By Karen Christianson
Boise? Why Boise? Where is Boise? What will you do? Is that the potato state?
Oh these and many more questions have been flooding my email inbox, coffee time conversations, and text messages over the past few months. I love my friends, and I am thankful for their heartfelt “inquiry/interrogation.”
I feel loved, protected and so appreciated… by both; friends who would prefer for me to stay here in Sioux Falls, and also by the Lord who is calling me to go plant in Boise.
I am in a new season that I find myself surrounded by, at times, opposing sides that have the best intentions. They both love me, want the best for me, have the same best desires for my well-being, but ultimately I need them to come to agreeance and join forces.
Change is difficult. It requires us to stretch, grow, be willing to be a little disrupted. and trust the unknown. I have called Sioux Falls area home now for nearly 11 years. In fact, my moving date will be exactly 11 years and 2 weeks since my arrival to this corn surrounded, chislic eating, Jesus loving city. The longest period I have lived in one place ever in my life. I have roots, I have wonderful friends that have become family. I have a beautiful loving church that I am so blessed to be apart of. I have a wonderful hairstylist! Okay let’s be honest ladies, that right there is enough to get a person to stay in one place. But that is not what God has laid on my heart to do, and I must follow what I am called to.
Why Boise? First and foremost, God asked and I will follow. Pastor Josh and Erica Wiley have a vision for Gathering 208 that spoke so deeply to what my very essence is, there is no way I could of said No even if I wanted to. Boise is a beautiful city, I have spent a great deal of time in when I used to live in the Pacific Northwest. It is experiencing a huge growth spurt. I have a passion to help people find their belonging in Jesus. Everyone wants community, to feel belonging, that is how Christ made us.
When you don’t have your identity grounded in Christ, moves, change, and difficulties can shake a person and make them feel totally lost. When your identity is founded in Christ and not your location, title, or relationships - you are moved, maybe even a bit disrupted. But, your footing is solid because you know who you are and where your source of self and life come from - the Lord. That never changes, is always the same, even when your area code or… even your hairstylist does.
I am so excited to jump into Boise; to get back to the outdoor living I have missed to create new relationships by spreading out the love of Jesus on a city that is feeling intensive growing pains. With people who may not feel “just a little disrupted by their change”, but actually lost because of where they have placed their identity.
Christ has taken the past 11 years here in the Midwest, to mold me, refine me and break me in areas and heal me in others, so I am able to return to my roots in the Pacific Northwest. To allow Him to shine through me on to others. How could I not be obedient or excited?!! I have been drafted by the ultimate coach (God) to be member of the ultimate team (Christ’s Community)!
So, I leave you with this today: Where do you find your identity? When you are faced with change, are you moved, maybe even a bit disrupted? Or are you shaken to the point of feeling lost and abandoned? Identity in Christ will always bring a solid footing no matter what challenge, change, move you are facing. If you are feeling uneasy of your footing, your identity right now please do not sit with this alone, reach out to your Pastor, Christian leader, or if your not sure who to contact please feel free to contact me directly.
My prayer is you never feel lost.
Love in Christ, Karen
Interested in learning more about Gathering208 church plant, becoming a prayer partner, or possibly more? Please feel free to reach out to me and let’s talk. Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org or you may message me through Facebook as well.