A year ago this week I locked myself in a KC hotel room desperate to hear God’s voice. I was terrified, anxious and full of doubt. I was paralyzed by looming questions and realities like, “What if this doesn’t work and you fail?” “You have no idea what you’re doing so you can’t pull this off.” “Look what you got yourself into now.” The little voice in my head was full of taunting “you” statements. For me, that’s when life is the most overwhelming.
So I sat in this hotel eating pizza and begging God to make me brave. The word that kept filling the silence was “watch.” I was aggravated by this. I was adamant that the voice in my head needed to be silenced by God’s resounding truth that I can do all things, the truth that I was good enough, the truth that Kalie is so special that God picked her and He should be thanking Himself that she said yes. Instead, I was surrounded by silence and the less than glamorous call to simply watch.
And so for the past 12 months I’ve watched. You’ve watched. What God has done in the short life of UCA is overwhelming. Here are some highlights:
*I went to a random meeting that a random intern was sitting in on who just happened to be a part of a family foundation. As a result of that meeting we walked away with the funds to purchase a bus.
*We put an offer the school building 4 months before we actually closed the deal. We watched and waited as God worked out all the kinks and changed the purchase price from $220,000 to $144,000.
*We opened the mail one day to find a check for $100,000 from an anonymous donor.
*I drafted an email to send to a small group of hard core UCA champions to rally the team to share the UCA story with their spheres of influence with the goal of raising $40,000. I accidentally sent that email to everyone on our mailing list. I felt like a failure. As a result someone who wasn't on the original list received the email and donated the entire goal amount of $40,000.
*We’ve watched volunteers love scholars they never would have known and speak life and truth into them. As a result they are seeing the Gospel lived out in front of them and it’s changing their hearts.
*We’ve watched scholars who hated school, scholars who thought they were "bad kids" learn that they are endlessly lovable and cry when the days and weeks and year end because they love the community and experiences they had at UCA.
*We’ve watched kids pray the most beautiful prayers of faith and joy. We've listened to them ask God to clean their dirty hearts. We've listened to them ask the holy spirit to come into our classroom and help them to love their neighbors. They've asked God to make their heart soft like playdough instead of hard like a stone.
*Maybe the greatest miracle of all is we’ve seen our own hearts transform as we’ve watched the God who created the galaxies continue to write His story right in front of our eyes.
And so this summer we continue to fight to believe that we can do all things, but only through Christ. We are in a constant training to steady our eyes to keenly watch for the ways God is at work in and around us. And we are full of gratefulness. And although God is the mastermind behind every good gift and is worthy of all the praise, we recognize that you have said yes in so many ways. You’ve encouraged our hearts by reading the blog, you’ve given of your time and resources, you’ve prayed, you’ve sent the kindest words of encouragement, and you’ve been a faithful team of people who have stood in awe of our great God together. Together. Together. Together. We like the way that sounds. Together we will continue to watch. What a grand adventure it is to be called to watch.