Since being in this season of rest (growth) we have waited sometimes impatiently and patiently for what was next for us. Little did I know, lots of options would come available, but was God really calling us to those options. Or was it a way out, an escape if you will, out of the season we didn't desire to be in. Not knowing, and in a state of "I don't know" I have pushed pause on blogging since last May. So here is a quick catch up, on our life in waiting.
Come September 2014, five months after we moved back to our hometown something came. Wow that was fast, I thought. How awesome, the projected six months to a year wasn't how long we would have to wait, after all. But it came in a crazy way. I got a writing opportunity for a mega-church in Charlotte NC. Humbled, and honored we visited the area. That weekend I got a tour behind the scenes in the creative area, and introduced to several staff members. It was all very surreal. We came back, ready to tell all of our family, pack our bags and move within the month. But something that week held us back. Something just didn't feel right about being spontaneous this time. We knew we weren't ready, no matter how much we desired to be. Fortunately, for a few months I still got to work from afar and help think of creative elements to bring to their worship experiences.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2015. Something came open for Jim. But again in a crazy way. A friend of ours has a lake house in Savannah, that our family has stayed at several times over the past few years. We made connections/friends with some people in the community, and they knew Jim wasn't pastoring in Nashville. They needed a youth leader, so they offered Jim the job. Ummm, yes! I would love to live at a lake house and be a youth pastor's wife. Sounds like a vacation year round. But, that didn't feel right either.
April was coming, and the year of rest was nearly up. But, still nothing felt right to us. Why are we still here? I didn't come into this for longer than a year, I thought. March arrived, our family took a trip to Dollywood. On the way home, we stopped in Knoxville to have dinner, and something happened. Something stirred in us. Not expecting it, or looking for anything, Knoxville just felt like our hearts loved the city and the people. So the next day we drove back up and visited a church plant. Again, it just felt right. But we didn't know what that feeling meant. We just knew we hadn't felt this way before we moved to Nashville in 2009, for any other place.
Months went by, and July rolled around. My husband got offered a job to be a lead pastor at a two year church plant in my husband's tiny hometown. I never felt more certain about a "NO" in my life. But he decided to be their interim until they found their permanent pastor. So, we continued to pray about whether it was where we should be or not. By now, we were desperate for something to feel like a "certain yes." So a part of us felt as thought we might as well take it, since the door was wide open. But that didn't feel right either.
Over the next month, my husband still being an interim, I started to accept the idea this just might be our forever. Just maybe we are exactly where God wants us for the next few years. I have made friends, friends that are those lifelong friends, that only come once in a lifetime. I am close to my family, and couldn't imagine not seeing them every other day. Not to mention, there is a christian dance studio in town, I would absolutely love for my daughter to grow up in.
But, August came. The flame for Knoxville we had back in March that we were uncertain of, started to ignite. The certainty we had been praying for came. The, "this doesn't feel right" we have had for so long for other opportunities, now felt right. The more we prayed God would give us a passion and certainty in our future, and the more we took road trips, the more that flame for Knoxville grew. Just looking back from March, we saw how God had lit a flame in us, and how He had slowly fanned that over the next several months. We started to get excited about church planting again, and began dreaming of loving the city of Knoxville.
In the fall we began praying about the team God wanted to go with us to Knoxville to plant, and began visiting the area on Sundays. We continued praying, and took the first steps of asking families to join us, and began the early process of church planting. We are so excited for what the future holds. We kept this to ourselves, close friends, and our future core team. Mainly, because we wanted people who believe in us, praying with us and for us. But, we are so excited to finally let everyone know what the future holds for us summer 2016 in Knoxville, TN.
God's plans are better than our plans. We have been made aware of that several times over the last two years. His ways are better. Even when our ways seem so perfect and so grand from our perspective. I have learned, His perspective is much better.
I would love for you pastors' wives to join in prayer for my family & the people of Knoxville. I am super excited to get back in the groove of blogging to pastors' wives, as I step into this new chapter of being both an old pastor's wife/church planter and new one again.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor