There are moments in life when you take a step back and what you see makes your hair stand on edge. This is one of those moments and I’m at a loss for words to describe just what I see. A similar situation occurs with outdoor nature photography. You pause at a jaw-dropping vista, in awe of its immense beauty and break out your camera to capture the moment. Putting eye to viewfinder, the scene loses all awe and wonder and you put your camera away. What makes these moments so special that words and photos seldom capture their mystique?
Gathering my thoughts on what to write this week, this particular point in time feels significant for some reason. After sitting still for a bit I felt inspired to write about what Cultivate Connection is up to these days besides the podcast, email, and blog. Then I had the brilliant idea to reference an older blog post titled What Does the Future Hold. It speaks about where we are, and where we want to go as a ministry. Pulling up the post, the date jumped out at me… November 7th, 2018. Exactly one year ago to the day!
As I read that post, I was reminded of how much we’ve always wanted to have a community of amazing, Jesus loving people who just want to pursue Him wholeheartedly. There’s been a few times where we thought this community would become a reality in the city we lived in, and then nothing. If I’m being honest, those experiences take a little bit of wind out of your sails each time they happen. Reflecting on this, it’s as if someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “hey, remember the time JD gave Amy that word?”
Reminders Serve a Purpose
A few years ago we attended a marriage workshop called Love After Marriage (LAM) in Redding, California. It was an amazing time! Paired up with three other couples, eight of us shared a table, tears, and twelve hours of each day as we went deep with one another. JD was one of those beautiful people we got to share life with that week.
Towards the end of our time together, Amy was sharing some of the disappointments regarding lack of community. After sharing, and with tears still streaking down her cheeks, JD looks into Amy’s eyes and proceeds to do what only someone who is hearing God’s voice can do; he gives her a prophetic word that brought hope and simultaneously planted a seed.
While there were many words spoken, the key phrase in his message was “you get to throw the pot that holds your tribe.” JD’s word ministered to Amy’s disappointment of not finding the community she had been looking for. This seed of hope is finally beginning to sprout in the form of Cultivate Connection.
I was curious to see how long ago this word was given; I know it was a few years ago, but wasn’t sure about the exact date. Looking at a voice recording from LAM that is still on my phone, the last day was… November 10th, 2015.
Gather Your Tribe
We weren’t finding our community, our tribe, in any particular physical location because that’s not where we needed to be looking. That word, “throw the pot”, sat with us for a bit and didn’t feel like it was ever doing anything. But under the surface, that seed was germinating.
This week, Amy created the Facebook Group for those who’ve partnered with Cultivate Connection. Throwing a pot couldn’t be more different than moving a cursor around and typing, and yet in this instance they’re so similar. It is my hope, in the strongest sense of that words original meaning, that one day in the future, perhaps sometime during the month of November we’ll be reminded of this post as we moderate a thriving online community. A community who also gathers throughout the year at amazing retreats; shares stories of connecting with God, encouraging each other along our journeys.
It’s God’s Show
Something seems to be up with the month of November. Remember that hair standing on edge feeling I described in the beginning? My best guess is I was getting close to seeing something God is doing in our lives. He loves dates and numbers, and especially loves interacting with His children. This is one of those moments. Another funny thing is Amy, while proofreading this, told me that during a call with her friend earlier in the day she mentioned that November feels like a significant month.
I didn’t know Amy had said that and she didn’t know I was going to write this blog. It looks like November truly is a special month for us! Only time will tell, but my money is on the fact this is God’s show. As long as we keep showing up, and remain willing to do the work, one day we will see a mighty oak deeply rooted where a tiny seed once sat buried in the ground.
P.S. Amy’s birthday is also in November; the 16th. If you remember, send her a message next Saturday, I’m sure she’ll love it!