waves crashing down around isn’t as loud as the panic from the heart. ’This is it, now. This is the time when I find out if I sink or swim,’ comes the curious side of the brain, not getting the memo that a struggle to survive is going on. A cough, as the lungs reject the water that seeped in. An adjustment, a quick evaluation of the situation. A look around at the waters. The waves seemed peaceful enough from the vantage point. But here in the midst, there is nothing but the force of the sea. Not so pretty any more.
Legs kicking, struggling to keep the body afloat. They tire, the body conserves energy. Rides the waves. Arms stop splashing. A dismal reality sets in. All alone out here in the waves. Can’t keep this up much longer.
Muscles expand and contract to a steady rhythm. Swimming, but to where? Nowhere, actually. Anywhere. What else is there to do? This certainly isn’t fun–this struggle to survive. No beach umbrellas and suntan lotion no matter how much anyone romanticized the sea. Little bubbles floated upward where kicking legs stirred the waters. The legs tell the brain they can’t last much longer. The brain tells the legs they don’t have much else of a choice.
A twist to the back and buoyancy kicks in for a sweet few seconds before the sinking. A gasp of breath, kicking and pushing, head’s back up above the waves. Rinse and repeat. Floating to rest, kicking to survive. Moment after moment, because what else is there than these moments of decision?
Not much hope, says the left side of the brain. Don’t much care, says the right.
Prayers of survival lifted to the heavens. Just gotta make it, God. Just gotta keep swimming. Just gotta trust that this is all one big swim lesson. Right? Hello? Anyone?
The brain remembers the swimming. Slow, easy strokes. Take your time. No need to flounder. The waves aren’t that bad. You’re gonna make it.
Hell no! I’m gonna die out here, I’m juts gonna keep swimming till I can’t swim anymore and I’m gonna die out here all by myself!
Then the splashing. Other than the kicking and the pushing and the stroking. A different splash. Not from my body. A look around. The white and red ring is there. Just gotta make it! One tired stroke after the other, and then the ring. Never before has white and red looked so good. I could kiss it. Salty water on the lips, but joy at the Rescue.
Clutching the ring. Seeing beach ahead. I’m gonna make it.
The VCR whirs and clicks as the tape is inserted into it.
The door to the door buzzes open as I step into my destiny. ‘I’m here.’ I tell myself as I walk into Luma’s lobby. Three days of traveling and some crazy life changes and here I am. This is what brought me here.
“Are you Joel?” The receptionist asks as I look around. “I am!” I reply happily, excited that they were expecting me. “Awesome.” She replies, an attractive redhead with a happy smile. “JT!” She calls out behind her. In the room behind the desk, a younger guy stands up and walks forward. “Joel! Hey, follow me! Let’s get you set up here in the network, then I’ll show you to your workstation!” Happily I step forward into the room, prepared to have the best first day of work in my life.
I hug my dad goodbye as he grabs the last of his luggage at the dropoff zone at LAX. Tears in his eyes, he hugs me tight and reminds me of how proud he is of me and how excited he is to see how I do. He tells me that even though it’ll be tough, I can do it. God’s watching over me. We release from our hug and say our goodbyes. I watch my dad, who sacrificed a lot to drive with me all the way out to California, walk to the terminal where the plane that will take him back to Tennessee is waiting. I get back in my car and start the twenty minute drive home. For the first time in my life, I was truly on my own. Before, I have always had someone with me. Whether it was my family of seven and their constant presence, or going up to ETSU I had Cobalt with me and I knew we would always be roommates, to establishing the manpartment with Logan and later Travis; I was always accompanied with people. I always had someone there. This time, I was on my own.
A week of work came and went. I learned lots about Luma, including the awesome things they do there. I love mentioning the fully-stocked kitchen (where we can eat anytime) to the game room with a pool table, flat screen TV with all the game consoles you could want, and access to amazing food right up the street. It was perfect. If only my life continued to be that way past work. For when the bell rang at 7:00 to end, and I joined the shuttle of people laughing and talking on the way back to the company parking lot, by the time I got back to the car, it was just me. But this weekend, I was heading to visit my cousins and sister. It was going to be good.
