My wife Ashley and I courted through high school and got married as soon as we graduated in 2005. As young newlyweds, we had set out for ourselves a ‘five year plan’ by which we had determined how we would navigate through this life together; what careers we would pursue, where we would attend school, when we would have children, etc. Six months into our marriage however, the Lord showed us through a positive pregnancy test that His ways are not our ways, and that His thoughts are far above our thoughts. At the time, that’s about as far as we could see in terms of His reasoning for taking us down such a different path than we had wanted for ourselves, or at least, what we thought we wanted.
Twelve years, six children, six houses later and what feels like a lifetime of experience regarding pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, we can tell you now with hearts full that His plans for us are far greater than we could ever have imagined for ourselves and that He truly works all things for the good of those who love Him, whom He has called according to His purpose. It took the Lord tenderly leading us to the end of what we thought was true joy and peace to show us that it wasn’t what we truly wanted at all; that what we truly wanted and needed was Him—that true joy and peace are only found in the healing wounds and overwhelming love of Jesus Christ.
“...regarding pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow, we can tell you now with hearts full that His plans for us are far greater than we could ever have imagined for ourselves...”
In 2013, my wife and I felt a strong calling to more full time ministry. At the time we had no idea what this might look like. Through a series of providential events over the next two years, we ended up selling our ‘dream farm,' moving our family into a small rental and waiting to see what the Lord would lead us to next.
After the furious pace and excitement that was 2014 and early 2015, the summer of 2015 was silent with no apparent direction of what to do next. We began to question whether we had made the right decision and in light of the family tension and ostracizing all of the recent activity had caused, we prayed desperately that this was not the case. In the midst of the doubt, the Lord faithfully led on and in the fall of 2015 we made our first visit to The Paradox Church after being invited by old friends.
“The relationships we developed in the City Group [were] a key factor to why we have now moved our family to Benbrook to join the Grace Church plant team.”
We quickly became partners, began serving, and joined the Benbrook City Group, though at the time we lived about 40 minutes south in Cleburne. The relationships we developed in the City Group that were so centered on Christ, the Gospel, and loving one another well in community would prove most beautiful and shaping as a key factor to why we have now moved our family to Benbrook to join the Grace Church plant team.
“...wow, look at all that God has done...”
It is amazing to see how the Lord has brought about His purpose for us, our city, and His Bride in the gathering of so many people here in Benbrook to saturate and surround our community with the love and hope of Jesus Christ. Sometimes Ashley and I just sit in wonder thinking, ‘wow, look at all that God has done,' both prayerfully anticipating all He is yet to do for the glory of his wonderful name and for the good of those whom He has called in the city of Benbrook.