A long overdue update

Apologies for the gap in updates (posting other people’s words doesn’t count!). My parents used to email me when I hadn’t blogged in a few weeks to see if I was okay, because it was an indicator that there was a lot going on! And life has been very full lately, for a number of reasons; so here are some highlights from the last month and a half:

LST ChapelUK: For the last week, I’ve been back in London. I came for my old college roommate Kaz’s wedding, and have been trying to get some rest as well as catching up with old friends. Last Tuesday, I got to speak in chapel at my alma mater, London School of Theology. (Pic courtesy of @tomlcox)

EAST SIDE: We had a couple of great meetings–with a pastor and a school principal–before I left London about a place for the new community to meet regularly, so I’ll hopefully have some good news soon. We also did some prayer walking around the neighborhood recently that was extremely encouraging and reminded us that God’s already at work in our city–and we’re on the right track! More on this to come.

HEALTH: Some of you already know that I made a fun little trip to the emergency room the other week, with what I thought were breathing problems. Turns out, it was actually a heart thing, something called “premature ventricular contractions.” Two doctor friends have assured me that there’s no reason for concern, since I’m otherwise healthy; but I’ll be seeing my primary care physician and then (possibly) a cardiologist in the coming weeks to confirm it.

PRAYERS: Please keep praying: (1) for continued momentum on the East Side; (2) for all of the upcoming Easter festivities, as we remember the most momentous weekend in history; (3) for my health as I return to the States and get checked out.

One less place to call home

It’s strange being back in the UK for the first time since I left in fall 2006.

Four years ago, I hadn’t experienced a year of integrating politics and faith with Sojourners in Washington, DC. Four years ago, I didn’t even care about politics; I’d never heard of Barack Obama, let alone volunteered for his campaign. Four years ago, God hadn’t yet broken my heart for the poor, or stirred me to anger against injustice. Four years ago, I was still figuring out what I was going to do with my life—how I was supposed to weave together the disparate passions and talents I’d been entrusted with.

And most of my friends in the UK have missed out on that part of my life. Many of them haven’t seen the last four years of growth and maturing, of heartbreak and healing, of discovering my calling and the joy that comes with that. And I wish they had.

So it’s been a little sad. Much of this past week I’ve been reflecting in a fairly resigned way how we’ve grown apart, how God has led us in different directions, how friendships that used to be so close are no longer so, how people who played such important roles in my life no longer do. I know God is doing great things in each of our lives, and I’m glad for that.

But, like Hong Kong, it seems London is destined to become (and is already becoming) just another place I spent time in—formative years, life-changing years, years when I encountered God through and among some amazing people—but home no longer.

LIGHTS in London

I got to see LIGHTS last night at Monto Water Rats in Kings Cross, London. It’s the second time I’ve seen her this year, the first being in Constitution Hall in DC when she was supporting Owl City. It was definitely a different venue and a different atmosphere: much smaller, more intimate. But it was a good, good gig. I think I love this girl … 🙂

Here are a few pics:

Gershom, in transition once more

Well … I’m back. Back in London, and back to blogging. It’s been awhile since I’ve had the time, energy and desire to blog: life has been exhausting—good, but exhausting. And so reenergizing (of the sort that required less mental work) took precedence.

Looking back, I don’t think it was the optimal way of doing life. I’ve realized that I need times for processing and writing and recharging to be built in on a much more frequent and regular basis in order to thrive, but for my first year out of school and working full-time, it was a good year.

And now? Well, once again I find myself living up to my pseudonym: Gershom. Once more I tread the well-worn but tenuous steps of transition, the simultaneously exciting and uncomfortable position of not being what sure what comes next but trusting that God knows what he’s doing because more often than not I don’t.

The internship with Sojourners is done. My worldly possessions are boxed and stored at friends’ houses in California and DC. As I write this, I’m sitting next to an astrophysicist on a plane that’s halfway across the Atlantic.

For the next few weeks I’ll be back in the UK, home for eight good years, home to a lot of memories, and a place I haven’t been since I left in 2006. I’ll be catching up with friends, eating at favorite restaurants and visiting favorite haunts, and processing the last year(s). And then I plan to be in Wheaton, Illinois, doing some campaigning for my friend Ben Lowe, who’s running for U.S. Congress (more on this to come), while I also try to figure out next steps.

One thing I know for certain is that the One who guides me and walks with me won’t lead me astray. And that’s enough; for now and for always.

[Oh … if you’re in London in the next few weeks (probably till mid-September), shoot me an email or a Facebook message or a tweet. And if you’re in the Wheaton/Chicago area for the few weeks after that, likewise.]

Links of the Day, January 11

It’s Human Trafficking Awareness Day! Tell someone who doesn’t know about the 27 million people trapped in modern slavery. And then do something about it!

Check out these awesome pics to start out your week/day:
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And then enjoy this cover from Cathy Nguyen and Andrew Garcia:

News

Human trafficking

Immigration

Miscellaneous