‘Just wait till you get on the freeway.’ I tell myself as tears well up inside me. My GPS was giving me directions too late, and so I kept missing turns while navigating packed Los Angeles traffic. I was being honked at, cut off, flipped off, and getting severely lost. Not to mention at any moment I was going to burst into tears. Finally, I found my way to the 405 and entered the freeway. As soon as my GPS told me I had a turn in six miles, I let loose. Tears went rushing down my cheeks as I cried in my car on the way out of LA, heading toward my sister’s college. Life was overwhelming, and it wasn’t the first time that I was going to cry.
‘Again with the tears?’ I thought as I pulled out of the parking lot after visiting my sister Amy. It was so good to be with her, to see her again and know that she was close. I got to meet some of her good college friends, and get a tour of the beautiful college campus. But what struck me most was how happy people were to see Amy return to college. There were hugs and exclamations of joy as old friends found each other. My heart ached, because I wanted to be with my friends again–the people that would yell with delight as we saw each other, embracing and exchanging stories of break. My sister was getting to experience that for the first time, and I watched from the distance with a heavy heart, remembering my own such times. It was so good to see her world. But as her college curfew started, it was time for me to leave. Feeling keenly alone again, I headed off to my older cousin Brendan’s house where I would spend the night. The whole way home I cried out to God, asking him to bring people into my life as fast as He could.
A week later, I sat in a coffee shop with someone I only met because of his blog on the internet, makeitmad.com’s Max Dubinski. I sat telling him the story of my life and where I’m from, and he listened with unveiled curiosity. He introduced me to his best friend Dylan and then the two of them invited me to go to their friend’s birthday party. Moments later, I found myself in a Los Angeles bar with loud music and partying. “Not in Kansas anymore” I muttered to myself as I watched some very wealthy people enter the Beverly Hills bar. Was this the friend group I was wanting? Who knows! But at least I was with people.
The Super Bowl played loud on the speakers as people cheered. Max and Dylan had invited me to their super bowl party. I was with people at last! Cheering and shouting and enjoying ourselves, my heart love-tank was filling rapidly under the new friends. I had been to a church earlier that morning and enjoyed myself, finding new roots and places to begin to grow. Perhaps things were finally looking up.
I pulled my car over on the side of the road and sat in shock. My car was still filled with all of my belongings and I was starting to panic. It was six days later, and I needed a place to live. I had spent all of Saturday morning driving around, calling places, looking on my tiny iPhone’s screen for apartment postings. I was feeling more discouraged than I had ever felt in my life, and now I was lost in some mega-rich suburb in the beachside hills of Malibu. There was a park with a rolling green lawn that overlooked the ocean. Overwhelmed with life, I got out of my car and pulled out my ukulele and played a song of sorrow to a God I knew was listening. Where was my provision, I asked? Why must I live so much on the edge? I need a place to stay, a place to call my own, and I can’t afford most places and have had no leads! What am I going to do? The sounds of peace and hope were too quiet for me to hear. It didn’t help that when I returned to my car, a $58 parking ticket was waiting for me. Just kill me now.
The laughter of my extended family was like twinkling bells to my ears. We watched Sam and the new little puppy Zoe play with each other, fighting over dog toys and the ball. I was with my sister Amy, my cousins Bryan, Brendan, Kirsten and her husband Chris, and my aunt and uncle for a Sunday afternoon pizza party. My iPhone buzzed and I pulled it out of my pocket. Another email had come in, from one of the many places I had written the night before after finding lots of people who wanted to share their house or apartment in LA. I learned that instead of trying to afford an entire place on my own, I could live with others and have a nicer place for less, since rent was shared. This email said that there was one house that was interested, if I could fill out the questionnaire and send it back so they could know more about me. Yes, I would do that. I turned back to my family and put my phone away. By this Wednesday, I was going to be out of a place to stay and either on the street or hopefully in someone’s house with a place of my own. I didn’t know. Only that I knew God was good to give me such a beautiful gift as an afternoon with my family. And even though it felt like the world was crashing down around me, at least I had them.
The sound of the keys clicked as my fingers typed out a summary of my last three weeks. It’s Monday morning and I have to leave for work in an hour. I still don’t know where I’m going to stay. Honestly, I’m not worried about future Joel. He’ll be okay. He’ll have a place to stay and friends who are excited to see him whenever they do, as he will be overjoyed to be with them. It’s just present Joel that’s having a hard time. Although this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I don’t know what the next day will bring much less the next week, I know that this is one, big, crazy adventure, and the lessons I learn from this experience will change who I am as it grows my character. It’s a big faith lesson, and I’m choosing to trust that God will provide when the time is right. Until then, it’s just one day at a time.
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