A decade. Wow. 10 years ago today we packed it all up, pulled out of our driveway in Southern California and left everything we ever knew to go on the adventure we call Story Church. My daughters were 4 years old and 7 months old. My son was still just a dream. We had NO IDEA what we were doing or what we were getting ourselves into. We had some financial support, some prayer support — but not enough of either. I so quickly realized I was in over my head that I started reading voraciously. Church planting books, entrepreneurship books, leadership books. It was such a surreal time. There were so many dreams and ideas of church in my head but nothing in reality. The steps between dreaming it up and seeing it happen were so uncertain.
When I think back and try to feel or remember that time I can definitely recall lots of uncertainty, a feeling of “this is crazy!” But there was excitement. I knew we were walking in faith. It was a courageous moment. In the face of fear and the unknown, we were doing it. We had resigned a steady job and paycheck. We left family and friends and support systems behind. We only knew one person in the entire state of North Carolina. Every interaction we had was a hopeful connection.Every trip to the mailbox was expectant (did someone remember us today and send us a letter or…. Money?!?!). Every prayer was faith-filled. Some were desperate prayers.
The truth is, sometimes I really miss those first years. Today our lives are different. It doesn’t feel like we are hoping to survive anymore. We’re established. We have a wide circle of friends and contacts here. There’s a church, with a building, filled with stuff. We have a board and a staff, ministries, a Dream Team of volunteers. We have traditions. But make no mistake, this church was birthed through courage and faith. I’m so proud of that fact. We’re not yet everything I dreamed of — and that’s ok. The road has been longer and more difficult than I ever could have imagined. But’s it’s been the adventure of a lifetime. I’m so grateful for how God has provided. He’s never failed us. These ten years have been hard. painful at times. Lonely. Filled with insecurity and self-doubt. There’s been loss, failure, stress, depression even. But God hasn’t let us go. We are more blessed today than ever.
It’s impossible to imagine where the next ten years will lead us, just like I never could have imagined how these last ten years would unfold. But I’m confident that some things will forever be true: God will be faithful. He will provide. He won’t abandon us or forget us. A life of courage and faith is better than one without.