Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BIG News!

I'm going to preface this post by saying that the Lord does things in the most interesting, entertaining, and sometimes unexpected ways. I'm sure you can relate to this. Sometimes we think we have things figured out...then He comes along and does something completely different but no less amazing.

Several months ago, my dear roommate and friend, Jennifer, asked me to go with her to Dallas, TX for Thanksgiving. This sounds like a normal enough request, but the history leading up to this was a little different...

The Beginning

Jenn had been listening to podcasts produced by The Village Church in Texas for a long time. During the course of one sermon she was listening to, a gentleman was introduced at the end as the planting pastor to a new church in Washington D.C. My roommate, originally from the East Coast, has always loved D.C. and this church idea really captured her interest. I remember the next day that she came to me so excited about what she had heard the night before. She then told me she was going to contact the pastor to see how she could partner with them.

The next month or so, she got in contact with the pastor and his wife (Steven and Tiffany) and exchanged emails and phone calls with them. I wasn't sure where this was leading her, but I knew that she was excited and felt the Lord working so I was 100% on board.

[You can read more about her experience here]

That brings me back to Thanksgiving. As things progressed, Jenn seriously considered joining the D.C. church plant. When she was invited to share Thanksgiving with Steven and Tiffany and their two children, she came to me asking if I would join her.

I considered her offer for a week or so. In all honesty, my desire to have time to work on my NaNoWriMo book versus traveling to Texas with my friend was a tough decision. In the end though, I decided fellowship with my sister was more important than craving time for myself (and hey, I finished the book just fine anyway hehe). So off we flew, Texas bound with one suitcase to share between us and a lot of coffee in our systems. We had a blast traveling there and were excited to get to know this new family.

The Consideration

I remember sitting in the restaurant like it was yesterday. A nice secluded booth for good conversation, amazing fried rice, and a lot of questions. Our first lunch with Steven and Tiffany sparked something inside me. That was the first moment I felt it.

The draw to go.
The fear that followed.
The resistance to something new.
The excitement of adventure.

I experienced all of these emotions and more during that lunch. Steven shared his vision for the plant and as he described their heart for reaching the city of D.C. something stirred inside me. I'd considered moving for a little over a year but knew that a reason to move for me would mean having something to move to. That lunch gave me a lot of things to think about.

That night, back at our hotel room, I journaled my thoughts out and was struck by one statement that I could not get out of my head:

Don't live safe. 

Safe? What did that have to do with anything? But, the more I considered things, the more I realized that Santa Clarita, though a fantastic place to live, was extremely "safe" for me. Now, I'm not saying it's bad to live here or even that safe, but it does epitomize a safe life for me. The thing that remained to be seen was what it meant for me not to "live safe".

The Decision

I came home from a Thanksgiving spent with amazing people who already felt like family even though we'd just met, and asked myself the dreaded question: What about D.C.

I was assailed by doubts and questions: Should I move across the country to a city I've never visited? What would I do? How would I live? Where would the money come from? Could this small town girl live in a big city?

They were all valid questions, and natural progressions to my thoughts, but ultimately I knew that they clouded the issue. It wasn't about whether I could afford to move or whether I could find a job, it was about what I felt the Lord doing in my heart. I know, that's a tricky phrase to say - the idea of "feeling" being so subjective, but I knew that was part of my decision.

I had many conversations with my parents (who's opinions I hold very dear), close friends, and mentors in my life and then I made my decision. I remember the night vividly because I was driving down to Hollywood for a meeting and had just ended a phone call (on a hands free device of course!) with my parents. I explained that I'd made my decision and a peace fell over me. Right there, where Interstate 5 merges with the 170 reality hit me and I said it out loud:

I'm moving to D.C.

Yes, you read that right. I have decided to pack up everything I own and make the cross-country journey to Washington D.C. My roommate and I will be moving together at the end of July where we'll begin a whole new chapter in each of our lives.

Me, Jenn, Steven and Tiffany
It's exciting, scary, and exhilarating all at the same time! I can hardly believe it, but since I've made the decision, things that I've worried the most about have fallen into place. Those things that I can't plan on only act as a reminder that the Lord's plans will prevail and I must place my trust in a God who knows what I need far better than I ever could. I'm holding on to one of my favorite verses...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

I'm creating a newsletter that will go out about once every month. If you are interested in receiving updates on my journey to Washington D.C. and my part in Redeemer City Church, I'd love for you to sing up (you can use the form below). I promise I won't use your email to send you anything other than the newsletter - and I won't be flooding your inbox :)

Sign up for my newsletter here...
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< I'll be sharing more about my move soon and the exciting job I will be doing there in addition to the church I'll be a part of, but I wanted to share this new chapter with you, my dear readers and friends first. I covet your prayers for our team, for the church plant, and for my continued strength and wisdom. I've included a video below to give you an idea of the church.

Listen to the podcast Jenn heard [here]
Learn more about Redeemer Church D.C. [here]
Learn more about Steven and Tiffany's story [here]
Find out how you can partner with us and support the church [here]

Take a look at this video that explains a little more about the church plant...

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