by Caitlynn Gummelt, Hope House Coach

The Greek word for “understanding”, which literally means “a flowing together of two rivers. A Picture of two of our lists of facts merging together and our understanding becoming deeper and wider. In 2 Tim 2:7, Paul says “consider what I say and the Lordgive thee understanding (sunesis).

I don’t know about you, but I find It easy to float down the river in my own self raft, filled with thoughts, experiences and perspectives that have led me downstream. I believe along the way in life we have slowly collected these thoughts, whether it be from a mentor, a stranger, professors or peers, which has allowed them to define and shape our perspectives. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about discipleship and leaning into community for fresh vision and growth, however, I’m talking about the views that we might have or that are keeping us from creating space for others to feel understood and heard.

In September, I moved to Seattle, Washington to step into a new role in my life, a Hope House Coach. A role that allows me to walk alongside women who have been commercially sexually exploited. I’m going to be completely honest, I had no idea what to expect, but knew this was a season to “jump in”. It’s been 4 months, and my once “self raft” has been challenged by the shifting and speed of the currents, I have collided into more rocks allowing myself to adapt to new ways as I merge into new streams.

In 2 Corinthians 4:8 we are reminded that “we are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven into despair.” As Paul reminds the church at Corinth of the persecution he endured for the sake of Christ, I can’t help but to believe that when we“ jump in” and take that risk, we allow ourselves to merge into new circumstances, therefore, creating space in our raft to embrace others fully and wholly how God created them. I’ve realized how when we stay restricted to what is comfortable we miss out on allowing God to move. In order to actively anticipate a move of God we must merge and make space.

MERGE: Would we allow God maneuver our raft in new directions with consistency, allowing ourselves to be challenged, uncomfortable and perplexed for the sake of experiencing the move of God that leads to the flow of unity.

SPACE: Would we make room in our rafts to expand our perspective in ways we had never experienced in order for our knowledge and understanding to be stretched and deepened by others.

Again, picture the two rivers. Both rafts from different rivers being tossed to and fro, flipped over and knocked out, everything they have known and collected being challenged and shaken by new experiences. They then merge, flowing together in the same direction, down the same river. Unity.

So what if? What if we allowed God to merge our rafts into new directions? What if we allowed space for others to feel safe, heard and known? I don’t know about you, but I need a little perspective shift here and there, so God shake us, we want to see you move.