Blog from Kristy Engel…

“If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” -Philippians 2:1-4

The book of Philippians is probably my favorite set of scriptures. I often read or listen to these scriptures for encouragement and an understanding of my purpose. The above verses are some of the most helpful when I’m trying to decide on my “next steps” in decisions I make in my life.

Look at those verses again.

They speak of the encouragement found in the Body of Christ as we work towards the same goals with the same mind…that being the mind of Christ.

And yet…

It is so easy to become discouraged these days. There is so much fighting between folks for an unlimited number of reasons. The most heartbreaking part for me is that Christians, who are supposed to be brothers and sisters…the same Body…are often the most critical, judgmental and harsh in their treatment of others. I ache, watching and listening to how we treat each other.

And yet…

I have hope. Parkway family, I am so happy I found you, almost 7 years ago! I believe and have seen you live out these verses in Philippians. You may not always agree, but you treat people with kindness and love; often “regarding others as better than yourselves.” There have been so many times over the years where you loved me so much that it made me cry…in a good way! I am thankful every day for your support and your love.

In just a few days, I head off for my 4-month sabbatical. It is a crazy time to be traveling and my travel plans seem to change almost daily, but I’m holding all of the plans lightly (or at least trying to!) and listening for God’s leading. I know we haven’t met face to face for months but now I’ll be across the country. It really seems like I’m going to miss you even more! I would ask that you continue to lift me (and my travel!) in your prayers. This is a much needed time of rest and renewal as well as discovering what God has in store for me next.

Who knows what the future holds? God does. And in trusting God for my provision, rest and direction, I am really excited for the next couple of months. Once again, many at Parkway are stepping in to care for me during the sabbatical and I’m thankful for my Parkway family…but I still yearn for the day when I can see you face to face and get that hug I’ve been waiting for.