6 months ago, I got a new tattoo. Nothing elaborate, just a word. One word… on my wrist. You can’t see it when my hands are at my sides or my palms are facing down. But it’s there. And when my hands turn over, palms up, there it is…
3 letters and a punctuation mark. Simple enough, right? What appeared to be no more than a mere one-syllable word had in fact quickly become a pronounced theme IN my life, and I arrived at the conclusion that I wanted it to be the theme OF my life. I wanted the ever-present reminder. Palms up, hands open, to what comes and what goes…
On one hand, I supposed it all started April 13, 2012 when I boarded a plane headed for Nairobi, Kenya with a missions team from Cross Point, a copy of Bob Goff‘s brand new book, “Love Does”, in hand. A central theme woven throughout much of the book was the idea of imagining what could be possible in the life of a person who would “just say yes” to God. I read the book cover to cover on that flight, and it began to shape my heart in ways that would play out dramatically over the next 6 months.
Though at first glance you could say that was the beginning of my “yes”, I’ve since come to realize that the power of “just saying yes” has shaped my life for many years, I just didn’t realize it. Yes to making unpopular decisions. Yes to leaving what I knew. Yes to throwing comfort to the wind. Yes to unexpected opportunities. Yes to embracing the unfamiliar. Yes to letting people misunderstand. Yes to embracing. Yes to letting go. Yes to courage. Yes to uncertainly. Yes to trusting. Yes to each season.
Yes to the breaking.
Yes to the repair.
Yes to the process.
Looking back over the scope of my life, I am amazed and humbled at how God has scripted His story so unmistakably on the pages of my life, very much in spite of myself. While I could choose to rest in the relative comfort and familiarity of where my journey has led me, it is time for me to say “yes” once again.
A couple months ago I had coffee with my friend Ben Reed. Ben and I have been friends for close to 3 years now, having first met when I was leading a mid-sized young adult community at Cross Point called Stretch. Ben was the Community Groups Director at another area church and he wanted to learn more about what we were doing to reach and engage young single adults, a demographic largely underserved and overlooked by many churches today . It was a crazy season of growth and development for me, and I welcomed the opportunity to share, network with and learn from another leader who had been where I was and was eager to invest his time into my life. In the 3 years that followed, Ben and I would meet for coffee every few months to talk about faith, small groups, ministry and life. I valued his experience, insight, encouragement and friendship. We had met over coffee many times, but this time was different.
Now the Small Groups Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist Church in North Nashville for the past year, Ben began to update me on his journey, what God is doing at Long Hollow and their increasing need to create a new ministry role that would be dedicated to developing and leading ministry strategies to serve and engage the church’s large and growing number of single adults in both small group and mid-sized community environments. And the kicker… he wanted to know if I would be interested in leading it.
I said yes.
After several weeks of talks, meetings and ironing out details, I am excited to announce that I have accepted the position and will be joining the small groups team at Long Hollow on January 5, 2014!
I have been on staff for over 3 years at Cross Point in a Kids Ministry leadership role and have had the pleasure of serving an absolutely incredible team of volunteers. However, anyone who knows me well knows that being part of the Stretch young adult community for close to 3 years and leading it for 2 of those was my true passion and what made me come alive. Discerning the season, I walked away from it a little over a year ago, having absolutely no idea it would come back like this. But it has and I cannot wait to dive back into a ministry role that taps into so many of my God-given strengths!
While I am absolutely thrilled at this new opportunity, it is at the same time quite bittersweet. Cross Point has been my core community for the past 4 years. When I first walked through the doors on January 10, 2010, I didn’t come looking to lead anything. I came because I was broken. At different times in the 4 years since, Cross Point Church has been my emergency room, operating room, my ICU and recovery room, my training gym and proving grounds. I never would have imagined the last 4 years would have looked like they have, but God has used the community at Cross Point and the ministry of Pete Wilson to accept me, love me, break me, invest in me, teach me, rebuild me, grow me, develop me, train me and now… send me.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve alongside the amazing staff and community at Cross Point and I’m thankful for how encouraging, supportive and affirming the CP leadership team has been while walking out this transition with me. Looking forward, I am so excited about what God has done and is doing in the community at Long Hollow and I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve with Pastor David Landrith, Ben and the incredible team there. There are mountains yet to climb and I’m ready!
So here I go. Head up. Eyes fixed. Palms up. Open handed.