Five years ago my husband and I moved to Nashville to plant a church. It was new and exciting. Innocent and wide-eyed to leading. We were part of a church planting network, but dreaming overshadowed any warnings that were offered. We were unaware of any trial, or struggle that could come our way on this journey. After all, we would be the exception. We had an open book, a new chapter God was calling us to and we were determined and open to all that God had planned.
Church started, months passed, then boom. We found ourselves in the middle of a war, unprepared. We didn't know what to do, other than try to just keep on going and pretend everything was alright. If you have been leading a church for a little while, I am sure some sort of battle has begun. The enemy strikes in all sorts of ways with fear, anxiety, confusion, disunity, control, jealousy, bitterness, and so on.
Do you know what trenches are? They are ditches that are dug by those in war to protect themselves from the enemy. In WW1 the British and French dug theirs using lumber and sandbags. While these trenches suited them they did not last. The Germans however dug trenches to withstand war and time with cement and sandbags. To this day you can visit the battleground of St. Mihiel and see the debris and what is left of these trenches.
Trenches remind me of the story of the "3 Little Pigs." I don't know about you, but I much rather be in trenches that can withstand time. I also much rather be in the house the wolf can't blow down. Unfortunately, I think part of our problem isn't with the trenches or the house. Our problem is not being prepared for battle. We go into life believing we will be the exception. We think, oh that happened to that pastor, or that church plant, that won't be me or the church I am leading. Then suddenly we wake up in the trench unprepared and confused how we got in a battle.
If the battle hasn't come yet, let me tell you now. It is coming. We are not the exception friends, we are the target. Do not go into the next chapter naive thinking you will be a rare bird without troubles. Jesus tells us in Luke to sell our cloak and by a sword if we do not have one. There are countless scriptures telling us we will have trials and tribulation. We have got to stop thinking we are the exception. We need to lock our doors from the enemy, pick up our swords, and be ready to walk through the trenches when the enemy attacks.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor