better than you believe
I was recently on the telephone with my youngest sister who has given birth twice in the last 3 months. Her first birth was the launch of Cross & Anchor Church on March 3, 2019! Alongside her husband, they have labored to build and launch this infant congregation in the Detroit area. Not easy work. Birth seems to involve every fiber of who you are. And growth seems to involve your everyday attention.
The following month, these church planters welcomed their first child, London, into their home. Much like the process with C & A, the delivery process wasn’t easy, and it definitely involved a few unexpected elements. But today, June 18, London is thriving and growing in the arms of her parents.
On that call with my sister, I heard joy and burden, which is expected. Great growth, and also great weight due to a lack of growth. So many experiences, stories, and hope for better was tied up in the conversation. Birth and growth seems to bring out all the inner layers of who we are, and who we desire to be.
Though not a new mother or church planter, I can find myself sometimes echoing those same sentiments. Great joy and great discouragement. I desire the newness of the launch but I also doubt the growth of it. I praise over a connection but wonder if I can sustain the life of it long term. I leap over a new step of discipline but equally question if I can move from frequent to routine. I am on the same page with my sister, I didn’t have to stretch to imagine. But I tell you what I told her and tell myself today.
“You are doing better than you believe”. I chose belief because it transcends knowing. Knowing is often associated with the head and mind, but belief resides in the heart and it informs the knowing. As you give birth, lead, and really just live each day, allow your belief to shape you. A lack doesn’t mean nothing at all. A step, instead of running, doesn’t mean no progress at all. I would even go so far as to say a failure doesn’t mean no future.
Choosing a “you are doing better than you believe” mindset has propelled me forward right into the middle of God’s grace. If He daily extends this grace, a grace that ultimately flows from the cross, I can receive it. This grace is the essence of continuing to lead despite the evidence of resistance. And once I am graduated from that season and onto the next training, I look back and realize, “I was doing better than I believed”.