This weekend was incredible at Elevation we wrapped up our Get Back Series and plugged 100s of people into eGroups. This has been a super powerful series and well worth a listen. Today, as I was reflecting on this sermon and looking forward to our next series (the documentary of our 5 years as a church: This Is How We Change The World), I was thinking about how strategically God brought me to this place at this time.
After college I worked for a professional photographer. It was something that fell into place for me in a way that only God could have orchestrated. It was a great job and I learned so very much from my time there. But, after about a year, there was a restlessness in my spirit I couldn’t explain.
I graduated with a degree in Art Education and so I thought that I was missing teaching. So I went about securing a position as a teacher. Through a long and difficult process I landed a job in Charlotte. The point that deserves to be mentioned here is that I had this unexplainable pull to Charlotte. I didn’t have any family here there was no reason for my heart to be drawn to this city.
We moved around a lot while I was growing up. I have no real “home state.” My parents are both from North Carolina, though, so growing up I sort of held on to that. When I had a choice about where to look for a teaching job, I chose North Carolina. My family is from eastern North Carolina….but somehow, Charlotte ended up in my search and I just couldn’t let this city go.
Ten years ago I moved here, for a job…or so I thought. My first search in Charlotte was for a church. I was floored at how many churches there were and how hard it was for me to find one. I spent my first few years in church with that same feeling of restlessness.
It was what I did with that…or didn’t do that took me down a slippery slope. I became so frustrated that I just quit trying, gave in to the temptations around me and began living that double life I had become so good at in college. Still in church. Still saying all the right things around all the right people. And living like hell in the dark.
Finally, a good girl-friend suggested that I look for a new church and a fresh start. Funny when she said that I couldn’t dream of leaving the church I was at. I didn’t believe in church hopping and shopping…still don’t. She and I had been in a small group together several years before and she had since moved to another state. She was shocked at how tightly I held to this church. Not because it wasn’t a great church, but because the restlessness in my spirit seemed to be absent.
Over the course of the next year, again and again I thought of her words. Eventually I began to wonder what had happened to those anxious feelings of wanting something more. Finally, I saw the glimmer of light in my darkness and knew that now was the time for me to resurface and renew that passion. Around this time I heard about Elevation and the Sunday I woke up to attend for the first time…even before I got in the car…I knew, this was it. This was my place. This was where my restless soul would find rest.
and it totally has
You see, that year I spent wading through the muck I had created to look for that thing I had lost, was the first year of Elevation Church. As I look back over the last four years, I see such growth. And it takes me back to that undeniable draw to Charlotte. That thing I couldn’t get away from…was God’s desire to plant me here.
In this house
with these people
for such a time as this