I’m sorry it has been awhile since I last wrote.
And that I left off in the middle of a series.
It’s not that I think there are tons of people waiting with baited breath for my next post, but I’m honored that you even read at all. I hate to leave you hanging.
But, a LOT has been going on here in the Esca Casa. Let me start at… well, as close to the beginning as possible.
Over a year ago, Aaron and I started feeling like God was preparing us to lead a church. We didn’t necessarily know where or when, but we started having lots of discussions about what kind of church we would want to lead. We started to form a timeline and a plan for what we thought this new chapter in our lives would look like.
When we felt the time was getting nearer, we consulted with close friends and family, and Aaron determined that he should meet with our pastor, Scott Wilson, to discuss it with him. So, late last year, Aaron walked into Scott’s office, and before he could explain anything, Scott said, “You’re coming in to tell me God is calling you to lead pastor, aren’t you?”
Within minutes Scott shared with Aaron about how some good friends of ours, Chris and Cara Railey, were planning to accept a new position at the National Assemblies of God headquarters. Chris and Cara loved their church here in the DFW metroplex, and they wanted to make sure whoever followed them as pastors would carry on their legacy. Scott had mentioned our names to them- before knowing any of our little “plan”- and they actually felt really positive about the possibility.
Chris had walked out of Scott’s office minutes before Aaron walked in. The timing was crazy. Pastor Scott asked us to pray about the possibility, talk with the Raileys and see what we thought.
This began the process that would carry us through the next 8 weeks and bring us to today. Meetings, interviews, conversations, emails, and LOTS of praying and seeking wisdom from our trusted friends and family. We visited the church, Aaron preached to fill in once for Chris, and the more time we spent with the people there, the more it seemed we’d been set up on a blind date. This church was so like our family: a variety of histories and experiences, a bit broken in places, raw and real and honest about the challenges of life.
They’re passionate about serving their community.
They’re eager to grow and become more like God created them to be, and they seemed resilient in the face of the pastoral transition that- for many- was their first EVER.
Still, a process like this is ripe with challenge. We all experienced moments of fear for the future, anxiety over impending change, and tears over the loss of leaders and friends.
This process has tested my faith in some pretty significant ways. It would be so easy to just stay where we are. We love The Oaks. We love what we’re doing there, our friends, our partners in ministry, and things are going well. Things are comfortable and predictable. Things are safe.
But God never really told us to live safe lives, did He? The Bible is full of stories about God leading people on all kinds of adventures, and the consistent thread is found in the way He shows His people His faithfulness. When we find ourselves in the midst of the storm, we recognize our need for a savior. Faith is a choice. So is doubt, cynicism, negativity and despair. God loves to set us up and put us in a place where we’re drawn to look up and realize that what we see is not all there is.
This morning, 5 years and one day after our first Sunday at The Oaks, Aaron and I accepted the position of Lead Pastors at New Community Church in Mesquite, Texas. We are heading into a new chapter in life and ministry. I have no idea what this will look like, but I know it will not be easy. Easy is for chumps. I want my life to be proof to people that God is real. I want my children to be able to tell their children stories about how God showed up in crazy ways for our family. We want the difficult things. We want to live the adventure.
Want to join us?