My heart was full when my exhausted body hit the couch last night. It was only 9 pm.
I stayed for the after party, after Cross Points 6:30 service. A fall picking party of sorts, translation, fabulous music, food and fellowship.
The nino was doing some video and drone filming of the band... and it turned into a perfect fall evening in Nashville.
I considered the text from sweet friends, who after church were watching the Packers game at a local spot down the road. I love these friends and I knew it would be fun. I thought of the woman I call friend, who's husband is a coach for Green Bay. I was all in for rooting them on. But, I had an early morning coffee with a friend.
Nessa, who I met last winter at a Cross Point connecting dinner. She sat at my table with friends and she shared how glad she was to have found Cross Point.
As I was walking out the door later that evening, the parking lot mostly empty, I spotted Zach, a friend and pastor sitting with Nessa. He called me over and shared that Nessa had just found Jesus.
I hugged Nessa as she explained she hadn't wanted to leave after the dinner. Instead she started cleaning up.
Zach spotted her and asked what she was doing. He continued to pursue the conversation, asking her if she was okay and then, "You want to sit and talk?" "Yes" came her reply. Zach is good at this.
Fast forward this morning. We sit on the patio at Crema overlooking the downtown skyline. The morning is crisp as the sun shows off behind me. We sip strong coffee, as Nessa shares her Buddhist background, in that it was a word associated with her name, her family, not a faith lived out.
She mentions high school friends going to Bible study, talking about Christianity. She wasn't one of them... and was never invited to decide for herself.
When she found herself at Cross Point church she said it felt different. She felt different. She didn't feel shame, instead joy.
The night of the dinner she told her friends to go home without her... as she remained standing in the large, now dark room where 350 people had gathered for a meal. She stood alone, feeling something stirring in her.This room, a place to connect the Body of Christ. To grow community, disciple, transform. A place where new dreams come to life, and fears are laid down low, buried in the old.
She chose Christ that night and though the inward change came immediately, the journey would be continuous and daily.
She found herself driving to Cross Point some nights just to be close to where life changed. Where she found hope. The tears start for me as she speaks. This girl drove to a desolate parking lot in the middle of the night. She was pursuing her Maker.
I told her I was sorry I hadn't been there for her. She reassured me she doesn't make this drive now, recognizing that He lives in her heart and soul.
The journey of faith is incredible and unique for all of us. I watch as the Holy Spirit is stirring in Nessa as she shows me the Bible she bought. She is so excited.
She is hungry for Him. God is good.
Nessa is pursuing God, because He is pursuing her.
1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us."
When we give ourselves to The One who created us, a spontaneous, mysterious shift occurs. Transformation of the heart...
When I witness this, I feel an uprising in my soul that is hard to express. It reminds me of why I am here in Nashville, alive, breathing. I have the sweet opportunity to walk beside Nessa as she dives deep into the Word, the love story God wrote to her.
I thought we would have some coffee this morning. Instead we had some living water.
The opportunities are all around us, when we turn to the left and the right...we will see thirsty people, if we take a moment to look. Offer that drink. Get that coffee with someone God has allowed you to know. Don't miss the opportunity.
Nessa is going to change the world with her faith. One drink of water at a time. Thank you Nessa for listening to that longing, that pull... that was drawing you close to God.
All joy it is to my soul.
This post was originally posted 9/21/15