If you’ve wondered where I’ve been, so have I. If you’ve missed reading as much as I’ve missed writing, than we’re in good company!
The truth is, something came up and something else had to give. And that “something else” was one of my favorite things…staying up well into the middle of the night after I tuck my four children into bed, so I can pour out my heart and soul using all 26 letters of the English alphabet.
I didn’t really mean to stop writing, it just sort of happened. And the reason it did was actually what this post is about…
Early September, I was asked to lead a Prayer Team and engage our entire congregation in prayer for our church’s Funding Initiative we were taking on.
The backstory is my husband, Jeremiah, and I moved to Clinton, Iowa in 2013 to plant a church. We launched River Church on February 2, 2014 with 70 people. Our first service was in an old box-packaging warehouse that we’ve since purchased and transformed into a functional church.
Our hope and confidence is not in our cement floors, leaky roofs, and black plastic “walls,” but in the all-sufficient power of the Gospel. We boast in Jesus.
Our problem is that more and more people keep coming, and we keep running out of room! Minimal parking, lack of toilets, and finding adequate space for a booming children’s ministry have only been a few of the challenges.
Since our launch, we’ve grown from having one service to now hosting five.
It’s a beautiful dance of passion and tension, and we’re thrilled to be a part of Kingdom work.
Back to the Funding Initiative...essentially, we are asking our church to help fund the dream. And the dream isn’t bigger, better, nicer, newer.
Because the reality is, there are more hurting, broken, and lost people who have yet to experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus.
And because of that, there is more work to be done.
With this conviction and passion, we have broken ground on a new 5.3 million dollar facility that will seat 1,000 and sit on 68.8 acres of land that we own.
Excitement has turned into expectancy as dreams and dollars are partnering together. Our church is praying, listening, obeying, and watching God do a miracle through us!
And like I mentioned earlier, on the onset of this process of raising funds to steward the vision, I was asked to lead the congregation in prayer.
Sometimes, big things are asked of people because they are willing. Other times, because they are available. And sometimes, big things are asked when it’s the least convenient time to be asked, but they say “Yes” anyway.
And in my case, it was the latter.
I’ll never forget the day our Executive Pastor called me on the phone, asking if I’d consider taking on such a project. I couldn’t help but laugh as I looked around my surroundings. I was down in the basement, switching a load of laundry. There were piles, clothes, and baskets all around me. I had my earphones in, so at least my phone call could be multi-tasked with my laundry.
I told him that I was honored to be asked, but I just didn’t see how.
We had just started our 2018-19 homeschooling year that week and were still experiencing what is referred to as the “Summer Slide.” (Our summer was only a month long, so I can’t imagine what it looks like for children who get out of school in May!) The day before, we had finished school - by the skin of our teeth - at 6 p.m. when supper is normally on the table.
I wanted to say yes. In fact, I knew that I needed to say yes. But I just didn’t know how I possibly could say yes.
I was terrified.
I felt like I was the little girl who was invited to sit at the adult table for Thanksgiving Dinner.
Nervous, and in over my head and league.
Now, you may not know this, but nearly a decade ago (before babies), I held a full-time job with benefits, insurance, and a 401(k). I arrived on time (5-10 minutes before the doors were unlocked), professionally dressed. I checked my email daily and attended Staff Meeting and annual training.
That was years ago.
Now, I’m working diligently to not have my “on time” be 5 minutes late and dressing up is left for church or Date Night. I can go days without checking my email and Staff Meeting looks more like “What would you like for breakfast?”
The point is, my “office” was currently experiencing a major merger with the addition of a second student, a very talkative 4-year old, and a toddler who I was attempting to potty-train.
I recognized I was being stretched and could feel every percent of it.
I couldn’t imagine taking on one more thing - especially such an important thing.
But so often, we have to weigh our “yeses” and separate the good ones from the best ones.
I was asked to think about it, pray about it, sleep on it, and call back in the morning with an answer.
It didn’t take long for me to find my answer, but to assist you with yours, I’d like to spell out a few things for you…
First, if it feels scary, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should turn around and run. After all, babies come out of childbirth.
Second, if it seems bigger than you can handle, it probably is. You’ll need help. Lots of it. So ask for it.
Third, don’t forget to invite God into the decision-making process. If you can trust Him for the answer, you can trust Him for the journey.
That next morning, I laid aside my insecurities, fears, and worries of failing someone or something and called our Executive Pastor back.
I said, “Yes.”
And after an extremely dense six-weeks later, I’m here to attest that when we say “Yes” to big things, God does big things in us.
So, whatever terrifying thing you are staring at right now, may you think about it, pray about it, sleep on it, and give a good answer in the morning.
And I’m hoping it will be a “Yes” so you can experience the joy that I’ve found when things are bigger than yourself, you need Someone bigger than yourself to carry you through.
And when you feel discouraged or distracted on your “Yes” journey, may you take comfort in Psalm 121:1-2,
1I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.