"Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be."
On Sunday, June 17, 2012, we held our first Transit baptism at Madison Park Beach. Wow. My heart is still overwhelmed and my eyes still get a little teary when I really stop and think about it. Baptisms always pull a lot of emotions out of me...hearing what God has done in peoples' lives and where he has brought them from and witnessing them placing their whole lives in his hands ALWAYS pulls on my heart strings, however this baptism touched my heart on a whole different level!
I can still remember walking across campus every Thursday evening during my junior year of college to a music classroom to meet with my two friends. It was usually late enough at night that we had to get a security officer to open the room for us. We spent hours talking about a church that we felt God leading us to plant in Seattle, WA. We had NO idea what we were doing or why it was us that he had chosen. We worked through a mission statement and a set of core values and tried to study and learn about the people that we had never met in a city that we had yet to visit...all because of this dream that God has put in our hearts.
We continued meeting in this way over the next year and 1/2. Others came and left the team. Finally, it came time to make all of the plans a reality...or rather to let God make them a reality. We picked up our lives and all of our uncertainties and moved across the country. By the grace of God we found jobs, apartments, and slowly began to build a community of friends.
Still, we met alone in the apartment as a church for almost 5 months with only a few visitors coming through the door on occasion. Sometimes I left feeling discouraged and defeated. Perhaps all of the doubts that people had expressed to us and that I had felt in my heart so many times before were true. Maybe we were too young and inexperienced and needed a different approach...
Until we began our series on the Gospel of John. And then one by one, people started showing up. And they kept showing up and then they started showing up with groups of their friends who also kept showing up....
And before we knew it, we were here. We can hardly move in that apartment each Tuesday night. We are stepping over each other and constantly praying that God will somehow make the food feed each mouth and I am forming a ministry for kids in a back room with a coffee table and one bin of supplies.
And yesterday we were humbled to watch two of our Transit family members publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ and dedicate their lives to serving and following him.
So, you can imagine how this particular baptism would fill my heart with joy and my eyes with tears. All of those meetings, and plans and prayers and days of fasting and late nights thinking and talking about how in the world we could actually go through with this were MORE than worth it in that one moment. Every doubt that I had heard and felt in my heart faded away as I saw God's vision for these people and this city begin to unfold. We were finally seeing the fruit of our labors and trust in what God has placed in our hearts.
My friends, ALWAYS go after what you believe God has placed inside of your heart. If it seems crazy and like something you would NEVER do...chances are it's God at work. And while there are unknowns and fears welling up inside of you, I can assure you that you will NEVER regret following his voice. Just take a step and watch as he puts every detail into its perfect position. If you are faithful to hear his voice and to follow it despite ALL else, he will be faithful to fulfill all that he has promised and placed in your heart. Of course it is only by HIS grace and HIS work through you. Always for HIS glory. And we have been blessed to be supported with prayer and fasting and encouragement from SO many faithful friends.
"Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you."
"With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith."
2 Thessalonians 1:11