I was in my hometown for a few hours the other day. As I drove over a hill, what I saw unexpectedly made me catch my breath and tear up. I hadn’t seen that church steeple in years.
I went out of my way and continued down the road so I could pull into the church parking lot. I parked and was all alone in my car. I listened to the children play at the preschool playground. I welled up with joy and thanksgiving that this was where I have such fond memories of VBS with water balloon fights and silly games. It had felt like a special place — what I didn’t understand at the time was the presence of the Holy Spirit.
I cried as I thanked God for my Sunday school teacher who welcomed me with a hug as I was crying not wanting to be away from my parents. She oozed grace and love in her slender figure and set the stage for me to hear about Jesus in a new and fresh way. I think about her fondly when I teach young girls at my church.
This was the place where I first sang to Jesus, not knowing that I was worshipping or the power of my voice. I don’t remember the songs, but I remember I was excited the choir director really “saw” me and wanted me to be a part of a group of voices singing about God.
This church was where deposits were made in me as a toddler, preschooler, and elementary student. God was pouring into my Spirit long before I knew who Jesus really was or that I needed Him. I liked it under that steeple, even if I didn’t understand why.
I didn’t know the full truth or have my eyes opened to God’s salvation yet, but God was faithful in this place to me long ago. I sat in the parking lot for just a few more minutes and allowed my unveiled eyes to see this place in a new light, in God’s light. He gave me a new revelation about how He has worked in my life in different seasons and how He has loved me through them all.
At the beginning of a new year or new season, we need to take time to recall and recount God’s faithfulness and what He has done in our lives, especially when we didn’t know what He was doing at the time.
I look back at my life and career and see God’s faithfulness clearly on display — whether in that church in my hometown, in a classroom, hospital, boardroom, or on a travel adventure. There are big moments we each recognize as pivotal moments where God led and we knew if He didn’t show up, His plans wouldn’t work. Jesus has done miracles in our lives and we need to take notice.
Co-founding (in)courage is one of those moments for me, both in my career and in my life. At just thirty years old, I had felt passionate about creating a place for God’s daughters for years. Many things in my career and life led to this point. God had given me the vision to start something new and then a partner in Holley Gerth and a place to try it at DaySpring.
The mission was for God’s daughters to be “in Christ” so they could be “in courage.” I knew without Jesus, we can’t be confident enough to do the things He calls us to do, in the small or big moments, much less cheer each other on while walking out our faith.
Back then, (in)courage was a new concept for Jesus-loving voices and creatives to gather and share what God was doing in and through them. It was trailblazing and fresh in a new realm of social media and the online space. The community God created behind the scenes, behind the screen, and in person was special and holy. If God hadn’t shown up, you wouldn’t be reading these words here. I didn’t know all that God was doing then.
I recall and recount what God has accomplished through (in)courage these last thirteen years and praise Him for allowing me to be a part — in vision, in business, and as an unexpected writer. Just as God called me into an adventure with Him in my faith and my work those many years ago, I sense His calling again. So, this will be my last article on (in)courage.
Because I can recount what God has done in the past, I know He will guide me on my next Jesus-led adventure. Do I have complete clarity as I write this to you about my next steps? No, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.
I trust Him and know He will bring a fresh voice in my place that will bless you. I trust God that He is in the details and will work out His plans, whether I am present or not. I won’t be an active member of this community but will still cheer on what God is doing through (in)courage, the writers, and the readers.
If I can leave you with one parting message, a love note, per se, from me to you, this would be it:
Remember, God is faithful to you. Take time to recall. He will lead you on the greatest adventure with Him, perfect for you. Do not be afraid but allow Him to hold you and mold you. Have courage because you are in Christ. Do what He tells you, especially when it’s not easy, convenient, or doesn’t make sense. The Kingdom needs your obedience and loving faithfulness.
Thank you for being here. Love to you all.