There is not much in our lives that is stationary right now. Everything around me is moving so fast, it's all slightly blurry, reminiscent of those old-school, metal, spinning things on the playground that almost killed those of us in my generation (but they were awesome). I am doing my best to stick my hand in my life and slow it down but it's silly because my hand keeps bouncing back and hitting me in the face. My hand has nothing on this. So most days I watch a little helpless and teary as my life spins changing by the second.
2 years ago my husband and I prayed a simple, seemingly harmless prayer... "God we will do anything."
Because of those few words our lives have been flipped upside down. New normals, new days, new jobs, new family, new priorities, new eyes, new hearts, new goals, new love.
Before praying that silly simple prayer, my husband was clearly led to plant a church in urban Austin. The church has been our life for nearly 5 years. In the last 6 months the elders of our church have followed God into beautiful and unknown territory. Our amazing and healthy church is merging in August with another amazing and healthy church in town, The Austin Stone, becoming their West Campus.
Humble men from both churches are following God and it's hard and exciting and also the most peaceful thing to watch. The reactions within our church have been amazing- many sad or fearful about losing what we all love and many excited at what all we could gain. But none of us really knowing what to expect or what to feel. These men following God, don't either.
I find this to be a beautiful thing... a church and it's staff and it's leaders willingly coming up under another church because of a supernatural leading of God's Spirit. There is not a split, or moral failure or desperate rescue. This is the body of Christ recognizing it's need for the gifts and passions of each other. And because there is not pride in a name or a leader- we join for the sake of Jesus Christ in this city.
All my life I have put a lot of my identity, dare I say my pride, in my church. If I had to articulate my view of church I would have said, it is one church and it is Christ's. But I know deep down I took ownership for it- we helped start this but this isn't our church. It never was. It never will be. I thought it was some days.
I watched behind closed doors as God wrestled my husband's personal dreams and hopes for Austin Bible. After they were on the floor stripped, God gave them back, saying, "Perhaps here is how they will be realized."
God is crazy real and he actually sets paths for our lives and his church. This was his unpredictable path for ours. When we started, even years in, we could have never imagined this. But it's beautiful to trust a mysterious God, even if he leads you down dimly lit paths. It keeps us humble and clinging tightly to the one issues dim lights and curves paths.
I am doing my best to keep my hands to my sides. I want God's spinning life. He is in it. I feel it. Even if it is blurry to watch.