Tomorrow is an important day.
Seven years ago was a new beginning that changed our lives forever.
One year ago marks a day that I thought was the peak of an intense season of discouragement. It wasn’t the peak. We hadn’t gotten to that point yet but this was a day that I realized just how deep we were in it all.
It is typically a day that I look on as a giant reminder of God’s faithfulness. Our church got to meet in a school that hadn’t let a church rent it out (another one is there now and we were so happy to see that). We started a church with hardly any money and watched God provide every step of this new beginning. Without the start of Revive Church, the merge to become Central City Austin would have never happened. Without that beginning, a hundred other beginnings wouldn’t have happened. The relationships we have now are God’s great gift to me. The people we get to do life and ministry with are an absolute dream come true. The way we get to do life with others is a reminder of God’s design for us to live in community and it’s the best. The ways we have seen God move, intervene, show his patience and love, grace and provision is something I never get over…and since he’s not done, I am constantly in awe of it.
Seven years ago on September 18th, was our first service as a new church plant in Austin.
One year ago, I wondered how we were going to keep going. I knew there was another side to the weight of discouragement we were feeling but I could not see it.
One year ago, I grieved hard and could not figure out why. One year ago, I learned what it was to fight with God and bring up every promise and remind him this was all His idea. One year ago my husband started to tackle anxiety something fierce, before service every Sunday morning. One year ago, I was so beyond desperate for a move of God that it felt like I was carrying an actual weight in my very core. One year ago I found a new level of fighting mad over…everything. One year ago was a different kind of new beginning.
Today, I want to shout from the rooftops that the same God that led us to plant a church is the same crazy loving, faithful God but how differently we know Him now (2 Corinthians 5:16).
Today we seek Him differently. Today we see ourselves in light of a stronger identity in Christ. Today we believe that God can and the words “exceedingly abundantly” have never been more real. We pray different. Our expectation is different.
Today I realize that we have to heal from survival seasons. Let people in that can see your hope and knee-jerk reactions.
Today I know that when you invite people into your discouragement and pain that God will often give them a glimpse of the other side of your season. You need them. God gave them to you on purpose. And when one trusted friend tells you, “I am so encouraged by your discouragement”, trust that she sees what you can’t and is fighting on your behalf in prayer.
Today I know that our seasons don’t just shape us, they can shape those around us. You do not have to look for how this will encourage someone else down the road. It will, but this is not your healing or miracle to manufacture. He’s got you and you will know it so well.
Today, thank God, anxiety does not attack Ray on a weekly basis.
We are not the same church that we were 7 years ago. We are not the same church that we were a year ago…and I can’t think of a single person that calls Central City Austin home that would disagree with that statement. 2018 has felt like a new beginning that has been in the works for a very long time.
I wondered a few weeks ago how tomorrow will feel. I’ll probably cry and a lot of it out of gratitude that seven years ago and one year ago happened. I’ll face the day with excitement and look back and see how far God has brought us with such purpose.
I look back and see far he has brought all of us! We can look towards tomorrow with great joy and expectation…because how differently we know Him now.