I read Francis Chan's Crazy Love in the weeks before we moved to Virginia to church plant. I was challenged by one line in particular:
What in your life requires faith?
At that point in my life, I could make a long list: leaving an established life with a thriving ministry and a stable job, moving far from friends and family to a place where we didn't know anyone, and trusting that God had not only called us to do it, but would provide for our needs and grow a church from nothing.
While we waited for our house to close, we lived with my parents in Tyler. Kyle went ahead of us by a few weeks, sleeping in our new (empty) house and watching the Olympics in a lawn chair. Right before my parents and I hauled ourselves up to Virginia, my mom said, "Are you really as calm as you seem to be?" I hadn't thought about it until she asked, but, yes, I was. I felt as if this irrational decision (according to the world's ideas) was completely natural. I had faith.
Releasing control of our lives and trusting God to come through is never a bad decision. There are so many ways that He has provided, acted, or moved in these past two years that I have started recording them so I don't forget and I don't take it for granted. A few examples:
- The call to "go" came clearly and was confirmed along the way, even more so once we became CVillians and saw the needs.
- God has surrounded us with a team of like-minded people who have not only served with us, but served our family as well. When we tell people our story, they are amazed that people came with us from Texas to help start a church. Everytime I reflect on how He orchestrated the Ramsey's move to CVille just before us (you can read that story here), I am amazed at God's faithfulness to us. I am convinced that we could not have done this without Bill, Marylyn, Faith, Nick, and the Ramseys.
- I can see how He's provided things at just the right time, such as a place to meet for church after we lost our spot.
- He's helped us make connections with influential college students at UVA, which has opened doors for ministry on Grounds.
- The church we left in Texas (Central in College Station) has essentially been our "sending" church, providing mission teams and financial resources that have helped us greatly. God has been faithful to provide $, encouragement, and help and alot of it has come through Central's people.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Basically, God has grown our church from birth to toddler stage and everything included in that process has proved Him faithful.
Now that we're two years down the road the foundation has been laid and we find ourselves on the edge of being both a church plant and a semi-established church. Is Kyle a church planter or a pastor or both? New questions, more responsibilities, and greater opportunities are presenting themselves. With it have come new fears. It makes me realize that faith is not a one time event--inevitably, God will ask me to go deeper, surrendering more and more to Him.
P.S. He continues to provide. A huge answer to prayer is coming our way in October: Joseph and Tahni Holm! Joseph will be our worship leader and Tahni will be her wonderful self. They were students when we were at Central and God saw fit to put us all together again. We can't wait! Here is a picture Tahni took of Joseph and Kyle when they were visiting. You can get to know Tahni and see more of her creativity on her blog.