Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stepping Out

I’ve always been fascinated with the story of Abraham. God shows us His faithfulness and a picture of His love through all aspects of Abraham’s life. One of the first glimpses we get into Abraham is his willingness to go. The Lord tells him to leave his home and his country and his extended family and go to the place He will show him.
In a lot of ways David and I feel like Abraham and Sarah must have felt. God has asked us to go. After a decade of leading people in worship at Northstar Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, God has called David to pursue a new ministry opportunity. He has asked us to leave a place that we love and are comfortable and step out into the unknown.
About 6 months ago, we started praying about the possibility of planting a church with David’s lifelong friend, Kyle Mercer. Kyle was planting a church through the Summit network in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Would David be his executive pastor? It took us many months, many conversations, much prayer, and many tears to answer that question!
There have been many times when I’ve read stories in scripture about God calling people to go and I thought, “how could they say no? God told you directly to do something, How could you even question it?” But now I know it’s not that simple! We desperately sought the Father’s heart for us. We wanted to make sure this was what God wanted. Even with a clear call from the Lord, I never realized how hard it can be to say yes sometimes!
We grieved the thought of leaving our Northstar family. You see Northstar isn’t just a place where we are employed. It’s not just the place we attend church on the weekends. Northstar is home to us. Northstar is family to us. We’ve grown up here in a lot of ways. We have lived here for our entire marriage. We have experienced the true meaning of the body of Christ here. From our wedding shower over at the old campus on Carmichael Road to watching the new worship center go up piece by piece to gathering for a prayer service when my life was on the line to celebrating when I finally reached remission! David has grown so much as a leader and shepherd here. We have made lifelong friends here. Our friends have had many babies (yes many!) in the past 6 years that we love like our own! We have walked through the refining fire that was cancer and our Northstar family has walked right along side of us. They have mourned with us when it was time to mourn and rejoiced with us when it was time to rejoice. For all of this we are so grateful!
How can we leave this place? I have had dreams of starting a family here and continuing to do life with my amazing friends here, but the Lord has called us out. We are sure of it. Just as sure as God told Abraham to go to the place he would show him, I feel that God has asked us to do the same thing. I’m sure Abraham and Sarah had their share of excitement and fear, but God was faithful to walk with them.
We know that we are not Abraham and Sarah, but we are trusting him to faithfully walk with us as we journey out. We know He will be faithful to provide friends for us once again. We know He will be faithful to allow our ministry to grow. We know He will be faithful to provide for our needs. He always does!
We are excited to see where God will take us in this next chapter, but we are sad to leave our home. A lesson my sweet friend taught me is that just because God calls you to something, doesn’t mean it will always be easy! We know the journey ahead won’t necessarily be easy. I don’t want to say goodbye to this place and these people I love, but I know God has a purpose for us in North Carolina!
To our dear friends here at Northstar, know that we love and appreciate all that you have done for us and taught us. We are taking the Northstar heart with us as we go and we pray that God would use us to reach lost people in Winston-Salem and show them the same love that you have shown us. We will miss you terribly and love you always. Northstar will always be home to us!

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