We have officially crossed the one month mark of living in Alabama. The last of the boxes have been unpacked, we’re not constantly lost anymore, and we have a firm grasp on the best restaurants in town. Finally, we feel settled into our new home. Not only are we a step closer to planting our church in Auburn but the whirlwind of having a second child, selling our house, and moving across the country is behind us, and we are starting to enjoy this new season rather than simply trying to survive the transition.
Here are a few of the highlights from the past month:
- I was invited to participate in a community-wide prayer meeting in Opelika. A number of churches were involved, and a friend asked me if I would be interested in leading a portion of the prayer time despite not even being on the ground yet. I jumped at the chance. The first official act of Union Church – the first time our church name was printed on something I didn’t write – was to sit down with six pastors (two of whom were African American) and pray for revival in Lee County. It was a huge honor to be physically present in a context that has been on my heart and mind from a distance for so long.
- One of my constant prayers is for CJ to have friends in Huntsville. She is such a social butterfly and extrovert that leaving her relationships in Norman has been tough, but God has been gracious in a few specific ways. Two of her best friends – girls who were bridesmaids in our wedding – live in Nashville and Birmingham and we’ve seen them a few times already. Some of our best friends in Norman moved to Birmingham two weeks after we did and we’ve hung out with them a couple of times as well. CJ has reconnected with a sorority sister from Auburn who lives here, and several moms from Summit Crossing have already reached out to arrange play dates with the kids – we’ve had dinner brought to us for two straight weeks!
- We have awesome neighbors. They have been incredibly generous to us in our short time in the neighborhood. They have brought over food, mowed our yard, and gushed over Bo and Ellie. Two days after moving in, one neighbor’s husband passed away and the other neighbor’s son was indicted on drug charges. We hope we can build relationships in our short time here and love these people well.
- Ellie Jane is now three months old. She has lived in Alabama for 1/3 of her life.
- Our fundraising is going very well. Dozens of friends and family have contributed to our church planting fund, as well as six partner churches throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama. We’re incredibly thankful for the support from the Acts 29, Soma, and Southern Baptist tribes, and continue to be humbled by the way the Lord is providing for us.
We’re excited to be here and eager to see what the rest of the summer has in store. Thanks for following along!