For the first time this year, Tim and I both chose a word as a theme for our year. Tim's word was 'submit' and mine was 'brave.' Tim said he wanted to submit to whatever area of his life that God asked him to, and I said I wanted to be brave enough to say yes to whatever God asked of me. When we chose those words, we had no idea what God would ask us to do this year. I chose the word Brave because after having Selah, I struggled through most of 2014 with anxiety and irrational fears. By the end of the year I was getting back to normal, and in January I wanted to declare and remember that in 2015 I wouldn't make any decisions out of fear.
This year we have made the biggest decision we have ever made.
We made a decision seven years ago to move to San Francisco to start a church with a team of people we love. We planned to move for eighteen months, and then drove across the country together.
We met our neighbors, invited them over, invited them to barbecues around our community pool, and then prayed for someone to show up for launch team meetings each week at Ben and Shauna Pilgreen's house. And people actually showed up.
We were there at 6:00 am every Sunday morning to transform the W Hotel conference room into the Epic church worship room. Then we would tear it all down, and go eat lunch around 1:30pm with all our friends who were just as tired as we were.
We were there for the first baptism and barbecue at the Bayside Village pool.
We were there when we finally found a place to lease at 543 Howard.
We were there to see the 6:00 pm service fail. Big time.
And we have heard all the 6:00 pm failure jokes.
We were there when we signed a 10 year lease on the most amazing space possible.
We have been here. For everything. We have invested. We have seen life change that we never thought was possible.
We think the best is yet to come at Epic.
And God is calling us to leave.
Epic is thriving, growing and doing amazing things.
And God is asking us to walk away.
We consider our friends here family.
But God has asked us to go.
To Huntsville, Al. To start a church.
If the calling were not clear I would not have said yes. If I were making decisions based on fear, I would have stayed in San Francisco.
When I was thinking everything through I was very scared. I was scared to go. I was scared to leave my best friends- the best friends I have ever had. I was scared to leave such a fun city. I was scared about my husband leaving such an amazing job. I was scared of missing out on what Epic is going to become.
But God has made it very clear. God has called us to Huntsville to start a church. And I will not let fear control my decision making. Saying 'yes' is the scariest part. Once we say 'yes', then we get to begin experiencing what God has for us.
I am excited to start a new journey. A new church. I know it will look very different from everything listed above, and it will be with different friends and different people. I know I will really miss all my friends here and that there are going to be very hard days ahead. But I am thankful and humbled that God has chosen us to do it all again.
If you would like to learn more about what we are doing, please check out our website and sign up for updates and information at www.essential-church.com