In 2015 we were coming out of a wilderness experience. For about 4 years we lived in the tension of having more questions than answers, more loneliness than friendship, and more disappointment than satisfaction. I'd like to say I (Tim) weathered that season of life with courage and faith. But more often than not, I found myself being bitter, cynical, and if I'm honest, even hopeless. This is not the kind of story I wanted to live in, but the more I tried to change it, the more it stayed the same. I felt stuck...
God was faithful to us throughout that whole time, even when we doubted him. In fact, even three years removed from that dark night (more like dark years!) of the soul, God is still revealing to us how he was using that time to prepare us for our next assignment. In the wilderness, only certain kinds of plants can grow, things that can't grow in any other environment. We couldn't see it at the time, but God was using that season to mature us in body, soul, and spirit. In our loneliness we discovered deeper communion with God. In our failure we experienced the unconditional love of the Father. In our powerlessness we learned to trust in his grace anew. God was purifying our hearts. Through that process, he turned our sorrow into joy, and our mourning into dancing. We are so excited to be walking in this new season.
We really do feel like God has prepared us for this moment. Both my wife and I have experience in urban church planting in the government housing projects of Montgomery, Alabama, working with at-risk youth, campus ministry, and house church planting. For the past six years I have been coaching and consulting church leaders on how to be more movemental in their approach to discipleship, community, and mission, with an emphasis on the five-fold giftings of APEST. But now, we feel like the Lord is sending us back into the frontier to be the change we want to see.
We're not the kind of people who like to talk about ourselves, but we know stories of resurrection only make sense when you first talk about death - something church folks tend to shy away from. Living the story of Jesus brings us into both suffering and hope, disappointment and deliverance. The more we look back at our own stories, the more we see the pattern of death and resurrection showing up in the most unexpected ways.
Jesus is still telling his story through all of our lives, but it's not always the story we had in mind. My wife and I invite you to walk with us as we live out this story of dying and rising with Christ.