Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30 days that will change my life

In 30 days, I'm going to do the craziest thing I've ever done.

One year ago, I was reeling from an emotionally exhausting month.  At the beginning of May 2010, we found out that Lindsey was pregnant for the first time.  We were ecstatic, and had been anticipating this moment since we decided to stop using birth control earlier that year.  My teaching job at a Christian school provided a modest, stable salary, and the health benefits were top tier.

Two weeks into May, I had my contract meeting before school.  I expected another year without a raise, noting all the "tough economy" talk that had been going around.  But I knew my job was safe because I was responsible for teaching Bible to every single sophomore and every single senior - half the high school.  Or so I thought.  My stomach sank the second I walked into the principal's office and saw her not sitting alone, as last year, but with the human resources representative.  HR doesn't get called in for good or even normal news.  "Restructuring" in that tough economy had claimed my job - last in, first out.

The layoff was a shock, but Lindsey and I were still thrilled about our immanent bundle of joy, so I purposed about finding a new job to support our growing family.

We went to the doctor expecting our first picture of the baby and the first sound of the heartbeat.  The urine test, numerous questions, and archaic dial-a-date prediction all seemed to take hours before we got to the good part.  Finally, the doctor fired up the machine and wielded the instrument, and he got everything into position on the screen for the big reveal.

Where there was supposed to be a fuzzy, black and white image of our progeny was a clearly discernible hole, an blank space, an empty canvas.  The silence that was supposed to be shattered by the drumbeat of our baby's pounding pulse remained too long and would not be broken.

Doctors rarely speak in definitive statements like they do in the movies, and that day was no exception.  He told us he didn't have good news for us, but he couldn't confirm the bad without further tests.  At 4:55pm on Friday of Memorial Day weekend, we walked into the laboratory sample collections office on feet that felt like stone.

Anxiety replaced the joy that was supposed to fill our anniversary weekend and within a week was transformed into grief.  The baby had miscarried.

Husbands like to fix things, and I am no exception.  I was more determined than ever to find work so we could have health insurance so we could figure out what went wrong.  I applied all over and found myself particularly drawn to a church plant in Kansas.

The church plant job fell through, as did everything else, and I was left broken, face-to-face with my own powerlessness.

Shortly after this depth, I began to feel myself drawn to the idea of planting a church myself, not waiting for some guys in Kansas or anywhere else to adore my résumé and flatter my interviewing skills.  If God had called me to serve Him, He would use me wherever I went.

We gave strongest consideration and preference to places near family, but we found those places either saturated with churches or a poor fit for our personalities.  But late one night, Salt Lake City, UT, blipped across my radar screen as a place in need of a good church.

After some weird spiritual experiences - bad dreams, confusion, and despair - confirmation came.  We had told no one of this idea, yet the monthly prayer service at church happened to fall during that week.  During prayer time, our associate pastor blurted out during his prayer that he believed God was calling someone in the room at that moment to plant a church.  Nothing like this had happened in the year that we had attended this church.  People don't fall down or bark like dogs.  It was a normal church.

We accepted what seemed to be a direct call from God, and we started plotting a course for moving to and starting a church in Salt Lake City, UT.

After a year of training, another miscarriage, losing our team to a different project, and going different directions from our church, we're moving to Salt Lake City in 30 days from today.

P.S. If you would like to subscribe to the e-mail updates for our church planting work, please fill out the form here.
P.P.S. If you would like to donate to help us start our work, please contact me at raj [at] (with an @ and no spaces) or on facebook if we're friends.


  1. I'm so lucky to be on this journey with you. I love you! :)


  2. This is some exciting stuff!! Excited to know you and support you and be in the same boat, just different cities!


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