Lots of reflecting today. Fourteen years ago I loaded up my wife (who had just given birth ten days earlier to our fourth child) and drove a U-Haul truck to a community where I knew one other couple . . . to start a church.
I was deathly afraid, but I knew God had called me to this. A year prior, God had spoken as clearly to me about this as He had anything else in my life. I asked my best friend at the time if he would come with me to do it. It took him a month to decide, but he said yes.
Over the next couple of years, I mostly remember long drives by myself in my 1986 Jeep Cherokee. Sometimes I would drive for hours through Brentwood, Franklin, and surrounding areas praying, dreaming, and seeing. “God show me what you want to do here and how and where You want to do it.” I remember being so alone with so many of my thoughts and dreams about this church God had called me to plant. I knew I was writing blank checks only God Himself could cash.
It was a WILD adventure with some unbelievable highs and unbelievable gut wrenching lows. Some of my greatest joys in life and some of my deepest hurts.
I look back now with much gratefulness for what God showed me through that season in my life. I am grateful for what He did in me and what I saw Him do in the lives of others. But I am mostly grateful for friendships tested by fire that survived, deepened, flowered, and still enrich me today.
Fourteen years was a lifetime ago. But I remember the beginning of the journey in that U-Haul truck like it was yesterday.