Scared. Part 2.

on October 15, 2008 in Nash-livin' with 22 comments by

So on Friday I was talking on the phone with a friend, only a few years younger than myself, and she has made some decisions that break my heart.  Involving her boyfriend.  [I’m keeping it G rated, but you know what I mean.]  I love her, nothing changes that.  I’m just sad for her.  So I spent some time on Saturday praying for her.  And asking God how to help.

And as I prayed, I thought back to student ministry.  Because honestly, the best way to help a 26 year old choose purity is to teach a 12 year old to choose purity, and why. And I felt my heart soften.

[This conversation with God was part of Him prepping me to give away my email address to a youth director in a city where I swore I wouldn’t do youth ministry. Just so you know.]

I went to a new church on Sunday morning.  It’s the first plant church out of Midtown (the church I’ve been going to) – called Mercy Hill.  It meets about a mile from my house.  In fact, it is the plant for my neighborhood.  And the more I learned about the plant church, the more my heart grew for it.  And for my neighborhood.  So I went.

All by myself.  To a church of 50 people.  Who are all friends.  Yikes is right.

The whole idea of being settled here was never far from my mind that morning.  Even as I teared up during church, completely due to nerves, I kept praying, “God, settle me.  God, settle me.”

During the service, the pastor had the new youth guy stand up.  Of course.  Even though he is the overall Midtown youth guy, he and his wife go to Mercy Hill.  So, men gathered around him and prayed for him as he begins this job as youth director. I thought, “Oh, that’s nice.  The youth dude.”


A few minutes later, during the meet and greet time, guess which husband and wife team made a beeline for me?

Yep.  You got it.  Youth dude [better known as “Chad”] and wife head straight for me.  After about 3 sentences of small talk, I knew what I wanted to say.  I was given, in that instant, a chance to respond to God’s invitation to settle in Nashville.

“Do you need volunteers?”, I asked.

And that brother had his iPhone pulled out quicker than one would think humanly possible.

I don’t know if he will email me.  I just know that I did my part.  I said to myself and to him and to God, “I’m willing to settle in Nashville.  I’m willing to invest here.”

For me personally, this is the deepest investment I can make, more than buying a house or getting a new driver’s license.  Am I still scared?  Yes.  Because I don’t want to add names to my list of left behinds.  But I am not in charge of my own future and I am not running my own timeline.  I think part of the reason my life was successful in Marietta (you know what I mean) was because I lived like I was never leaving.  I invested 100% with the understanding [laugh] that I was there to stay. I planted roots, then they got ripped up and shipped north.

So now it’s time to live in Nashville like I’m never leaving.  Though that breaks my heart a lot to even think, and God may move me right on outta here in no time flat, I’m going to invest in the people, the students, that God puts in my path and I’m gonna act like I’m here to stay.  I’ve been scuffing my shoes around this dirt long enough.  Time to put down some roots and love some people.

This is what it looks like when I settle.


  1. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    “Time to put down some roots and love some people.” We all need to do this. People(myself included at times) live their lives in one community and never do this.

  2. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:37 AM  |  reply

    These last couple posts have blessed me so much. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Susan
    posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 8:46 AM  |  reply

    Wow does this post (and many others for that matter) speak to me!

    You just know God is smiling and saying “Atta girl, Annie”!

  4. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:06 AM  |  reply

    I am excited that you are willing to be settled in Nashville! That is awesome.

    Don’t ever forget that the time you invested with students that you feel you have left was important. You planted seeds, and those kids’ lives will be changed forever because of them.

  5. Southern Gal
    posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:09 AM  |  reply

    God bless you, Annie. He is already blessing you. Can’t wait to hear how He will be blessing others through you.

    I need to email you as you hit on an area here that I need help with.


  6. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:13 AM  |  reply

    you are my hero.

