Oh sweet Krista. One of those special friendships our adoption brought us that I talked about Monday. Noonday + adoption + Jesus bonded us, and we will forever be friends. isn’t that amazing? I’m so thankful. oh, and she has a Camp too! I know her words and story will touch you as much as they have touched me. She put into words what’s been swirling around in my heart lately. enjoy this story!
Anybody can change the world: I’m just a girl who said yes.
My name is Krista and I am married to my college sweetheart Jake and the proud mamma to Camp (4), Enock (4) and Della (1). We live a full life here in Austin, Texas and it is such a privilege to share my story with you today!
Currently, my family is planting a church in Central Austin. We live in a tiny old house that we pay more in rent for than any mortgage payment we’ve ever had. How did we get here? Well that’s my story!
About 5 years ago, I was teaching 1st grade and my husband was a youth pastor. I was pregnant with Camp and we were living a very “normal” life. We loved time with friends, date nights, and our jobs. BUT, there was a stirring. God was making us unsettled with “normal” and we began to wrestle with 2 big questions. The first was…
If God is real, and Jesus truly came to redeem us and to redeem this world, then shouldn’t that make a huge difference in how we live our lives?
The second question was…
Would we be willing to say yes to anything God called us to?
It was becoming more and more apparent to us that we were living the life that we chose. The way we lived our day to day lives and the posture of our hearts were not running with the wild abandonment that should match the reality that God is real and sent Christ to redeem all that was broken. We had a sense that God had a bigger story to write with our lives. But that was scary. What would he ask us to do? Would he call us to move and leave our friends and family? Would people think we were crazy? Would His story for our lives be as good as the story we were writing? Would it be full of pain and struggle? What would he ask us to give up and how much of a risk would it be to truly say yes to God?
With butterflies in our stomachs and conviction in our hearts we chose to live in light of the truths we said we believed. We chose to say YES to anything God asked of us.
After that conversations God quickly began to grow our family. He called us to adopt our son Enock from Uganda. (His adoption story is here.) That process stretched our faith, deepened relationships and emptied our bank account. Then, once we returned from Uganda we discovered that I was pregnant with our daughter Della and that we would indeed go from 1-3 kids in a year. But God was doing more in our story than just adding kids to our family. He was wanting us to step into an adventure that would forever change the lives of many.
We believed that people matter to God. And if people mattered to God, then they mattered to us. So when God called us to sell our house and move into the city to plant a church, where the
houses are old, small and much more expensive… a place that is referred to as a “church graveyard” because so many churches have come and gone, a place that didn’t make sense… with fear and boldness we said yes. We said yes to the story God was writing for our lives.
And friends, let me just tell you… I was afraid. Most families have kids and move into the suburbs where the schools are good, homes are bigger and communities seem safer. Most families would look for a house with a good morgage and accept jobs that provided security. And these things sounded so lovely and so comfortable to me. More fears crept in of “How will we afford to live there?”, “What will people think?”, “Would we be doing this alone? Who would be crazy enough to join us?” But we reminded each other that Jesus was worth going against cultural norms, the financial risk and the uncertainty of being alone. His story is always better.
Several months later I was huge and pregnant with Della and driving up to our new home. Our new home for which we would pay in rent almost double what our old mortgage was. A home with crooked windows, the occasional mouse, and a musty smell that only a 70 year old house can have. I walked through the house mostly to measure windows and plan where furniture would go. As I walked through each room I confessed to God all of my fears and through warm tears running down my face I gave them up to him. Then I began to thank him for the mountains he moved to get us in a home and provide for every need we had in our process moving and starting our church. And then I began to dream. I began to dream like you do when you are reading a good book and you sense great things are going to happen in the chapters ahead. You know that the character will struggle because they always do in a great story, but that in the end, it will be a story you will want to share with everyone you know.
We have lived here for just over a year now. To my surprise we had 32 people move into the city to plant Midtown Church. Over this year, we have learned what community truly is. We have had more people in our home than I can keep track of. We baptized 9 people in the backyard of an atheist. We have many people who God is drawing that are our friends and neighbors. They consider themselves a part of our church family because there is something in our community that resonates with them. We have gone deep into messy lives, loved people, heard their stories and told them how much God loves them. On this journey we have lost friends and gained new ones, we have sacrificed many things and much time, and have been thought of as crazy by more than one. But I have never felt more alive than I do right now. It is true that the story I was writing for my life was more comfortable, but it is also true that the story God is telling with my life is far more compelling.
There is a quote that I love that says this… “There are moments in time that set into motion a course of events that forever change the lives of many.” When I think of this quote I often think of 5 years ago when Jake and I decided to say yes to God no matter what. And I am so glad that we did.
So I want to challenge you today. I want to challenge you to silence the voice of fear and to say yes to God no matter what he is asking of you. Maybe you are in a dating relationship that needs to end. Maybe you are chasing after comfort or success that God never intended for you to have. Maybe it means giving up on a dream and trusting that God’s dreams are much bigger than yours.
I’m not sure where you are or what words He has spoken over your life… but one thing I do know is that He is worth it and that He is able to do immeasurably more than anything you ask or imagine because of His power at work in you. (Eph. 3:20)
Thanks so much for letting me share my story with you! I hope that somehow, in a way that only God can, it speaks to you! If you want to follow our story you can follow my blog www.thegirlwhosaidyes.blogspot.com. If you are in the Austin area and want to come say hi our church website is www.midtownaustin.org. And I’d love it if you became my facebook friend or email me so I can get the chance to hear your story!