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Sandbox Kingdoms

By Anna Jones

As part of our curriculum, each fellow participates in a motivational assessment and subsequent debriefing session with our director, John Kyle. In my session, I was introduced to one of my key motivations – a desire to “experience the ideal.” Essentially, I believe that there is an ideal outcome for most any situation and that it is my responsibility to take the intangible and make something concrete.

In my pursuit of the ideal, I have built a makeshift kingdom for myself, where nothing can go wrong so long as I am consistently working to make things better. I tend to take an “all in” approach to life, so excited by the idea of what could be, that I have failed to realize I am building my kingdom on the shifty ground of expectation. By clinging to my own expectations, I have set myself up time and time again for disappointment. I have struggled to make important decisions, paralyzed by fear that if I choose the wrong path, I might miss out on a more perfect one. I often leave situations thinking that if I had just done something differently or chosen more perfect words, I would have been a better student, coworker, sister, daughter, or friend. I have placed these expectations on myself and on those around me, leading to hurt on both sides. Most importantly, when caught up in this cycle of expectation and disappointment, I have deeply misunderstood God’s character.

In the words of John Kyle, our God is not a “trickster God.” He is not out to get us. He does not offer us good gifts only to take them away from us when we least expect it. He does not laugh at our childlike excitement about the things we care about only to roll his eyes when they end in our disappointment. Instead, in his grace, he takes our expectations from us and replaces them with the promise of a world made new in Christ.

I think our Father has been watching us play in our own silly little sandbox kingdoms from the window of his perfect heavenly kingdom. As rain begins to fall and our castles of sand are washed away, we finally see him in the window, where he has been all along, waiting for us to knock on the door. He invites us to come inside out of the rain and to sit at his table. At the table, we learn that he knows our sorrows, feels our hurt, and mourns our greatest disappointments with us. When we leave our silly little sandbox kingdoms behind, he shows us that the plans he has for his children will far exceed even our greatest expectations. In our Father’s grace, mercy, and love, we finally experience the ideal.

“Tear this house down to its foundations. Break what You must break in me. On the shores of Your salvation, Cast my man-made kingdom into the sea.”

- “Tear My House Down” by Chris Renzema


Pictures from the Week

Capital Fellows take on Richmond!

No better way to spend an evening than on a picnic blanket with people you love!

Chocolate milk is the unofficial sponsor of the Capital Fellows.


Know a Potential Capital Fellow?

We are actively building Season Seventeen! If you know a college senior or recent graduate that would benefit from this program, please let them know about our upcoming informational webinars. About Capital Fellows. Capital Fellows is an advanced leadership and discipleship program for recent college graduates. Through graduate courses, a paid internship, one-on-one mentoring and many leadership and community service opportunities, fellows develop and apply their gifts in real-world situations while learning to integrate a Christian worldview into all areas of life. Capital Fellows is a unique opportunity to live and work in the Washington DC area and to be an active member of a supportive community that seeks to serve the city with the love of Christ. It is also a unique opportunity to get hands-on experience in the workplace while deeply exploring God’s design for us as workers and contributors to human flourishing.


Pray for the Capital Fellows

Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!

It's Thanksgiving Week! Many are traveling this week, going home or to visit friends. May God bless them with safe travel and rest. May he also bless them with newfound love and willingness to serve where ever they might go this weekend. For those going home, please pray that the fellows would find new patterns of relating to family and friends, not falling into old, unhelpful habits, but stepping in, embracing adulthood, and loving with tender hearts.

Want to pray for the Capital Fellows in an ongoing way? Download this handy prayer guide for your phone or tablet.

Capital Fellows Class Brochure - for Phones
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About The Fellows Initiative

Capital Fellows is part of a network of similar programs across the country. This network is called The Fellows Initiative. There are 34 Fellows programs in TFI, roughly 3,000 alumni living around the world, and more Fellows programs on the way.

If you know a church in the US or Canada that would benefit from joining TFI by launching a new Fellows program. Please contact TFI by visiting their website.


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