Tomorrow is the launch of Collective Church and I have found myself reflecting on the last year and the way God has brought us to this place. God was working in our hearts before we even new about Collective Church and He has walked us through doubts, struggles, celebrations and steps of faith along the way.
In January, Eric and I sat down to start talking through our plans and goals for 2019. We layed out all that we were investing our time in and acknowledged that we were spread way to thin. We wanted to be intentional with our time and energy and that meant cutting back. A Lot. We prayed about where and how to do this and continually came back to our goal of doing few things well instead of ALL the things poorly.
Eric remained committed to his role at Compassion Canada and I marked myself unavailable for supply at the school board so I could invest more hours in to Baby Octopi. Outside of that we chose to spend our time with our kids and the relationships that were life giving and nurturing. Anything that drained us, or left us with little to give our kids or our work had to go.
This meant that we stepped back from our responsibilities at church. Eric stepped down from playing on the worship team and I stopped leading the youth and children on such a regular basis. Let me just be clear. Our relationship with God is always priority and in no way did this season of rest, mean that God and his word did not remain the foundation of our family. In fact, it led us to knowing God deeper, hearing His voice clearer and made room in our heads, hearts and schedules to move forward in the direction He was leading our family.
In June, we heard about Collective Church and the following months were hard. Eric and I were not on the same page about joining a church plant. On days where I was excited and feeling like we should move forward, Eric wasn't. On days were Eric was confident this was where God was leading us, I felt emotional and torn.
I was scared to leave the comfort of a church that we'd attended for 8 years. A church where we had been loved and had grown. A church that had leadership we respected and tried and true policies and procedures that made sense and left me feeling safe and confident. A church where we knew everyone. A church that had financial stability. We had no reason to leave our church, there was nothing we didn't love there, yet we could not ignore the prompting from God that 'comfortable' was not where He wanted us in the next season.
So, we inched forward towards Collective Church, 2 steps forward and one step back. Eric and I never fight, and we fought about Collective Church. I had so many doubts and questions, that Satan grabbed hold of and turned in to crippling anxiety actually making me want to run as far away as I could. When there was an event or meeting or anything related to Collective Church, we would face hurdles. A child was sick, a vehicle broke, we had plans we couldn't change or any other ridiculous and random challenge jumped in our way. Yet, through this all, we could not walk away from it. We were being pulled towards it like a magnet that we couldn't ignore.
One day, it all came to a halt. We were going to a launch team event that was being held at a park in London. Eric didn't want to go, I did. The van broke down. The kids were fighting. I squished the kids in to the back seat of the car (not easy or comfortable with car seats and kids who like their space!) and off we went, in silence. We were about half way there when the kids bickering turned in to a full blown fist fight in the back of the car. I was yelling and reaching back to break them up, which didn't work and I told Eric to pull over and turn around because we were going home.
Eric pulled over. The kids cried because they wanted to go to the park. I cried because it was too hard. We live to far to be bringing the kids back and forth all the time, we were sinking our money in to fixing our van and didn't have any left to give to a new church, I couldn't even handle my own kids, how could I teach others and the list went on and on.
We sat in silence until finally Eric said 'are we doing this or not'. A voice came out of my mouth that was not my own, because I would have screamed NO, but a simple 'yes' came out. Eric got back on the road and we kept going.
That day it all changed. After conversations all afternoon, and processing all evening, it became evident to me that Satan did not want us to be part of Collective Church. In spite of God pushing us towards Collective Church, we remained doubtful. We inched forward, not open to risk, questioning everything and obsessing on our own and others inadequacies. Satan was taking that space in our hearts and heads and using it to cause turmoil in every area of our lives.
Once I figured out what was going on and spoke it out out loud, everything changed.
Satan did not want us to be part of Collective Church, and as long as we were doubting Gods voice in this, we were giving Satan influence in our lives and it was destroying us. We chose that day to cover ourselves in the armour of God, fight this battle against Satan and move forward confidently in what we knew God was calling us to. After all if Satan was against Collective Church we knew God was for it and that was enough!
I can't quite explain it, but I feel like Satan left our house that day and God covered every inch of it with protection, prosperance and peace.
Since then, Eric and I have seen God move in every area of our lives in the best possible way. We have been blessed beyond what we could have imagined through relationships, finances and opportunities. God is working in our lives, He is working through Collective Church and we can't keep quiet about the way that following God in this has transformed our family.
Satan does not want you to follow Gods promptings. Suit up, fight back and move forward. It will be easier to ignore God's voice, and let Satan take over the space that you give him, but the blessings that come with traveling the narrow road are worth it! Now and in Eternity.
Tomorrow is Launch Day. My heart is full and I have never felt more confident in anything, than that God is in this and you are invited to be part of it.
London South Collegiate Institute / 10:00am / Sunday October 20th.
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