We call it "expecting" when a woman's belly begins to swell with life. Deep inside her, a minuscule speck of matter, ignited by the breath of God, begins developing into a viable life form with all its wonder and possibilities. That's what she's expecting; that's what a couple awaits; the birth of their child, a tangible expression of their life and love. It's the moment they've been waiting for.
David and I have been "expecting" for some time now. As I think back, it's been three years or more. First, the swelling within me seemed vague and obscure--a stirring that was hard to name, but it's rumblings apparent. Finally, I understood it. I had a dream inside me, conceived and gestating. Eventually that dream was given definition and a name: Sustainable Faith Indy (SFI)--a urban retreat center.
David supported my dream because he supports me. And over time, he began to share it, nurture it, and dream about it as well. Our vision has morphed over the last several months--changing locations, funding sources and the amount of personal cost. Finally, last September, we took a giant step, planted a for sale sign in our yard, and decided that if this dream was going to happen, we would have to give it our all. (Kind of like deciding to stop using birth control.)
We wrestled through an exhausting seven long months and 72 showings before we sold our house. We felt like we were in premature labor a number of times--three offers that didn't come to fruition, and then finally one that did. At times, we doubted our dream and God who we thought had impregnated us with the dream. But once our house sold, the contractions started and we've been in the hard labor of finding a property, negotiating an offer, inspection issues, scheduling closings and packing--oh, my word, packing!
If all goes well, on May 31st we will move out of our home of 16 years and on June 1st will move into a new home where we will "raise this baby" we've been dreaming about. Here's a description of our vision from the web site:
"SFI addresses some of the most pressing and persistent needs of our
culture today: the needs for a place
to come away and be still, to find
our bearings, to hear from God and to engage with others in significant
conversation and learning. SFI provides hallowed space for personal
retreats, spiritual direction, learning cohorts and educational events
that empower people to live in Christ from their truest selves."
It's the moment we've been waiting for! We are both excited and anxious. We wonder if it will work--if anybody will come. We wonder what it will be like to live in an urban area that is unfamiliar to us and a 100 year old home. David and I both have the sense that this move, though clearly disruptive, is a good disruption. This "child" will keep us young; active and engaged; pliable and humble. And we pray that it will be a tremendous blessing to those who "come away" with us, whether for an overnight or a few hours of serenity and prayer.
It will take a few months before we are fully operational. We have to finish the third floor for additional guest rooms. We will begin educational events in September with the first-ever Sustainable Faith Indy School of Spiritual Direction.(For more information, please visit the web site.)
Looking forward to hosting you in our new home!
Warmly, Beth and David