Though my family has had some incredible opportunities and memories this past year (check out my pics), our year in the city started off with our youngest daughter in the hospital for almost a week, and it seemed to be one challenge after another for the months to follow. Hang with me. I promise this isn't a Debby Downer post. But have you ever been there? Of course you have! You're human, and sometimes life is hard. Sometimes life is really hard! Just know that you're in good company with the rest of humanity.
Here's the deal...God knows what he's doing! Imagine that. The creator of the universe knows what's best for us. Sure, I could look back on this past year and wonder, what in the world was going on! Or, I could look back on it seeing God's providential, sovereign hand in every part of it. I love NYC! There, I said it. It is truly the greatest city on the planet! I have dreamt of living here since I was in high school, and I will forever be grateful that God granted me this dream. With all its challenges, it has been an incredible experience! However, it didn't quite turn out the same as I had envisoned it when I was 15 years old. Things rarely do.
For those of you that know me well, you know that I never shy away from an adventure, and these last 20 years have been just that. Now, we are once again following God's lead back to where our adventures all began in Nashville, TN. With this "full circle" in mind, I want to go back to this idea of God's timing being perfect". I can honestly say that my life has been a huge testament to this truth. By making this statement, I'm inferring that our timing can be a bit more anxious than His. Patience is generally tested in multiple ways during these times of waiting. But in the end, God always comes through (even if it doesn't look just like we thought it would).
At this point, you may be asking yourself, what's the deal with the mysterious yellow circle and lines at the top of this post? No, it's not the symbol for the illuminati. It is a logo though...and one that I am very excited about! In fact, if you want to know more about it's meaning, just click HERE. It's the logo for New Hope Community Church in Brentwood TN, and I can finally say that I have taken a new pastoral position at this amazing church! I find it very comforting, and no coincidence at all that the name of the church is "New Hope". I'm feeling very connected with Luke Skywalker right now! We're still solidifying all that I will be responsible for, but in a nutshell, I'll be fostering community in the church, leading worship, and teaching. More to come on that later.
If there's one thing I want you to hear today it's this...do not be discouraged! Know that God has your back. Not only that, but he has your front, your sides, above you and beneath you. I love this verse from the Old Testament...
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8
Once again...Do Not Be Discouraged!
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," - 1 Peter 1:3
Be Blessed friends.