I got home from being away with family. I brought my bags in and set them in the floor of the living room. Usually I put everything away as soon as I get in. This time the first thing I did was go sit on the front porch of our apartment building. I look straight out and there sits the Parthenon with downtown skyscrapers in the background. Centennial Park is bustling with runners and tourists as normal and traffic is buzzing past. The scene gets blurry as my eyes fill with tears.
Going back a few days ago, while in Alabama with family, I received an email from our new property owner telling us that all residents must be out by September 30th. Just like many other places in Nashville someone wants to tear down this old building to make way for bigger and newer. This was surprising and not surprising all at once. We always have been in awe that this old building is still standing at the rate they are building new ones around here. I have been sad thinking about it while away but thanks to God I have remained in complete peace about the situation. And as I arrived to this place we’ve called home for almost 4 years I needed a moment to let it sink in.
So as I sat on the porch and my eyes filled with tears, I began thinking on this gift of a place we’ve lived. God told us prior to signing any papers that he was giving us this apartment as a gift. Reflecting on it…that is truly what it has been. I understand the building is old and less than desirable for many, but this place has been perfect for us. The location is not only fun and enjoyable but it is very strategic and central. The park has not only given us walkable access to some of the best urban green space, festivals and free music in the city but also has hosted many intimate and revelatory moments with God. The hill next to us has been my most consistent, favorite ever “secret place” to spend time with God. Not to mention all the great walkable places to work, eat, or enjoy. Strategic in its perfect alignment with the Parthenon and state capital… hundreds of prayers have gone out from here. Prayers against the principalities and powers of darkness and proclamations for the kingdom of God to come in Nashville.
I spent the next few minutes thanking God for how he led us here and gave us this space to live, work, enjoy, and carry out the ministry he has called us to here. It has been a perfectly good space for us personally as well as to host OneLife and all those God has brought into our orbit. So, all of that, in short, is why I’ve been a little sad as I think about moving on. But as I sat there, with the city buzzing as usual, I felt a rest so thick I could almost touch it. A safety. A peace. Then I prayed for the city as I have so many times.
As I think ahead… I have no clue where we’ll end up, how fast, or how we’ll get there. The things I do know… God gave us this place when we thought it nearly impossible and He can give us another even better place for this next season of our life and OneLife. We know, as clear as ever, that He wants us here in Nashville to build extended families of disciples of Jesus that live on mission together. He has provided every little thing we’ve needed so far in our journey here. It hasn’t all looked like we expected but He has been faithful to speak to us and lead us all along the way.
I feel that Tim and I are fairly flexible in our living conditions but our apartment has become a safe place for people to come and visit throughout the week and it hosts weekly gatherings for OneLife. I’m asking for you to please pray with us. That we stay attuned to The Spirit’s leading to know what to do, where to go, who to ask, etc. That God will open up doors that nobody can shut and that He will provide and show us how to receive an even better place to live and for OneLife to continue operating from.
Honestly, it seems even more impossible to find a place now than it was when we were first moving to Nashville but I know the One who has called us here and how He has already made the way… and I know it is possible.
Thank you for your prayers and all the ways you have already joined us in what God is doing here!