As we round out 2016, a few Urban Vision staff members wanted to share how God has worked in their lives throughout the year. We’re looking forward to 2017 and what He has in store for us. Happy New Year!
In 2016, God has increased my confidence in my own decision-making skills and helped me handle insecurities so that I can keep on going without getting stuck! Kaite Marshall
With God’s help, I’ve been able to take steps in reconciling fractured relationships. He has also shown me that to forgive is not a sign of weakness but one of obedience. He continues to work on my heart. He’s taught me to put Him before all others, even when it’s hard, that by doing the right thing we can share the Gospel without ever speaking a word. Romans 12:2 says, “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” That’s been my go-to verse this year. God also blessed me and my family with a new home in the North Hill community and by purchasing our home, we’ll be able to pay it forward to another family. Regina Lewis
This year has been a year of “figuring things out.” Over the past year my husband and I have often compared our current state in life to the year we were engaged. Being engaged is a wonderful season for a couple, there is much to anticipate and plan for. There is one single goal that all your efforts as a couple are seeking to reach. However, being engaged is also a challenging season; day after day, your time and energy is directed towards the hope of a future life. Sometimes we want that hoped for future life now. Sometimes we want to just live instead of spending all our time preparing.
While my husband and I have been married for almost 5 years we continue to find ourselves in a similar state of anticipation of a future hope. After four years of living in the Boston area while we attended graduate school, we moved back Ohio this May with leads on ministry employment but no actual offers. I spent this past summer knowing that God had directed our path back to Ohio but also wondering when he would provide light for us to see this path. Enter, Urban Vision. After a long summer of waiting God graciously opened the door for my husband and I to come on staff at Urban Vision. God provided an answer to my heart’s longing since a young age to minister to families in an urban setting.
As I’ve thought through the path that God has lead me down this past year, I realized that God has been whispering–and admittedly sometimes yelling– two words to my soul, Hope & Trust. There have been many times in my life I have hoped for things. I hoped I would get into the college I wanted to go to, I hoped Tom and I would get married, I hoped we would move back to Ohio, and so many other things. I have spent my life hoping for the future because that is what God made all of us to do. The sin and darkness that surrounds us in this fallen world inspires those who believe the gospel message to live lives of hope. In Romans, Paul describes creation itself as groaning in anticipation of the future hope of Jesus’ second coming. But hope does not come without trust, “…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (8:24-25).
We do not know what paths the Lord will lead us down, but we know that we can trust him. We cannot expect to feel satisfied with the state of the broken world around us, but we can live in real hope that one day all will be made right. We cannot look to our present circumstances to fill our lives with purpose, but we can trust that God is enough in the midst of anything that comes our way. There are many things in my life that still need to be “figured out,” but that is something I’m realizing will always be true. So, I ask along with the disciples, “Increase my faith” that I might hope & trust more this coming year. Fiona Paisley