by Lacey Hartman
Often, I dream of time travel! The people and places of the past fascinate me. That is why I love my journal. It has become my time machine!
I wish I could show you the pages that are worn with tears, fears, joys, wins, sorrows, and wonderings in my spiritual journey.
Nostalgia has been my companion recently. We are a young church and celebrated our one-year birthday on September 11, 2016! Leading up to our birthday, I felt God lead me to read my old journals and take a look at what He has done. I wanted to share one entry with you.
At the time of this entry, we were getting to ready to move from Springfield, MO, to Manhattan, KS. My husband had helped start the church we were on staff at, and we had served there for 11 years. We had met, married, and had our two children at this church. We were leaving a church we loved with a hunch and a hope that God was up to something in the Little Apple.
Thankfully we had great relationship with our pastor and church, but there wasn’t margin in the bank to give us a check for severance or to sow into this new church plant God was calling us to launch. However, our Pastor took a risk, and for the first time in the history of our church, they did a second offering in the service- for us! We were praying a really bold prayer personally and had shared with our family, but no one else, because, honestly, we didn’t think it would happen.
Journal Entry: October 17, 2014
Reading Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, Amen.”
Yesterday we learned another church in the Manhattan area changed their name to the name we had selected for our church plant. We already had our logo designed & cards printed to hand out at church for the offering the 25/26. At first we were really disappointed. It felt like a set-back, but in the scheme of things, it isn’t a big deal. We will eat the cost and start fresh. There are still 65% of people in Manhattan unclaimed. We will be manhattanchurchplant.com until you lead us to the right name for this new church!
Our church is doing the first weekend offering for an individual in the history of our church on October 25/26. I am deeply grateful for their heart to invest. We are hoping the offering can cover our severance and provide some extra. Our crazy prayer is that $30,000 would come in so we could set it aside for our salary for year one.”
After that offering, almost $40,000 was given. ALL of us were shocked. God did exceedingly more!
I could share multiple entries over the past two years showing God’s faithfulness. I could show you entries full of faith and many others full of weariness, doubt, fear, and sorrow. Today my entry consisted of (again!) asking God to give us favor with a new location for our church as our lease ends in December. We have been praying this prayer since February, and He hasn’t opened a door…YET!
How are you tracing the prayers God is answering?
Whether journaling comes naturally to you or not, I encourage you: start! Do something intentionally to remind yourself that God truly is moving in and through your life! I typically follow the SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer) tool in my journaling.
Wherever you are on your journey with church planting, be encouraged. Whatever your assignment, remember, God chose you to accomplish this task! He chose you to be in that community with those people. He chose you to navigate those hardships, reap a harvest, and sow seeds into your specific area.
Take some time this week and travel back in time to remember what God has done, and rejoice that He is not yet finished!
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears” (Phil 1:6, MSG).
Lacey Hartman serves alongside her husband, Troy, at Rock Hills Church in Manhattan, KS. She has been a pastor’s wife and leader for 10 years.
Lacey is passionate about empowering others to take next steps. Troy and Lacey have two vibrant daughters, Jovi and Jade. When Lacey isn’t reminding her daughter’s to stop jumping on the couches, she enjoys reading, movies, and pedicures (who doesn’t?!)!
Connect with Lacey on social media, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.