It was a little over a year ago when Garrett came to me and said he thought we needed to pray about being a part of a church plant. Our former pastor had announced they would be leaving Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, KY to move to the town of Fort Collins, CO. We had just moved to Clarksville, TN and the idea of moving again seemed daunting but my heart was open. We flew out in March for a brief two-day trip to get a feel for the town. We took a short hike to Horsetooth Reservoir and stood atop the overlook. Behind us was the town of Fort Collins and in front stood the massive peaks of the Rocky Mountains. Garrett posed the question, “Could you see yourself living here?” I didn’t want the answer to be yes but I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit and knew that He was stirring my heart. It was more than just the beautiful scenery that was calling us to this city. We didn’t know it that day but we would soon see how God had been preparing us for this mission field.
We began praying about the opportunity and knew that it would take an act of God to move us to this town. The cost of living is very high which is a hurdle for our middle class family. For Garrett, he would have to go through the process of applying for an out of state job which can be nearly impossible to get your resume seen without an inside connection to a company. I also found out in June that I was pregnant with our second child. I will admit that our faith was so small throughout the journey this past year. There were so many obstacles and things that seemed like impossibilities but God made a way despite our lack of faith. We thought it would probably be several years before a door would open for us to move to Fort Collins (if at all), but God showed off and opened up a job for Garrett in the purchasing department at Colorado State University. As we were looking at rental housing, we were somewhat limited due to our price range. We found a rental home at a price we could afford with enough space for our growing family on a lesser known website that seemed too good to be. The pastor and his wife looked at the home for us and it turned out to be a great fit for us. Our expectation was to have to downsize to about 900 square feet but yet again, God blessed us by giving us a home with 1500 square feet.
We’ve had some who have questioned our move across the country. Why would we willingly move this far from family and what is comfortable? It doesn’t make a whole lot of earthly sense but God has called us to go. As I am writing this blog, I am eight months pregnant and living in a new city far from friends and family and all that was familiar. I have a two year old napping in his bed upstairs that repeatedly says the words “go home” because he doesn’t understand that we have uprooted our lives and our new home is in Colorado. There was a cost that came along with our move to a new mission field but we counted the cost and found that the gospel is worth it! Christ is worthy of the painful goodbyes and the distance between our loved ones. Christ is worth me changing my plans of networking in Nashville to build a music career and thinking about how I can use music to serve Him in Fort Collins. Christ is worth the anxiety of starting new relationships and new jobs.
Even though there is so much that is unknown, I am very excited to see God work in this city. The past year has been a whirlwind of emotions from joy and excitement to heartache and anxiety. I’ve had many doubts along the way. In the few short weeks since our move, I already see the spiritual battle that is waging. Amidst the picturesque mountain views, abundance of restaurants and fun things to do there is a lie that the evil one has spread so well. It is so easy to miss on the surface but within the town’s luster is nestled the deception that one can rest in creation rather than the Creator and “stuff” rather than the riches of Christ. I know the enemy is lurking especially because our family has already been riddled with sickness, tiredness, and uncertainty in the time since moving. I see Satan trying every which way to get a foothold in my home. I’m praying for strength, perseverance and a kingdom focus.
After listening to a sermon this morning, I was encouraged by John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” Abide. As I look at this city, I wonder how God is going to build a church. The Lord of the harvest has sent us to this city to bear fruit but I feel so unqualified and unworthy to take part in this work. I am tempted to rest in my own strength rather than be reminded that it is the Holy Spirit who does the work. The best thing I can do to glorify Christ is to abide in Him. What does that look like? I need to rest both spiritually and physically. Motherhood and pregnancy have its limitations and when you couple that with a cross-country move that is stressful! I need to rest not only for the health of my unborn child but for the sanity and peace of my household. If I am burnt-out, I cannot pour into others. It will take time to build new relationships but as I am resting in Christ, those new bonds will form and doors will open by God’s grace. Spiritual rest in Christ doesn’t mean I step away from the disciplines of prayer and scripture reading but that I lean into His presence all the more. I must carve out time to meet with Him daily. Prayer and scripture are my greatest weapons against the schemes of the devil. It seems like a simple concept but there are so many distractions and excuses.
Please join me in praying for the families who have moved to Fort Collins and uprooted their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Pray that we are faithful and that new disciples are made. Pray that God would open doors for me to network with local musicians in this town and for opportunities to share the Gospel through music. Pray for Garrett and little Isaac as my due date approaches and all that comes along with welcoming a new baby home. We are very much in need of partners who will walk along with us. If you would like more information on how you can partner with Overland Church whether it be through prayer or financial support visit https://www.overlandchurch.org. Prayer and encouragement are a soothing balm to our team and a fuel for our mission. Church planting can be very lonely at times and a kind word can go a long way in reigniting the flame.
P.S. I know you all are looking for me to share some new music and I desperately want to do so. Pray that even amongst the busyness of this season of life, I can find the time (and energy!) to put some songs out there via video.
Thanks for reading,