2020 was quite the year for everyone, right?! So much change, so much transition. We were into our 3rd year of taking a break from church planting when Covid-19 hit our country and everything shut down. To say we felt stir-crazy would be an understatement. Add a pandemic that keeps you house-bound to an already, "we've been waiting on You to show up Jesus and tell us what to do" mentality and you have a good idea where we were. March 2020 we were approached to help volunteer at a local church in the inner healing ministry. We felt God's peace on it, so we said yes! So in July we hit the ground running - despite all of the restrictions at the time - helping to restructure and pour into the inner healing ministry. It was a very fruitful time. We were able to use our gifts, create new relationships, spend time putting systems into place (which we LOVE doing) and just enjoying corporate church life with other believers.
Around April of this year, the church was in a Sunday morning series on creativity. It was so good! Shannon and I felt like God was speaking to us about writing a book (WHAT?!) and we started pressing in to what God wanted for us in that area and in our lives in general.
And, just like God, He spoke cryptically at first (we call him Jehovah-Sneaky sometimes). A few prophetic words on "changing seasons" and "soon" and "around the corner" - you know the type - where our timing and His timing aren't usually on the same page (Prophetic Lessons 101 - you're welcome!). We "put those on the shelf" and just decided that we'd let them work out however it was supposed to.
Then about 2 weeks later, I had a dream about church planting. As most of you know, that's the reason we moved to Waynesville 7 years ago. We had put that assignment to sleep for the last 3 years, thinking that we had either missed His timing or maybe He had changed His mind. We honestly didn't know.
This dream, however, was crazy specific and it shook me up. Both Shannon and I were like, "What are You doing, Jesus?! Do You remember the last time we tried this?!" So we sought counsel with our spiritual dads and moms, a few close friends and our families. The general consensus was that "Oh yeah! That is a God-dream and a now-dream."
Just to keep it real: Our excitement about this dream did NOT match the intensity of the dream. This was NOT on our life-plan at this point.
But we felt such peace about it. A few days later, a friend (who didn't know about the dream) said that the Lord told her that the dream He gave me was going to come to pass soon. Y'all. I can't make this stuff up. So we went to our pastors here in town and shared what was on our heart. Our time here at the local church came to an end and we have been taking our time, over the last month, listening to Holy Spirit, trying our best to just go with His leading/direction/peace in every step we take for this next season.
We feel Him so very close. His goodness and kindness to us these last few weeks of transition have been so thoughtful and full of love. We know He sees us and He's leading the way.
So what does all of that mean?
Well, I wish I had a clear-cut answer for you. The only thing we know at this point is that this time around we are approaching church-planting with these questions as the main barometer for everything we do:
Is Jesus here?
If so, keep doing that.
If not, what do we need to change?
Our mission is simply this: To be hospitable to Holy Spirit and hospitable to people. We know that when we make room for Him, everything else falls into place.
All that to say, we'd love your prayers! If you are thinking about us, please send up a prayer that we hear the Father clearly, don't rush ahead of His timing and stay close to Him in the entire process. We believe, just like we heard 7 years ago, that New Day Waynesville will see radical encounters with Jesus through grounded living. We want to be carriers of His presence, carriers of revival and carriers of the Father's love as we help others become the sons and daughters of God they were created to be.
For those of you that have been on this journey with us since the beginning, THANK YOU a thousand times over for your continued support, encouragement, prayers and friendship. We have made it this far because of you!
Until next time. . . Shannon, Mary & Zoe