It took me a long time and a lot of stumbling and bumbling in church planting to finally understand how foundational the principle of dependence is to the process. My journals from our first few months are full of anguish as I desperately clung to control and begged God to go along with my game plan. My joy was swallowed up by anxiety and despair.
August 18, 2008
We’re here! Charlottesville is now home! I’m so thankful, Lord, for who you are—such a good God and completely trustworthy—that allows me to step out and do something like this. Overall, my heart today is filled with praise and thanksgiving for what you have done.
August 23, 2008
Father, my mind is all over the place. The house is coming together, although there is still a lot to do. I am somewhat afraid of being done because then what? I am anxious to feel settled but, then again, I’m afraid of not having anything to do. Give me a heart that simply looks to you for my daily bread, not having to always have lots of plans but just being able to hear your voice and rest in your provision. Help me not to get ahead of you, thinking that somehow I am in control.
September 5, 2008
My sinful response to unfamiliar surroundings and uncertainty has been control—wanting to control my schedule, my home, my husband, and my children. I confess that to you, Lord. I’m trying to bring order in a pushy and sinful way. Help me to relax, take one day at a time, and be obedient in the things you bring me.
September 15, 2008
How awesome to be in this position to see you grow something out of nothing. I am privileged, thankful, and living in the expectation of what is to come through the active work of the Holy Spirit. I have never had to trust you like this before. It is awesome to see how you are always faithful. My heart in all this is to be faithful to you by placing my dependence on you and letting you have my life—not depending on myself.
September 19, 2008
I have no idea what I’m doing here or where this is all going. I feel like I’ve been running full steam ahead since we moved here, but that almost all the relationships we’ve built are not bearing fruit. I feel like I’m struggling between seeing people as prospects and simply just loving them and wanting to get to know them personally. I just feel so stressed like I haven’t felt in a long time, even through the move and saying goodbye. But the reality has hit and I just feel attacked and discouraged. I have to remind myself a billion times a day that You are the one building the church, You are the mighty one to save, NOT ME!! I feel responsible for things that aren’t my responsibility. Help me to release this burden, Father, and just rest in you.
Church planting has refined my character, especially in the area of dependence. Now, I see clearly how God was using challenging circumstances to break the death grip I had on my life. He was calling me to dependence, where peace and rest are ultimately found. As I am learning to daily depend on His power working in me, my strivings cease.