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Life changes and transitions are exciting…and challenging. A mixed bag of emotions for most of us…and with all the coming and going at the ACTS homes lately, we’re very aware that it’s wise to get a little help processing what’s going on inside as we adjust to new surroundings, open our hearts to new relationships, and move into new seasons of life with focus, intentionality, and purpose.

In December, we welcomed one of our own back to the Nest for a spell, and our new, Executive Director…just in time to emcee the Emergent Summit at the Broadmoor. {To rave reviews, I might add!} In January, I “flew the coop” to feather a little “satellite nest” nearby that has already served as a landing place for a friend in need. And next week, the newest member of the household will settle into the place God has prepared for her…just as He did for each of us who has spent a season at one of the ACTS home.

Intentionality, focus, and purpose are trademarks of the ACTS communities… mirroring the intentional ways God brings focus and purpose to the “mixed bag” that is life. He sees us, knows us, and loves us enough to provide exactly what He knows we need…whether we like it or not. {And I mean that in the nicest possible way…} Even if it means we spend a season {or two} in the wilderness…or in a community home we never imagined for ourselves {and most people we know can’t understand}…then, so be it. Because you know what? Sometimes that’s what it takes. For some people. For some reason. And after living with the ACTS family for the past three years {as one of those people}, I can honestly say, “Who cares what other people think or what we think, for that matter? It doesn’t really matter.”

What does matter is that God has it all figured out, and He’s already worked it all out. He knows how to heal our broken hearts, satisfy our deepest longings, and launch us into the fullest expression of the people He created us to be. And when we finally let go of our best misguided efforts to make life work the way we thought it should, something wonderful and completely unexpected happens.

As we intentionally focus on what really matters, truth begins to set us free from old lies and childish ways. Life returns to our withered hearts, and in the place of yesterday’s sorrows, a new song rises up that our hearts seem to recognize. Like we already know it somehow. And a vaguely familiar story comes back to us, too. The story written for us from the beginning. The one we thought could never happen, but God knew could…and would. If He could just convince us it was possible.

Everything we’ve written off as “beyond our wildest dreams,” is still way within the wild and wonderful realms of God’s possibilities. He’s always known the dreams He has for us…and how to make them come true. From the beginning, He knew what it would take and what it would mean… and that it would be entirely up to us to choose His story…or our own. And with a mixed bag of pure delight and gut-wrenching longing, He watches over us with full confidence in His ability to fulfill His promises, a steadfast commitment to prove His good intentions toward all He has made, and great hope that, before it’s all said and done, we’ll be thoroughly convinced.

God aches for the dreams of heaven and earth to be one in the same, and for us to rise from the ashes of our broken lives to know Him as He truly is, to know ourselves as He designed us to be, and to live as sons and daughters who want nothing more than to be just like Him. The kindest, most loving Being we can imagine…beyond our wildest of dreams…and as close as the air we breathe.