Today we had a bit of a house party and one of those families joined us for the fun and fellowship. I had some time to talk with Eric about my hopes and frustrations. He said some very encouraging things. He reminded me of missionaries that spent years in an area before they saw any conversions. They faithfully followed where God brought them and trusted Him for the results...no matter how long it took. That is exactly what I needed to hear. After the party I checked my reader and there I found a wonderful post by Jeff at Losing My Religion. Jeff tells about what he calls the in-between and it sounds just like what I refer to as the wilderness. His words echo my heart. Here is a bit:
"That being said, because of the blog, I've obviously become friends with a lot of people who are Christ-followers but aren't currently engaged in a regular gathering with other believers. Some of these folks have been 'outsiders' for several years, others for a few months. Some of them even believe it's okay not to belong to a community, and have no plans to be in one. Many others, though, express a sense of loneliness and loss, because they actually want to be in community--they just feel sort of exiled because they can't in good conscience belong to any of the traditional forms of gathering taking place around them. (That longing is actually what's drawn many of us into the blogosphere, because at least we can find someone else online who has an inkling of what we're feeling--and that's actually drawn some of us into a sort of pseudo-community.)"I thank God for providing me with fellowship manna. Just the right amount, you know? Not too much, not too little. It has come in different forms. The right encouragement at the right time face-to-face like Eric and the right post at the right time from Jeff. It's nice to know that I'm not all alone out here in the wilderness. God will carry us through. I know He will.