  7. Deb Simon
    posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 12:47 PM  |  reply

    Hey Annie, loving your posts! I jotted down a couple of thoughts from a Beth Moore study I did today BEFORE I read your blog…We are God’s poem, faith is between every line and a GREAT story is a “nail biter” That had to be for you! You are HIS blessing to Nash!

  8. Lindsey
    posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:46 PM  |  reply

    Annie, you are awesome. Just sayin’. Your posts are so encouraging.

  9. Lindsey
    posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 3:46 PM  |  reply

    Oh, and…I’m making the soup tonight!

  10. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 7:43 PM  |  reply

    Thank you so much for sharing. You are such a blessing to me, and I know God is going to use you in some awesome ways because of your willingness.

  11. posted on Oct 15, 2008 at 10:07 PM  |  reply

    Oh, you’ve really got me thinking tonight. We’ve been in a new town for almost two years, and I am still not as committed to it as you are to Nashville. I just wanted you to know that you are a great example to me tonight.

  12. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:19 AM  |  reply

    amen, sister.

    so glad you are doing something that you are called to do. =)

  13. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:27 AM  |  reply

    Ditto jnt.

  14. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:53 AM  |  reply

    Cant think of a better girl to be investing in those kids than you! I bet it wont be long until you are throwin out the maroon/red and wearing the big orange….want me to send you some orange stuff? Cause I can – we have lots of it here in East TN —–hahhaha

  15. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:45 AM  |  reply

    Bethanne, girl. I bleed red and black. Go dawgs.

  16. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 12:50 PM  |  reply

    What a great post. And your line, “the best way to help a 26 year old choose purity is to teach a 12 year old to choose purity, and why” is brilliant.

    Go Annie. I worked with youth 17 years before becoming a Lead Pastor and I’ve still got a soft spot for ’em. Bless you, sis.


  17. Kristi Kay
    posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 1:42 PM  |  reply


  18. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 2:08 PM  |  reply

    i just found your blog from someone else’s and LOVE it! you are a talented, humorous and inspiring writer. the lord is obviously using that gifting to minister to many through this blog. i’m hooked!

  19. posted on Oct 16, 2008 at 11:02 PM  |  reply

    Happy? Now I’m scared.

  20. posted on Oct 17, 2008 at 10:16 PM  |  reply

    wtg annie…good move. it is always in your best interest to stay open minded when it comes to God’s will in your life, but then again, you alaready knew that 😉 hugs and continue prayers…hey, come see the new blog! it’s all mine!!!

  21. posted on Oct 18, 2008 at 10:13 PM  |  reply

    Ok, Annie…the more I read your blog, the more I think you and I could totally click.

    Praying for you as you bloom where God has planted you…..I feel excited for you!

  22. Mary Colwell
    posted on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:10 PM  |  reply

    No matter how detailed and complex our theological understandings grow, regardless of how much scripture we memorize, no matter how many committees we chair, or how many meals we fix, how many worship services we attend, if we’re not growing in our love of God, neighbor and self we have missed the point. And as love grows, our circle of concern grows as well.
    We have new ears to listen to a neighbor as she describes her operation. Reading an article about homelessness prompts us to volunteer at BEDS. Lifting a friend in prayer, we remember to drop him or her a line, or give them a call. As we consider God’s children who are hungry, we save our nickels and dimes for the food bank, or pick up and extra jar of peanut butter or tuna to be donated.
    We face huge challenges in our country right now. People in our own community are without jobs, struggling to make ends meet, to put food on the table or are living with illness, physical or emotional — living without hope. Maybe you are one of these people. But tough times also present great opportunities for us to do love; to recognize that our lives are bigger than the size of our cars or our bank accounts. To recognize our inherent worth as God’s beloved.
    Love is done in ways big and small all over the globe each and every day.
    So organize a peace rally, or organize a meal. Sit with a friend who is grieving; sit with your spouse over coffee. Write a card to a prisoner, write a card to your grandmother. Haul wet lumber out of a flood soaked basement, haul yourself to your voting place. Give time. Give attention. To God, to neighbor, to self. Every day.

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